How I Am Beginning To Define My Success: tPOLs 2020


How are we able to measure success? This is the questions that I have been pondering for the past year, as in my previous tPOL, I defined my future goal as eliminating distractions and becoming successful in the classroom. Almost exactly a year ago to date, I set this goal with the future in mind, as I pictured myself becoming an involved and distinguished student. One alarmingly obvious detail which I happened to forget when it came to setting this goal, was defining the premises.

Here is a question for you, A. Did I want to get all of my work done early? B. Did I want to get A’s throughout the entire year? C. Did I want to attend every class prepared with a large repertoire of knowledge on the subject. Well, the answer is actually D, all of the above. To put it simply, I was overthinking a somewhat simple question, (surprise surprise). I had wanted to achieve validation of the fact that I was a good student, which as I have come, to realize is a two-faceted ordeal. Allow me to ameliorate.

Take Humanities for instance. One of my favourite projects that we endeavoured within this year was the Revolution project, in which we were tasked with reading Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly. I enjoyed this project because of the final product, which in my case was a Podcast that included firsthand accounts which I had gotten by directly correlating with the author over email. This gave me the chance to exercise my creativity, while also balancing a healthy amount of work per day. This is an example of a project in which I set myself up for success, and achieved a product that I was happy with. On the other hand, you could look at projects such as our Confederation Commercials, and see that I lacked efficiency and in turn, involvement in my group. The project got off to a great start, yet the minute I began to slack off, this meant a loss of motivation, and a last minute scramble for a final product. What I learned throughout the course of these projects is something that both my parents and my teachers have been preaching to me for quite some time, that taking the time to plan is worth it in the long run. Why it took so long to feel the repercussion of my actions is because hearing it from an adult and witnessing it are two entirely different things. My current method of productivity is very obliging to my group and the circumstances.

Instead of just standing here and telling you that “I will fix it next year” why don’t I explain how I have done so and what I could continue to do. Short answer: less time on my device. Long answer: my work habits are consequential of my set up, which means that the longer I spend on my iPad the more distractions I have, and the more freedom I give myself in my work. Recently, I have been trying to make this change on my own. This means restraints and requirements are put on my screen time, and I am maximizing the use of outside materials such as books, pens and paper! I hope to develop a healthier habit when it comes to spending time on my devices, a goal that would greatly increase both my mental health and motivation.

Additionally, we can see the same growth when we consider Scimatics. In both our Causation vs. Correlation and Metaphor Machine projects, I put my best foot forward by spending my time efficiently, and involving myself in group work. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I made a huge mistake when it came to cramming last minute. My work habits forced me to unevenly space my study periods, resulting in long nights and ineffective retention methods. I could have performed better on projects, tests, and in class participation regarded that I finish my work the night before, rather than the day of. I have already put a method in effect to prevent this, which is half an hour each morning that I dedicate to looking at my daily schedule, and separating each larger task into a minute activity. Not only does this give me the impression that my work is less daunting, but it seems to be helping me communicate with my parents as well.

Nonetheless, in the future I can take away a message from these projects which is the importance of communication, time management, and the order of operations.

Now that I have touched on my endeavours in Scimatics and Humanities, it is about time that we discuss Maker. Arguably one of my favourite classes this year, I enjoyed Maker because I was able to exercise my inventiveness, and break down barriers all while learning more about the world at our fingertips.

My favourite work of this year would have to be The Land is Us, and the Student Blogging Challenge, with our Star Wars Exhibition gaining a worthy mention. When I examined all of these projects, I noticed a similarity within all of these products, and that is one thing. Revision. Perhaps by now I sound like a broken record, but each of these projects became my sole focus for a period of time, meaning I was able to draft multiple copies and choose the optimal result. This didn’t necessarily mean that they were my best work by any means, it was the breakthrough and relief that I experienced in knowing that I was putting my best foot forward which made them so special. In my opinion, this is how I should be defining success in the classroom. Not as the highest grade, or most time spent, but as the discovery of a method which leads to a well rounded product and a happy student. I am still at a point in my education where I should be experimenting, so that by the time I reach senior school, I am set in my methods and confident in the results.

I would like to introduce a short productivity graph that I have discovered which is one of the driving forces behind my newfound motivation. Until recently I have been using m journal as a tracking source, although as of tomorrow, I am making it my goal to plan out my day, step-by-step as often as I can.

This ties in to our final subject, which is PGP. Personal Growth Plan. I have chosen to present this subject last because it is the area is which the most improvement is needed. To put it simply, I am not happy with how I performed in this course because I didn’t showcase a lot of my work in the first place. I did not prioritize it, which resulted in it being below par in both the expectations, and necessities department.

To contrast my learning in this course throughout the year, my favourite work was my Alberta reflection in which I utilized new online tools, and diverse opinions on my work. In comparison, I did not do as well when it came to the seven habits. I should have done a better job at applying myself, and staying up to date with tasks.

The moral of the story is that this year had both its good and bad moments, but the values and lessons that I have acquired this year are immense. For instance, from now on I would like to stop waiting for others to score me, as I should begin scoring myself. This all ties back to one of the constants of the PLP program.

Learning is a process that is unique to each individual.

In my case, I may have had to backtrack this year in order find the right path for myself. Conversely, I have discovered several amazing facts about myself, such as I can be a team leader, I love productions Podcasts, and my study retention efficiency almost doubles when I use the Pomodoro Method. With that incentive in mind, I am prepared to propel myself into grade 10 with a fresh mindset, a new repertoire of knowledge and a functional keyboard.

Thank you for attending this TED Talk.

“Good morning, and in case I don’t see ya, good afternoon, good evening and goodnight” – The Truman Show

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