#7 The end of the road.

What’s the story has been an experience unlike any other experience I’ve ever had.  I have learned so many valuable things this year that I will use for the rest of my life.  My thoughts have shifted on many things and I am very thankful I was able to gain so much from this program.  From last September to now I have grown and learned a lot about myself and others.

 

Self-Direction:  I definitely have grown a lot in Self-Direction through What’s the story.  I’ve never had an experience where I have been almost entirely responsible for my learning and I found it to be a very valuable experience.  Managing my learning felt like a lot and keeping everything organized was difficult.  Also, I think that I relied on my group members more in the beginning.  Now, I feel more confident in my own thoughts.  For the most part I finished work on time which was something I felt strong in.   Communicating with people for interviews was hard and took a lot of patience and work.  I think that it would have been helpful if my group gave each other more feedback.   I tried to give helpful feedback to my group members and used the feedback I received to become a better team member.  Overall, I feel a lot more capable to do things on my own now and manage my personal learning.  Directing my learning is a skill I will definitely continue to use even more in high school.

 

Responsible and Involved Citizenship:  I learned a lot about being part of a team this year.  We worked together to create a film that promotes positive change.  We acknowledged different points of view, however we weren’t able to get much information from the opposing side because they didn’t really want to be involved with our project.  I learned to respect opinions different from mine and address why they don’t make sense.  At the beginning I didn’t consider myself a much of a helpful team member.  Now, I have learned to collaborate well with others.  I was definitely aware of myself and my place in my group since all of my group members were older and smarter than me.  One of the strengths of that is that my perspective was different from my older counterparts.  A challenge was that sometimes I felt a little over my head and that the work I did wasn’t as well done and effective as the work of my group members.  Being a responsible citizen will definitely be something important in my future education and beyond.   I had never been in a team for such a long time before and that was a very unique experience.

 

Informed and Integrative Thinking:  Creating our film took a lot of critical thinking.  We collected tons of information about the confederate flag and analyzed it to get a better understanding of the change that needed to be made.  I think that I learned a lot about gathering lots of evidence for the different parts of the story.  Our many interviews and articles showed every side of the story.  Using a claim and evidence is something I have done countless times in school and will continue to use in my life.  Overall, the thinking I did, along with my group members, made our documentary effective and informational.

 

Clear and Effective Communication:  It was very important that our film was clear and effective.  I definitely improved my active listening skills and pulled lots on information from the interviews my team conducted.  Also, I became much more organized throughout the course of the year.  I am not generally a very organized person so that was definitely something I’m glad to improve on.  I think that the message in our film was clear and specific and anyone watching it would easily know it’s purpose.  Storytelling is something I wish I spent a bit more time focusing on.  Our film included some personal stories but I think that more of them would make people more empathetic.  Storytelling is something I haven’t really done much of and something I hope to do more of in the future.  I think overall, our purpose was clear and well communicated.

 

Unexpected learning

What’s the Story taught me things and challenged me in ways I had never really experienced before.  Meeting and interacting with students all around the state that I wouldn’t meet otherwise was very valuable and I was very thankful for that.  Doing my interview made me pretty nervous and uncomfortable, but I learned a lot from it.  Recording a super knowledgeable adult was pretty nerve-wracking, especially when I realized I didn’t have my microphone turned on, so I had to start over.  After the interview, I realized that it wasn’t really that big of a deal.  From now on, I’ll always make sure I’m more ready.  There are so many things I learned from taking this course, but I can’t say it was really the right fit for me.  From the first day I definitely felt surrounded by a group of over achievers and I felt out-of-place.   With all of my group members being 4 years older than me, I definitely was a little out of my league.  But, I have learned from playing on sports teams with older people and other experiences that working with people who are older and better than you teaches you so much more that working with people who are the same as you.  Though I felt disconnected at times, all of my group members, especially Lucy, were very kind and supportive and I am very thankful for that.  I’ve never really had so more ownership and responsibility for my own learning which was a unique and difficult learning experience.  Since I was almost entirely in charge of the work I did, I definitely felt lost at times.  Although my group had some communication woes, I’m really proud of our final products.  I learned a lot about myself this year.  I discovered strengths and weaknesses I never knew I had.  I’m not really a “social activist,” and I’ve never really looked into any social issues before.  What’s the story allowed me to learn about so many things happening that I knew nothing about.  This class made the academics in my otherwise flat 8th grade year more unexpected and challenging.  I’m really thankful for all the wonderful people I met along the way for supporting me.  What’s the story is something I will never forget doing and something I’m very proud of completing.  Thank you to everyone who makes this program happen,  I’m very fortunate to have had this special opportunity.

 

 

 

 

Featured image “The end of the road.” By Unofficial Alpine

nwilliams

One Response to “#7 The end of the road.

  • Dixie Goswami
    4 years ago

    “Responsible and Involved Citizenship: I learned a lot about being part of a team this year. We worked together to create a film that promotes positive change. We acknowledged different points of view, however we weren’t able to get much information from the opposing side because they didn’t really want to be involved with our project. I learned to respect opinions different from mine and address why they don’t make sense. At the beginning I didn’t consider myself a much of a helpful team member. Now, I have learned to collaborate well with others. I was definitely aware of myself and my place in my group since all of my group members were older and smarter than me. One of the strengths of that is that my perspective was different from my older counterparts. A challenge was that sometimes I felt a little over my head and that the work I did wasn’t as well done and effective as the work of my group members. Being a responsible citizen will definitely be something important in my future education and beyond. I had never been in a team for such a long time before and that was a very unique experience.”

    Dear Neva,

    Reading your reflections and analyses is a learning experience for me – and I’ve been teaching for many many years. One of my most important takeaways is this statement that will be important to all of us who are members of BLTN NextGen: “One of my strengths is that my perspective was different from my older counterparts.” You’ve taught us plenty about why in the world we should and must work across and in spite of all kinds of differences (including age!!!!!). I’ll quote what you’ve said every time I’m asked about working in teams, in networked teams: THANK YOU SO MUCH

    ALSO the part about being in a team for a year or give years rather than a week or more: IN IT FOR THE LONG HAUL.

    This is what I call social change from the outside in, across boundaries. I am in awe of what you will take to your learning and advocacy – always.

    XXXDixie

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