By teaching kids how they’re smart, we teach them to develop their thinking skills. We call them habits of mind. What are my habits? What are the things I’m going to get good at because I’m going to practice? These personal and intellectual character traits are what makes us smart, happy, and successful. They are the mental frameworks which all of our knowledge and skills sit upon.
One of our primary focuses at Almond Acres Charter Academy (AACA) is teaching kids to think about what’s important, so they’ll act on it. When we act on things that are important, we create habits. When we create habits, it becomes our character. Our character becomes our destiny. For us, it’s all about developing thought processes; developing smart, intelligent, thinking. Thinking triggers action and the cycle begins again — habits, character, and destiny.
How we teach Habits of Mind at Almond Acres
- We use a variety of tools — thinking tools — to help us teach our kids how to think and develop their thinking skills. The first is terrific. It’s an acronym TRRFC that includes these citizenship traits: Trustworthy, Respectful, Responsible, Fair, and Caring. These citizenship traits involve key principles that grow strong citizens. By thinking in these terms and modeling these behaviors — you are terrific. You’re being a better version of yourself.
- We encourage and ascribe to The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. This is a very well-researched and proven approach to help people become better versions of themselves. The Seven Habits are shared, encouraged, and expected in our school on a daily basis.
Our kids grow to know each of the seven habits that also develop into an Almond Acres leadership system. It’s our way for kids to be leaders in their classroom, the school, our community, or at home.
An Almond Acres alum shared this feedback about their time at our middle school,
“ I enjoyed the amount of one-on-one attention and education I received since the classes were so small. I felt like I could create deeper connections with my peers and teachers. I found it beneficial in my older years to have thoroughly learned the Habits of Mind and the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.”
- Leadership gives every human confidence. We expect all of our kids to experience leadership roles whether they stem from an official leadership group or they are a leader in their classroom. Our students glean leadership opportunities every day by being the light monitor, or the person who opens the door when somebody knocks. Our student leaders might direct a guest or act as an ambassador to the school and give tours to prospective families.
There are tons of different jobs to promote leadership in every classroom, and we believe there’s a leader in every student. We try to provide every one of our K-8 students with opportunities to be empowered.
Students who are confident citizens is another way to describe what’s at the core of our school mission — to grow great kids! We holistically celebrate each unique learner — heart, mind, body, and soul. Get to know Almond Acres. We’re enrolling tuition-free K-8 today!
About Almond Acres
Almond Acres Charter Academy is a public, tuition-free K-8 school that employs credentialed teachers and administers state-mandated testing to provide families in northern SLO County an additional choice in public education. The school is located in Paso Robles and is open to all students in all communities. AACA’s mission is to help students succeed academically and socially by educating the whole child: heart, mind, body, and soul. We grow great kids!