mPOL stands for midyear presentation of learning. Currently, it’s the transitional period between the first and second semesters, which is no better time to do a midyear presentation of learning. By now, I’m sure the reader knows that in PLP, we are graded not only on our performance meeting goals set by the school board, but also on meeting goals set by ourselves. The main purpose of the mPOL is to find areas that could use improvement, and to explain how we met our learning goals set by ourselves at the start of the year. In the curricular competencies part of our learning goals, we set profiles for how we expect ourselves’ learning to look by the end of the year.
I feel as though I met all of the goals I set for Communicating, Thinking, and Personal & Social.
The main “theme” of my learning goals for this year has been “stepping out of my comfort zone”. For context, over the summer, I tried to do a lot of new things that were out of my comfort zone, just to broaden my horizons, and I ended up having a really great summer as a result. I wanted to apply that to school in hopes that I’d learn more things, and enjoy doing it, and I did! A prime example of this was Loon Lake. On the trip, we did a few things that I found scary, or daunting, but I made sure to do them anyways. For example, on the high ropes course, there was a contest for who could stack the most milk crates. The two people who were chosen/volunteered to build the crate tower were hooked up to belay systems and had to climb up the milk crates. If I’m being honest, I don’t remember what my team scored, because I volunteered to go up and build crates. It was pretty safe. We were wearing helmets and were being belayed by professionals, and I’m typically a pretty carefree guy but I’ll tell you, being more than five crates high on this wobbly plastic tower in the cold and snow is kind of scary. I think we got higher than ten before it fell over, but the most important part about this experience for me, was how it reflected my growth in my mindset. One of my goals this year was to do something that would probably fail, but try my best anyways, and this was a great example of that. Was it frustrating? Yes! Very! I put a bunch of effort into something and it collapsed. That’s really annoying, but I learned so much about how I could do things differently the next time. I F.A.I.L.ed, and I used it as an opportunity to learn and further my understanding of the activity.
That’s only one example this year of putting my all into something that has a large chance of failing. An even more recent example that ended up working out was the latest project we did, which revolved around Romeo and Juliet (post to come). Needless to say, we did performances. My group had an elaborate plan for our performance, which would be filmed, edited, and handed in. We only had a few days to plan and film, and we all thought we wouldn’t get it in in time, but we worked really hard and ended up finishing the film just in time. I’m really proud of the end product, and so is the rest of my team. It’s a great feeling when something works out against the odds. It was a good reminder that just because something has a low chance of succeeding or might be really difficult, that it’s always a good idea to go for it anyways, because it just might succeed, obviously as long as it’s not something dangerous.
One of my favourite projects so far this year was Gold Digger. I’ve always hade a bit of an interest in the “Frontier Era”, but this project really spiked my interest. I’m still learning a bunch of stuff about the topics we reviewed on my own time. I was out of town for this project and ended up going to Britannia Beach on the way back home and going to the Mine as an extra little thing that connected to my school work. I felt like it was important to go to the mine because it was a resource to learn from that I had at my disposal, and it would be foolish to pass it up. I had a really good time in the mine and I honestly feel like it had an impact in my understanding of the topic. I learned much more about the lives of miners and workers at mines, which really gave me a deeper understanding of the time and lifestyle. I’m proud to say that I took it into my own hands to extend my learning. It may seem like a small thing, but it’s the start of a habit to continue to do that kind of thing.
This isn’t something I’m hoping will happen either, it’s something I’ve noticed. My quality of work has improved drastically this year and I am incredibly proud of myself. I’ve been putting more thought into my work and as a result, it’s been better quality, more meaningful to me, and I’ve been feeling more accomplished (dare I say…. Extending?).
Obviously, there’s still the next semester, so my progress and mindset aren’t things I can just throw in the closet to collect dust. I’m determined to make sure that my work for the rest of the year is either of or above the same quality as the work I’ve done this semester. Just like this semester, next semester I’ll approach everything new with an open mind and a growth mindset, which will allow me to continue to maintain the same quality of work as a PLP learner.
This brings me almost to the end of this post. We’ve still two topics left to cover: Areas I could improve in, and sharpening up/reviewing my learning goals for next semester.
I’ll start with where I could improve myself. I felt as though this semester I struggled with paying attention and I want to improve that. At least for me, it’s a difficult thing to overcome, but next semester I’ll work on ignoring distractions and making sure I do what’s best for me in my learning spaces. I also want to continue to work on my communication, specifically with my teachers. I would really like to close the communication gap that is sometimes present between me and my teachers. I think the best way to go about that would be to always ask for extra details, and I feel like converting my knowledge of a project into point form might help. This connects to my learning goals as well, as it’s something that I could definitely add that I want to accomplish by the end of this school year. A good way to sharpen up my learning goals is to review all of the goals that I’ve set for myself, and make sure I’m still on track. Are my goals realistic? Can I accomplish them by the end of the school year? Have I already accomplished them? What can I do about them? What are some new goals? Those are all questions I need to (and will begin to) ask myself more often. I will answer all of those questions while setting new goals for myself and refreshing my learning plan.
That brings this blog post to an end. I hope you enjoyed reading all 1277 words of this blog post!