Hello everyone and welcome to the third TPol of my high school career. It feels like it’s gone shockingly fast, and for the most part, surprisingly well. Today we’re going to discuss my learning from this year, what worked and what didn’t, as well as some of the goals and plans I have for next year.

Thank you for coming to my presentation of learning. I am the expert on my own learning, I am also responsible and accountable for my own learning. You can expect me to give an honest evaluation of my progress. We will discuss my strengths and opportunities for growth. Thank you in advance for listening and for offering feedback that I can use to improve as a learner.”

The project I found most interesting in the second semester, was definitely the Macbeth project. I find these full class projects really interesting as they’re almost always the most involved ones. I always find myself participating more in projects that involve the whole class. I think it’s because I believe teamwork is one of the most valuable parts of PLP, working with groups that large isn’t an experience most people get in high school, outside of maybe sports teams, and working with others to get things done such a valuable skill to have in your life. And this project definitely involved a lot of working with others to create a product. There was a lot of planning, time management, and dealing with setbacks, that kept me really interested in the project the whole time. Since the plan of the project was always changing, there was always something new to do.

The project that I struggled with the most however was the persuasive writing project. As I have said many times before on this blog I do not like writing, and this project was all about writing. Although I’m not super disappointed with how the writing in the project turned out, I still didn’t enjoy writing it, and it was because I could not pick a topic, and ended up with a topic I didn’t care about. Ms. Willemse can attest to the fact that I was the last person to choose my topic in all of the recent projects. I think this comes from a lack of confidence in my work, particularly in my writing. I talked about this in the reflection for the persuasive writing project, but I think my lack of confidence in my writing, and also my general negativity about it, is holding me back. It’s hard to change and improve when you don’t believe you’re any good in the first place, and I think this is something I need to work on. And I think this applies to my ideas as well, I really, really, I don’t like being wrong, but I think it’s important to be able to have confidence in my own ideas and be able to share them, even if they’re then proven wrong. In fact it may even be better if they’re proven wrong, but without the confidence to share them, I’ll never hear that feedback. 

I think in the end this project was rough for me. It was truly a lesson in how things stay with you, I was told as a kid that I wasn’t a great writer, and I’ve spent a long while just agreeing, and it’s truly not doing me any favours. I’m not the most proud of the product of this project, but it’s not because I suck at writing, it’s because I don’t think I put in quite enough work. Simply saying I’m a bad writer is unproductive.” – This paragraph references writing, but kind of applies to my ideas as well.

I think the skill I used most this year was creative thinking. This year we ended up having quite a couple projects that were involved with art, I am quite proud of the creative thinking that went into them. I still think that the Manhattan project project had one of my best pieces of work this year, I’m proud of the concept that I came up with (mum this was the one where I painted 1000 puzzle pieces), and the creative thinking that went into it. I had a lot of confidence in my concept when I presented it, and I like the idea that it asked a question, instead of necessarily answering it (these are the questions it was supposed to ask, Is it right to defy nature “god”, at the hand of people?, What part of being human makes people challenge the impossible?). I then used these skills again to create our most recent project, where everything I did in my art had a purpose. Something I took from the last project, and then added into a more complicated art piece. However I think the other side of the thinking divide, also known as critical thinking, has some work to be done, I want to work a lot more on critically analyzing literature in this next year. We had some chances to do that in the Socratic seminars we just participated in about crazy ones. but I was not happy with how I did. I barely used evidence from the text in the seminars, meaning a lot of my ideas were just my opinions, and not very critical at all. They lacked connections and any kind of deep thought about the text. And this something I really want to work on as we continue to discuss more historic topics next year, where evidence becomes even more key to my arguments. 

The question we were supposed to answer today was why are you ready to move on to the next grade level? The answer is it’s been a pretty good year. Despite my lack of confidence, I think there’s been some real improvement to my writing, and I can see that in my blog. Where I think the writing not only sounds like me, but also conveys my thoughts fairly well. I’ve also seen improvement in some of my habits, I’ve worked a lot on planning my writing and proofreading this year which was one of the big goals I set at my MPol (although it would still be good to ask for help proofing), and I also see those paying off in the work I do. As it allows me to share my ideas much more clearly. More than anything, it’s been a year of hard work, and although this is the standard for PLP learner, I’m still proud of it.

Sadly I’m still far from perfect, and to set me up for the new year I still need some goals. I would really like to continue working on my zetttlekasten, I’m disappointed in myself that I haven’t put more work into this, as it was one of my goals from the MPol. Right now it’s pretty much only questions, and not at the level of thought I want to be at . I have so many questions to ask, but I haven’t put enough work into answering them. And although some of the questions have actually inspired by work this year (in the art project), they would be more useful to me answered. So in this upcoming year I will work towards improving my zettlekasten, and consciously building the habit of using it. Something I also want to be aware of for next year is university. This is something I want to be able to talk to my teachers, and parents about, I also need to spend some more time actively thinking about what I want to study, as I still feel indecisive, and I know it’s a decision I have to make. Grade 12 does feel like a freight train that is about to hit me, but despite that I’m still excited for what the next year will hold. 

Thank you as always,