Jessica – education

Hi everyone!
When it comes to school, I am sure that almost everyone can agree that receiving high grades are something that give you a sense of pride. However, it is even more satisfying when you feel that you were able to accomplish something meaningful that had an impact on yourself and/or others.
For myself, I lead a class discussion in my English 12 class on the subject of abortion, and I am proud of how successful it was. I am not sure what grade I received on it (I never checked), but I think I did well because my teacher congratulated me on leading a great class discussion after I was done. However, what I am most proud of about this class discussion was not my grade.
Leading up to the date, I was very nervous because I am not very comfortable with public speaking, and I was worried that people would be disinterested and not have much to say on my topic, which would hurt my grade. Therefore, to prepare, I did thorough research on the topic of abortion, making sure to look up reliable information and statistics, not opinions. Then, on the day of the class discussion, I had to go up to the podium in front of our class, present the topic, provide some background information, and ask them for their opinions on certain aspects about the topic.
The reason why I was so proud of this class discussion is because even though I was nervous to do this, I was able to lead an extremely engaging discussion between my classmates by presenting various pieces of information on the topic and asking for their thoughts on it. I’m not supposed to say what exactly students said since it is a controversial topic, but I would say that most people were on the same side of the debate, and although there were a couple people who had different opinions, everyone was able to respectfully disagree and explain their point of view, which was really nice to see. Because most people are not very familiar with abortion laws, I was asked about certain aspects of it that they were unclear about and because I had done so much research beforehand, I was able to answer their questions.
Overall, I was very proud of this discussion for a number of reasons. For one, even though I was very nervous leading up to it, I was able to calm myself down in a matter of minutes after the class discussion started. The discussions last for approximately half an hour, so it was important that I wasn’t panicking the entire time I was up there, and I am proud that I was able to keep myself relaxed because I am always aiming to become more comfortable with public speaking. Another reason I am proud of this class discussion is because I was able to lead a discussion on a topic that I consider very important and relevant today, and I am glad that my classmates were also passionate about it. I think everyone, including myself, became much more educated on the topic and were able to glean different perspectives from this. Finally, I am proud of the amount of research I put into this because not only am I more knowledgeable on the topic, but I was able to teach my classmates about it more thoroughly and answer their questions. I was also able to interject in the conversation with an interesting fact that I thought was appropriate and relevant based on where the conversation was headed, and the class seemed to be quite reactive to the information I told them and it spurred the discussion even further.
Anyways, that’s one experience I’m proud of in my educational experience. I’m eager to hear other what other people have to say!
Thanks for reading!

4 Replies to “Jessica – education”

  1. Alison Wu
    on December 3, 2019 at 3:50 am said:
    Hi Jessica,

    Leading a class discussion on a controversial topic is, by no doubt, a difficult task. In addition, public speaking can cause a lot of nerves. Congrats on the hard work that you’ve demonstrated in this project!

    In grade 8, I did a science project where I similarly challenged myself. Because we were doing a unit on cells, our assignment was to either to do a poster, a edible model or a song. To challenge myself, I decided to write and sing a song. I was nervous from the anticipation of presenting it in front of the class. As I often “shied” away from participating in class, my teacher was surprised for my choice. Consequently, he made me “the student of the week”. I was proud of my accomplishment and perseverance I initiated. 4 years later, I’ve developed and grown a lot.

    Jessica, I remember that you also did this project! What do you remember from this experience?

    I enjoyed reading your post,

    • Jessica Scott
      on December 3, 2019 at 5:27 am said:
      Hi Alison!
      Yes, I do remember having to do a project on cells and the different functions of the organelles, and that we had different options on how we wanted to present it, such as by creating a song or a poster. For mine, I seem to recall that I did a poster that had metaphorical drawings to represent the function of each organelle, but I cannot remember all the drawings I did. For that reason, I kind of wish I did a song like you because I think a song would be an even more useful memory aid, but I thought that making a poster would be the safer option at the time. Great job for getting out of your comfort zone, though!
      I do remember one thing from my project, however, and that was comparing one of the cell organelles – the Golgi apparatus, I believe – to the Sorting Hat from Harry Potter. As you know, I’ve always been rather obsessed with Harry Potter, so when I came up with the idea of drawing the Sorting Hat for one of the organelles, I was really excited about it and I think that’s why I can still remember it to this day. Therefore, I believe that making connections from what you’re learning in school to things you are already familiar with in your life is a great way to learn if you want to be able to remember things long term.

      • Alison Wu
        on December 4, 2019 at 2:03 am said:
        Hi Jessica!

        I definitely agree with you. Making connections from what you’re learning in school is a great way to learn if you want to be able to remember things long term.

        I often find that when we are cramming too much information in and not making connections, we aren’t able to retain that information. For example, in Biology 11, the main idea was to memorize all the concepts from the textbook. We had to understand all the different aspects of each phyla from reproduction to how they release waste. It was very complex and involved a lot of hard work to memorize. Even so, if you asked me now to explain the digestion structure of the organisms from all the different phylums, I wouldn’t be able to give you an in-depth explanation. Evidently, I remember the key aspects of that course, but not the fine details.

        Do you have any examples of courses where you were faced with a similar situation?


Leave a Reply