At the end of each year in PLP, we write a big blog post as a reflection on the year. It is called a Transitional Presentation of Learning or TPOL. I will use this post to reflect on my biggest successes and my biggest opportunities for growth. I will also start planning for how I will approach the next school year.
In my MPOL (Mid-Year Presentation of Learning) this year, I wrote that I wanted to incorporate more of my passions into my projects so that I would have more fun when learning. This was under the assumption that when I enjoyed what I was doing, I would be able to absorb more information and create better projects. This is what I have been focusing on since then.
Last semester, I had three PLP classes: Humanities, Maker, and Science. This semester, I only have Humanities. We have done three projects so far: Rise of the Frankenstuffies, Building a Nation, and Dulce et Decorum Est. I will not be reflecting on all of them today. Instead, I will be taking a look at my biggest successes and examples of learning from the year.
This year, I have learned a lot of new concepts. In Science, I learned more about our ecosystems and how we affect them. I also learned more about how living things reproduce through cell division. Additionally, I learned about chemical compounds as well as electricity. In Maker, I perfected my videography skills and created a film that I am very proud of. In Humanities, I learned about geography and the history of the Canadian West, with a visit to Alberta. I also learned about revolutions and argued my points in a court of law. Furthermore, I wrote a slam poem about the consequences of the Industrial Revolution. In the second semester of Humanities, I learned about science fiction and wrote my own science fiction short story. We also studied the early days of the Canadian government by making a board game. The final project explored the contrasting narratives of war, which we presented through a museum about World War I.
My favourite work from the year remains the video I created in Maker as part of our First Films Project. It was about the themes of racism represented in James Cameron’s 2009 movie, Avatar. I spent a tremendous amount of time working on this video. I researched heavily, visited the Museum of Anthropology, and conducted an interview with a manager of Indigenous education at the University of British Columbia. I was able to make a well-constructed video about racism against Indigenous education. I am not of Indigenous heritage myself, so I was very interested in learning about some of the struggles that Indigenous people can face.
I was really proud of what I created. It remains my favourite piece of work. Many people have had the chance to watch my video both online and in person at our winter exhibition. This was my biggest success of the year. I hope to create more products like this in the future. As a goal for next year, I would like to create at least one piece of work that exceeds me as a learner.
I can’t just speak about successes; I also must touch on my biggest fails as a learner. In PLP, we use the word ‘fail’ to describe your ‘First Attempt In Learning.’ During the final humanities project of the year, Dulce et Decorum Est, I spent a very long time working on my diorama. My diorama showcased the myth versus the reality of being a pilot during the First World War. You were able to turn the diorama and see two perspectives of war. One side displayed the myth of war, with the planes flying glamorously. The reality side showed the planes on fire. This was a huge success. However, my fail came in the form of not taking any pictures of it. I was so wrapped up in the exhibition that I forgot to document my creation. In future years, when I look back on this project, this is the only photo I will have to remember it by:
Moving back to the topic of successes, I thought I would talk about the biggest utilization of my goal that I wrote about earlier. My goal was to enjoy my learning, and this was the main focus throughout my projects. The product I enjoyed making the most this semester was my Rise of the Frankenstuffies short story. It could easily have been a very boring task, but I chose to focus on topics that interested me, which made it a very fun project. Before I knew it, I had three thousand words and a story I was very happy with. You can click here to read my story.
Utilizing this goal has helped me make completing school work less of a chore and more of an interest. This will continue to be a goal that I pursue through PLP 10 and beyond. I truly believe that what you do in life will greatly improve if you enjoy what you are doing. That is why I plan to focus on this goal even when I am not completing schoolwork.
The skill I would like to work on most in the future is my ability to focus more on my work without getting sidetracked. I believe I have mentioned this goal before, but it is still something that I am working on.
I have talked about three goals that I would like to work on next year. These goals will help me improve as a learner. They are:
1. Create at least one piece of work that represents my learning at its best.
2. Enjoy my learning.
3. Improve my focusing skills.
The quality of my work has drastically improved since last year. My goal for this year was to achieve an ‘extending’ grade (an A) in all three of my subjects. I believe I have reached this goal, and my grades reflect that. I am very happy with my growth this year, not just as a learner but also as a person. Next year, I will continue to pursue growth as I continue further on my journey to independence.