Growth Throughout the Year
How have you improved during this year? Can you say you’ve reached your goals from last year? I think your answer can vary, depending on how you spent this year. Also, I am sure that most students have changed and improved at least a little bit, even though some students might be slightly behind pace. This year, I feel like I haven’t improved myself as much as I could have. However, I know that there were some changes in a way that I think about learning, and that I did make some of my writing skills practiced. This year hasn’t been the best year for my academic achievements, especially at the end of the year. From this experience, I learned that I have to work harder to meet the expectations. In the next few paragraphs, I will be talking about which areas I have improved, what I did in my classes, and my thoughts about each area.
Having compared my writing few years ago and now, I feel like I have improved more than how I thought before reading my work from a year before. To be honest, it’s not long ago since I’ve started to outline my work before writing a first draft. I thought it was useless and waste of time to rewrite the whole work with a bit of revising. Now I’m starting to notice the importance of outlining; it helps the writing to be in much more organized form, and actually saves some time. Another change that I started to pay more attention is the revising process. I notice myself reviewing the comments made by teachers and students in depth, and going them over few times to make the corrections fitting and fluent. As a writer, these two things were the dramatic change for my revision, since I started using them this year much more often with care. The challenges that I faced during writing was when I was stuck with words and how I express my thoughts into words. Sometimes, there’s not a word that I’m thinking in my first language, and when I really need that word to use it to express my thoughts, it’s so hard to go around to meet that point that I was trying to make. I found it easier to revise on my word choice, fluency and structure of my writing, since I’ve seen lots of good examples from classes and practiced them writing Article of the Week. This is also why I really like AOW, since it was the main stream that I practiced my writing on. Even though some topics bored me, I can say that I worked my best every single time with AOW, because I knew that writing is my weakest part, and I knew I needed practice. My goal for ninth grade is to transfer my learning to the next level. For example, now that I’m getting used to fix my writing more often, I want to make sure that I revise my work in variety of traits. Also, I want to increase the amount and time I spend to read, because every teacher said reading helps us to improve our writing greatly. By doing this, I think I can be a successful writer in high school.
At the beginning of this year, our class has set up a goal to read 40 books throughout the year. Each year, I realize that I’m reading a book that’s little more challenging than what I’ve read the year before. I figured this out when I updated goodreads, and recycle books that are too not challenging. Usually, my reading habit is to read quite slow, but whenever I find really interesting book, I read a couple more until I start to slowly speed down as the book starts to be less interesting. Basically, I read a lot when I meet my favorite books, and start to slow down again when I think the book is not as fun as the book before. Keeping myself to read constantly is hard, but it is also something that I try very hard to do so. This method is very useful to other subjects, and you just simply have to work on things even though it’s not your favorite things to do. Since I didn’t reach my 40 book challenge reading, my next goal is to read 40 books. By setting up possible goals, I’m sure that I can meet this goal.
Speaking and listening are also some area that I improved at. I used to be more shy and unwilling to speak in front of the audience, but now I’m not shy anymore. Since the class was all of my friends and they were friendly, they actually were the motivativation to get my confidence. Therefore, I began to speak in front of the audience with clear, loud voice, calm hands and natural eye-contact in presentations. Listening was a area that I was always good at, since I know it shows how much I give respect to the speaker. This was something that I was taught since first grade, so it was easy to pay attention what the speaker is trying to tell. Getting confidence is the most important way to success in other subjects. There are some subjects that I feel not much confidence, such as Science. Most students become less active in Science class, and I am a part of this category. However, by getting confidence in this subject, I will be able to share my thoughts more clearly, and get knowledges easier by asking more questions.
My learning habits didn’t change dramatically from last year. For sure, I know that I’ve gotten more organized and responsible throughout the year. However, there is a area that I still can’t get better at:Study skills. Fine study skills are crucial to students to study for test and quiz. When I studied for tests before, I only went through my notes. Then I started to get advice from teachers and friends around me. At first, they were pretty surprised that those were all I did when studying for test. So I changed my way of studying right away. Now, I look at my notes, handouts and practices in class, go online to practice, and sometimes study with someone else who can give me help when I’m stuck. When I go to high school, I want to transfer my learning to the next step, and start to manage my time more wisely.
Having accomplishments are very meaning to me as an 8th grade. I didn’t recognize that I had lots of learning until I started to write them in each topic paragraph. By changing the way I think about learning, I was able to develop faster. Honestly, I thought studying was just one area that students have to do. However, I changed the way I thought about learning now; knowledge that we learn right now will be a way for us to live a comfortable life years later. For sure, studying your least favorite subject, or studying, may be a painful thing to do right now. But if you want to think of your future, it is better to suffer now, and be comfortable later on. Wouldn’t it be proud when you turn back and see how much you’ve grown?