At Acton, we are nothing if we are not intentional about how we spend the Eagles’ time.
The last day of a session is a case in point.
The entire session is built around how it will end. We choreograph the last day with three goals in mind:
- Badge and portfolio compilation. Chunks of time are dedicated to private work on the last day of each session. Eagles gain the opportunity to finish goals they may not have reached in the hustle of the other days.
- Reflection. Research now shows that experiences in and of themselves are not the best teachers. It is the reflection upon the experiences that deepens the learning. Further, reflection increases “self-efficacy” or the perceived ability to achieve future goals. The time spent on the last day of a session sets up the Eagles for a successful next session.
At Acton, the reflection we incorporate isn’t only a solitary activity. It happens in group discussions during the last day, as well. I believe this group reflection time is even more powerful than the private time. In hearing each other’s struggles and achievements, the Eagles gain empathy and a “bank” of stories to draw upon in the future when they need inspiration to get through a tough struggle. “I remember when Susan hit this wall….and she got through it by…..”
- Celebration and reunion. The last day of every session has a looser feel to its schedule. This is by design. What might feel like a play day is really an intentional “coming together” through gift-giving, team-building and resolution of conflicts that may have lingered during previous weeks.
Tomorrow is not just dessert. It is the banquet that has been planned in each Eagle’s honor.
I’m beginning to understand better what King Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 7:8, “Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof.”