It is that time of the year again when we present to our teachers how we have grown as a learner. For our Tpols we are required to answer the question, why do you feel you are ready to advance to the next grade level?
Grade 11 has definitely been the most demanding grade so far. Unlike in grade 10 when all of our classes were enrolled with PLP, this year we had multiple other classes as well as PLP. It was certainly a challenge to adjust to the new course load. However, I think I did a good job with keeping up with everything. This year we have covered a lot from the Civil Rights Movement to the Cuban Missile Crisis.
The Civil Rights Movement project I think had the most impact on me as a learner. We didn’t just focus on the past events, but we connected them to contemporary and Canadian events. From connecting events through a timeline, you really see the big picture. You see what is getting better and what mistakes have been repeated. Where I live, you could say it is in its own little bubble and this unit made me step outside that bubble and really delve into events that were covered up. For the contemporary event I was able to relate my thesis to multiple events. I did lots of outside research so I could get find the most evidence to back up my point. I branched out and watched a documentary that was a similar story to Damilola Taylor (our contemporary event).
As well as video making, this year we covered a lot of literature and really focused on our writing skills. This was definitely a skill that I needed to work on…
I think I will start off with a fail attempt of an essay. This was the first essay we wrote of the year. It was an in class timed essay! The essay was based on the all of the ideas we had covered in the Civil Rights Movement. Let’s just say I had basically forgotten how to write an essay. I did not feel confident about my essay at all when I was done. Moving forward, I realized that I should probably practice writing more and I think our teacher realized that also with the class. After lots of practice we wrote our final essay about the unit, ‘The World On the Brink’.
The world on the brink essay, in my opinion, was pretty good compared to the first essay I wrote. I spent a lot of time researching and organizing my essay. I used the resources our teachers gave us, such the research data bases. I was able to find speeches and documents that I could incorporate in my essay. I even was able to use other events that JFK was involved in to backup my point and how he learnt from previous mistakes. The post I wrote to tie the unit together, connected all of the events we focused on and how they relate to each other. I also made some small graphics to make my post more interesting.
Finally, I wanted to highlight my PGP progress. In PGP this year we covered a lot!! The biggest take away for me in the course, was how to stay productive and setting achievable goals.
At the beginning of the year we made many short and long term goals. Looking back now I was able to reach some of these goals school related and in my personal life. I think what made me achieve them was by writing them down. I learnt that by writing down your goals, it reminds you everyday of what you are working towards. Even having my dream board visible was a good motivator to try and strive for my goals. In PGP as I mentioned earlier, I discovered many new tools to stay productive. After reading the 7 Habits of Mind, I reminded myself to prioritize and to “put first things first”. This was a good quote for me. With all of the course work and outside school activities I had this year, it was important to prioritize to get tasks done.
Overall I think it is fair to say that I am ready to advance to the next grade level. I think all my skills from PGP will be useful next year especially for grade 12! I have also really learned how to stay motivated and how to stay determined. Also with my growth as a learner, from writing skills to time management, I think I will be ready for next year.