Four months ago, I started my school year ready to learn and adapt, and four months later, I am proud to say I did just that. We have worked on numerous projects and blog posts throughout both maker and humanities that have shaped me into the learner that stands before you today. so sit back, relax and get ready for my mPOL!
In the past, school has always been relatively easy for me. If I just followed the directions to the best of my abilities and handed in something true to myself, I’d get a good grade. I went through my whole kindergarten to grade 7 school year doing this. Once in a while, things would be challenging, but usually, with some help from my peers and some extra focus, I could figure it out. But now going into a program that wants only your view on a project has caused me to adapt my approach to schoolwork. I didn’t learn that until we did the learning plan.
The learning plan was the assignment that showed me I can’t just try to write what I think people want to hear. I learned this lesson when I got a revision of my learning plan. PLP tells us to voice our thoughts and opinions in our work which is different from what I’m used to, so when I resorted back to my original way of working, the teachers were quick to call me out on it. I saw the revision symbol and didn’t know what to do. I thought I was doing everything right. I thought I had failed the assignment. I quickly realized that I got my revision because I wasn’t writing my personal goals, but what I thought my teacher’s goals for me were. That project taught me that I have to be true to myself, and not try to write what I think would get me a better grade.
It took a long time to realize what were my strengths. Until September, I just followed the criteria, but now I’m expressing myself more throughout my work, and I start to see things I am good at. My main strength is being myself. I have always been opinionated, but I didn’t show it through my work. Now whenever I have a chance to voice my opinion, I do. Some of my favourite projects this semester have helped me identify this strength. The assignment that proved most insightful was the novel study we did on the classic book, The Outsiders. We were assigned a new job each week and would present the finished product in class. Most of the jobs we based on our own opinions and outlook, so it helped me start presenting my honest thoughts, and it helped a lot. This new strength has made multiple projects and blog posts more authentic to me. Another project that helped me identify my newfound strength was 2 blog posts I did, which was based in me and my hobbies! This project especially, showed me that it was ok to the side of myself that I thought was not supposed to be incorporated into work.
Besides the learning plan, I’ve had a fair share of learning points throughout this semester. This growing point was most prominent in Maker, as it is a big part of the curriculum. This skill is art, particularly drawing. I have never been sufficient at drawing, and having to draw through this semester in both Humanities and Maker has proved a challenge. We would usually use drawings to communicate what we couldn’t with words, and it would take me multiple re-draws to do that. I am a bit of a perfectionist, so this is more of a personal struggle with myself than anything else. I get good marks on my artwork and compliments from my peers, but I always get this gut feeling telling me that I could have done better.
It took months of self-doubt until our “Learn to draw” section in maker to realize I was doing just fine. We started with drawing our names, and with a name that had 2 z’s in it didn’t help me much. I spent the next 5 hours drawing it to make it look perfect, but it was still mediocre at best. When I came to school the next day, we took a look at other people’s art, and they were the same as mine. It was a relief to see, and the next time we were assigned to draw, I drew to the best of my abilities, not worrying about perfection. This constant reminder that I am not perfect is still very present in my mind for things like my writing and talking, but now I don’t worry about it in art, and trying my best is the best thing I can do.
Grade 8 has had its ups and downs in every subject, and all of those have proved to be useful learning opportunities for the future. And as the semester comes to an end, I feel that as a result of revisions, rainbows, self-doubt and public speaking, my 1st semester in the PLP program has shown me the best way of learning for me. It challenges me, encourages me to think above and beyond the curriculum, and overall pushed me to have a new joy for school, instead of resenting it. So from that, I am looking forward to the future, especially my next mPOL, to see how I will reflect on my first year of high school. I hope everyone has a wonderful year and keeps working through their problems, no matter how challenging they may be.