Year End Reflection
June 6th, 2012
My Growth For The Past Few Years
As Middle School is coming to an end, I started to realize that I’ve changed the way I think and the way I look at things. More importantly, I’ve improved the way I learn, and how I organize my time to get my homework done on time. Looking back at myself when I was a sixth grader, I can feel that I’ve improved on my writing skills, reading skills, speaking and listening skills, and my thoughts have also grew more mature.
At the beginning of the year, I started out lazily, I thought that eighth grade will just be the same as seventh grade, which means that you don’t have to study in order to get a good grade. But as the year went on, I started to realize that there’s no points in getting good grades. I thought that what’s the point of learning when all you care about is your grades, grades don’t show anything, they don’t show who you are. So I told myself to work harder, because I’m here to learn, I’m not here to achieve good grades for my parents. Because of these reasons, I push myself to work harder, pay more attention in class, and ask questions when I don’t understand the assignment. My writing skills have also improved by a little. I learned how to write a long essay with a thesis statement. Compare from the beginning of the year, my conventions skills improved by a little, I make less grammar mistakes than I did at the beginning of the year. My favorite writing piece in eighth grade is the Research Writing. Although it is one of the most challenging piece of writing I’ve ever had, but this piece of writing taught me how to properly parenthetical cite the quotes and the researches. It also taught me how to write a thesis statement, and improved my essay-writing skills. Even though I’ve improved a lot in my writing skills, I’m still not used to the writing process. I never brainstorm and outlines in my writing, I just write whatever’s in my head, and then revise it later, this is why I write very slow, and most of the times my ideas are not organized.
My reading experience this year has been the greatest reading experience in Middle School. I really enjoy doing novels study where a whole class read the same book and we can discuss about a confusing part or a best part of the book in literature circle. This helps me to understand more about the book that I’m reading, which helps me to enjoy the book even more. The challenging thing about reading for me is the speed. I’m a slow reader, a really slow reader. When we were reading My Brother Sam is Dead, I have to spend two hours everyday to read, while other people only need thirty minutes to finish thirty pages of reading. Reading helps me to improved my vocabularies as well as my conventions skills, these are the reasons why I should read more. My goal for next year reading is to read more than ten books within a year, to improve my reading skills as well as my writing skills, because my humanities teacher told me that we can write a lot better when we read a lot of books, and yes, I really want to improve on my writing skills because they are still too weak.
How have you developed as a speaker? At the beginning of the year, when the first time I heard about AOW discussion, I was really worried, because I’m a shy person and I’m always nervous every time I talk in front of many people. But then after a few AOW discussions, I got more comfortable with it, and after many of them, I don’t feel nervous anymore, and the shyness inside my head went away. When I present in front of the class for a project, I’m struggling with eye contacts, instead of memorizing what I have to say, I kept reading from the notes that I printed on a piece of paper, and kept focusing on the notes. Sometimes, because of nervousness, my face turns red, and I started to speak really fast. Although I’ve improved my speaking skills a lot compared to the beginning of the year, I still have a lot of work to work on, especially speaking in front of the crowd, I have to learn how to keep calm, and relax while I’m presenting, instead of worrying about results, which make me even more nervous. As a listener, I’ve developed good listening habits. I listen to others when they are sharing their opinions, and then speak my opinions when they are finished talking. During literature circle discussion, I listened to my groupmates, and if I have any questions, I wait until they finish talking, then I ask my question. I think that listening skills are important, according to Turkish Proverb, “If speaking is silver, then listening is gold.” Which I agree, because I think that listening to other people’s opinions will help you learn more, and will help you to understand more than speaking up your own opinions.
As the year went on, I realized that I’ve improved my learning habits, as I’ve mentioned in paragraph one. I realized that I’m in school to learn, not to achieve good grades for my parents, because good grades don’t show anything, they don’t show people who you are. Yes, I understand that many people think that having good grades show that you are a good student. But in my opinion, what really shows people what you’ve learned in school is not about the grades, it’s about how you apply your learning to your real life. So because of the reasons above, I tried to work harder, study harder, and push myself more. I tried to organize my time better, but I didn’t do so well on organizing. After school, I usually go home and sleep for three hours. When I wake up, it’s dinner time. So I eat dinner for thirty minutes, and get started with my homework. While doing homework, I usually turn on Facebook, and Skype, and start chatting. Which cost me another two – three hours on social networks. Then I try to focus on my homework again. This is why I always sleep at one – two o’clock in the morning. The activity that i enjoyed the most this year is the Human Rights project. This project helps me to understand more about the world around me, and it inspires me to help the people who are suffering days by days because of child labor, women’s rights, genocide, human trafficking, poverty, etc.
Looking back, I’m really appreciated for the works that I’ve done over the past few years of Middle School, especially in eighth grade. Because of the purpose of learning, I tried to work harder, study harder, and push myself more. And this is why I’ve improved a lot since the beginning of the year. Although I didn’t succeed what I’ve planned to, I’m still glad that I’ve put efforts into my work, and that is all I need, efforts in learning, because learning is beautiful.