Hey guys, it’s the end of yet another school year which means yet another year to reflect on and to share that reflection in a TPol. In fact this is my last TPol I will ever have to do! Sadly, that means that next year I will be consumed with preparing for a 30 minute long FPol where you are only successful if you manage to get the audience to cry. However, that is for next year. Today I am still a grade 11 and it is my job, nay privilege, to answer today’s driving question:

“Why do you feel you are ready to advance to the next grade level?”

To start off, I’d like too reflect, as we are supposed to, back on the beginning of the year and the progress plan we made and were to follow and update throughout the rest of this year. As you can probably see I had put my grade goal at a 90% for this year which is not a bad goal at all. The rest of the document was focused on what I would do to achieve this goal including a system of habits to help me. These were important, yes, but I want to go back to the percentage I put down for a sec. 90% seems like a very reasonable mark to achieve but the main reason I picked that percentage is because last year I achieved a 89% in Humanities. My goal for this year wasn’t to become some prodigy student or even best in class, all I wanted to do was improve regardless of those around me. But a numerical value is only one way of showing growth as a learner so in this post I would like to look at my growth this year and where I can still grow as a learner.

The main area of both growth and still needed improvement I would like to focus on in this TPol is taking responsibility for my learning. I am fortunate enough to have a wonderful family and amazing teachers who are are always happy to help, support my learning, and push my thinking but as I move into grade 12 and eventually university, those supports will soon not be as available as they had been. So it is important for me, as a learner, to be able to take the steps to build my knowledge and further my thinking independently. So I would like to showcase two project I did this year, one where I took the initiative to push my learning and one where I lacked in that department and what I learned from them.

I would like to start off with the project where I feel I did my best work this year. That project is the Manhattan Project^2. Throughout the entire project I found myself engaged, making connections, and pushing myself independent from the teachers to do this project justice. I took it upon myself to use knowledge I had accumulated from both this year and years past to create a work of art that would push the thinking of the viewer as well as myself. Each piece of the art had a legitimate reason behind it varying for the colours inside the jar to the sizes and weights inside the jars itself. Everything connected back to my own ideas and connections I had made through this project and for that I am very proud. The reason I was able to connect so well to this project and push myself to exceed was because even before I was interested in the subject matter, both the science and the moral implications. This allowed me to connect to the project on such a personal level that I was willing to put in the extra effort to show my passion for the subject. It taught me that, as Ms.Willemse has mentioned quite recently, if you can make every project about something that interests you then an exceeding level of effort won’t seem as much anymore.

The other project I would like to talk about is our most recent project, Cray Cray Yay Yay. In the end this project turned out great and I was very happy with my final product but it was the path to get there, specifically the movie analyses, that I want to improve on. As opposed to the Manhattan Project, this project failed to grab me in the beginning. We were watching movies of crazy ones and analyzing them and for most of it my thinking had failed to get deeper than what was being explained in the movie and I was often doing the thinking needed to connect and build on ideas to create a deeper understanding of the text during the seminars dedicated to debating this thinking we had supposedly already done. I made good and thoughtful connections but didn’t express them since I had not done the work needed to round out these ideas. This was detrimental to my ability to both participate in these discussions and to build my skill when it came to creating and expressing ideas from a text. This was the first project where I could firmly see where my negligence to take initiative had hindered my ability to learn and grow which is why I think it was actually important for me to FAIL in this instance. I was able to turn it around but there is no way for me to trick myself into thinking it was the fault of something else. I have been able to see my fault and connect it to my success so I may grow as a learner for future endeavours.

To finish this off and to answer the driving question; the reason I am ready to move to the next grade level is because not only have I improved when it comes to taking responsibility for my learning but I am able to see where I still need to build as a person and can see what steps to take to make that happen. I started this year wanting to improve by 1% but I have been able to grow so much more than a percentage can show.

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