Putting Together Puzzles

ES Session 5: Week 4

I was 10 years old the last time I did a jigsaw puzzle. But yesterday, I was inspired. I unwrapped the plastic from the box and spilled 1000 pieces on my kitchen counter. 

It was going to be challenging. The picture was 50 people reading classic books, except the books had alternate titles like “The Adventures of Strawberry Finn” and “Pride and Prune Juice”. I wasn’t sure where to start so I sorted by color and clicked titles together. The challenge was fun.

Doing a puzzle is a process. All pieces are important. But you can’t see exactly where individual pieces fit without the big picture. And once you have the big picture, then you no longer see the individual pieces.

At The Village School, our big picture is that every hero who enters our doors is capable of changing the world. What are the individual puzzle pieces?

Obviously, there are a lot of puzzle pieces that make our community special. I’d like to highlight just one today: Squad Meeting.

Heroes pulling up Journey Tracker

Squad meetings happen at the beginning and end of each week. During the meeting, Squad Leaders check-in with the group and provide coaching or feedback. They ask reflection questions, like…

  • What do you want to Start, Stop, and Continue?
  • Which rubber band did you stretch this week: math or reading?
  • What was one highlight of your week? One lowlight?

 Squads challenge each other and keep each other honest.

The meeting is an accountability puzzle piece and it is entirely learner-led.

These Squad Meetings happen rain or shine- even in a pandemic, our learners met virtually. They were flexible. One hero taught another hero how to use the screen share function. I met everyone’s pets at the Squad Leader weekly meeting.

Big picture- TVS heroes are independent learners. But their radical independence is built on interdependence within a community. And even during a pandemic, our heroes connect to make a pretty cool picture (just like puzzle pieces!)

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