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Striving for Excellence

Every learning journey at ROA has a higher purpose. As with any calling, excellence is the aim and the ultimate desire. during our mechanical engineer quest, prototyping is a powerful way to test and refine ideas for improving and achieving excellence.

In our experimental environment, the power of prototyping is that it allows us to take something good or even very good – and make it better.

When work is completed, the learners ask each other one of these questions:

Is this the best you can do? 

Is this better than last time? 

The mental discipline to ask these questions reveals not just the process for achieving excellence but our definition of it. Excellence is a continuous path of incremental improvement. Tip for parents: When your child finishes a job at home ask, “Is this the best you can do?” and see where the discussion goes. Holding high standards for small things serves the bigger things. Being trusted to be excellent feels good – even if you hit some grumbling and resistance at first.

In our environment, there is a mutual understanding of being able to take risks, make mistakes, and move on. Being surrounded with open-minded, whole-hearted collaborators who get what it means to experiment, keep trying with failure after failure.

There is a surprising outcome that goes far beyond excellent work- a natural joy that abounds in such an environment. As one Learner shared with me recently, “If I’m not proud to show off my work then I am going to do it again and again until I am.”

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