It’s Friday! The heroes know what that means… we put core skills on the shelf and head to the gym or the field for some hero-led PE. They can’t wait. After a quick vote, they elect kickball as the game of the day – a favorite among many learners. With smiles, intensity and excitement, the learners play with everything they’ve got – and it ends in a tie.

Most would say that this is a satisfactory outcome for a time meant simply for physical activity. However, one hero really wanted to win. As he walked upstairs and into the studio, he began to think of all that transpired in the game, speaking out loud as he recapped every call or missed one, trying to find a way the game could be turned in his team’s favor.

Tensions rose on both sides. “I’m asking you for a hero buck,” some heroes resolved as they felt this hero wasn’t following the rules they had agreed upon. “Then I’m asking YOU for a hero buck,” this learner retorted. Sure enough, when they all returned to the studio, these learners went straight for the Hero Buck slips – including the learner that wanted to win the most. They all began intently filling out the request slips for each other.

Then in a moment, as if an angel whispered audibly to the learner bent on winning, he got up, crumpled his paper and tossed it in the trash. He went over to the others and said, “I just threw mine away because I know that I was just really upset. I’m sorry.” As I observed this, I held my breath. I wondered if he had expected them to throw theirs away too. Even if that was the case, that wasn’t the result. They still asked him for the Hero Buck. What came next was proof of the deep growth that has been taking place in our Elementary Studio. Without arguing or pointing out his change of heart toward them, he humbly signed the slip, owning his mistake. One year ago this may not have been the outcome of this story.

Great leaders are emerging in the Elementary Studio right before our eyes.