Once upon a time there was a comparatively small girl named Evelyn. Evelyn was shy, anxious, and a bit naive. Flash forward a year, and here she is now. Still shy. Still anxious. But very much more enlightened.
Time for tPOLs!
It’s the end of the year, and the time has come for PLP to present us with our final acronym. (Actually, we are presenting the acronym to PLP. You know what, whatever.)
The word “tPOL” stands for “Transitional Presentation of Learning”. You may recall that a mere 6 months ago I wrote a post with a somewhat similar acronym as the name. This is pretty much the same thing as that, except this time instead of an ‘m’ there’s a ‘t’. Pretty straightforward.
The driving question for this presentation (you knew it was coming) is:
Why do you feel like you are ready to advance to the next grade level?
The simple answer is because I’ve worked hard to complete the work set out for me this year and tried my hardest to be the best learner I can be, despite some drawbacks. But if my teachers wanted the simple answer, than this would be a very short blog post.
Right! Let’s get into it. I’ll be reflecting on each of my subjects individually, and then wrapping up this presentation with my overall analysis of this year and my growth.
I don’t really like talking about myself, so I hope this post isn’t awkwardly written or anything. I also hope I don’t sound like I’m trying to brag. I am merely trying to convince my teachers that I deserve to move into Grade 9. (Yeeks! That’s a big number!)
In my mPOL (Midterm Presentation of Learning) I decided that my goal for this year was going to be to be less of a perfectionist, because it was taking over my life a bit and making me overthink pretty much everything. So, for my PGP reflection, that’s what I will be focusing on.
I have a bit of a problem when it comes to things being perfect. Specifically, me being perfect. All the time. No exceptions.
But when your expectations for yourself are as high as mine are, it becomes impossible to reach them and I end up spending way, way, way to much time on a piece of work, or just putting it off and procrastinating until the last minute.
So as you can imagine, it got to a point where I was falling behind and had no free time to do stuff for myself. I went on a bit of a downwards spiral of self-criticism and work overload. I decided to make it my goal to care less about schoolwork and just to make it ‘good enough’.
And it worked! Sort of. I still do overthink things a bit, but I am willing to accept that I’ve done the best I can and take pride in my work. A good example of this is my Witness to History project that I completed in Maker this term.
In this project we took photos that displayed the impact of COVID-19 on our community. I decided to chronicle the adventures of my neighbours and how we were occupying ourselves while in isolation.
I could have spent way too much time getting the exact perfect shot for every photo. But when you’re working with 3-11 year olds, it’s a bit of a challenge because many of them have such short attention spans. So I was forced to do the very best I could with the time and energy I had and use the best I got.
I’m actually very proud of the results! My spontaneity allowed me capture things I wouldn’t have otherwise, (like the below action shot of our camouflage game) and my willingness to accept some small imperfections made it better in my opinion. I am very proud of letting myself be human.
For Humanities, I decided to use my This Changes Everything project as evidence. I did a lot of research and critical thinking in this project, so I will elaborate on that.
This project was all about the Middle Ages. We learned all about it through different categories that we picked and then did research on. I made a large document compiling all my research. I am proud that it was formatted well, and there was a lot of information there. This document was priceless when it came to actually making the final product of this project.
I used my Google search and comprehensive reading skills to really dive deep into what it was like to live in the Middle Ages and I learned a whole lot about the spice trade, catapult weaponry, clothing, and countless other topics in this Milestone.
In this project, I also presented my research well. I made my portion of the Power Point presentation clean and organized and used transitions to illustrate my points. So not only did I do the research, I also communicated it well. I am overall very proud of this project.
In Scimatics, I worked on a project called Chemistry Coding in which we coded Scratch games about molecules and atoms. I struggled with this project, but it is a great example of my revision and dedication skills since I spent many long hours pounding my head against the table while I worked on it.
I must say I am not good at coding. If there’s one project I wish I could go back and redo, it would be that one, hands down. But I am sure that I did my absolute best at that time, and I am allowing myself to be proud of it like I said in PGP. It just took a while to get there.
This is a prime example of my willingness to work for my achievements and learning. Despite my initial struggles, I revised and revised until finally caving and asking my dad for aid (I am forever grateful for his help) and turned in an incredibly late project.
This definitely was a learning experience though. I am now familiar with the ins and outs of Scratch, the Kinetic Molecular Theory, and the structure of a hydrogen molecule.
Finally, for Maker, I decided to use my DI project as evidence. I worked with a group in that project and contributed ideas and communicated well with them despite my social anxiety and hesitancy in working with others. It also displays my leadership skills because I tried to take charge when people didn’t know what to do next.
I worked so, so hard on this project. I generally don’t enjoy group projects, and honestly this wasn’t much of an exception. But I resolved to contribute as much as I could to this project without taking on the entire thing, and I think I succeeded in most respects even if my group sort of failed anyways. (First-Attempt-In-Learning-ed, I mean.)
When there was a break in the conversation, I would fill it with my own ideas or prompts for others’. When we faltered, I would come up with a plan of action. I volunteered for extra tasks and made my opinion clear. I assumed leadership roles when necessary, which is something I always dread.
I made myself heard in ways I never through I could. I am by no means trying to say that I carried my team or did more work than others. I am just proud of my contributions and communication throughout this project, and the growth in my confidence around my group-mates.
Here is the video of my group and me presenting at the tournament. We didn’t do great, but I still felt good about what I brought to the solution.
Goodbye, PLP! Thank you for the great opportunities!
You know, I think the best example of my growth as a learner is actually this blog. This portfolio demonstrates how far I’ve come as a learner, and I feel confident in saying that I’ve improved drastically since my first ever blog post all those months ago.
Overall, I think I’ve improved hugely over the course of this year. To reiterate, I’ve worked hard, taken charge in groups (something I never saw myself doing) and taken steps towards getting rid of my perfectionist tendencies.
Thank you for an amazing year!