In my high school life, I have demonstrated several academic skills, such as research, organization and collaboration skills, in a variety of classes. To begin with, research skill is an academic skill that I used in most of my assignments for almost all of my classes. By using this skill, I was able to find reliable information that helped me see the issue from different perspectives. For example, in Grade 10 Individuals and Societies class, we had to write a history essay about our chosen research question using the research that we did in previous classes. For my essay, I chose to answer the question “To what extent did medical science evolve during the Edo period due to the interaction with the Dutch?”. In order to answer this question, I had to research with a range of reliable sources and identify the biases of each source, depending on who it was written by. Moreover, I had to be careful of the time the source was created in because time is a key factor when researching about history. Here is the research outline that I made for this assignment. Another assignment that I used my research skill was when I wrote an opinion blog post on the use of e-cigarettes and whether it is the solution to the tobacco epidemic or not. For this assignment, I had to find sources from both sides: ones that were for using e-cigarettes instead of tobacco, and others that were against using e-cigarettes. Then, I had to validate and synthesize this information to come up with an argument of my own. Both of these assignments developed my research skills because I am now able to understand that research is not just about the top hits but about reliability and the sources themselves; when it was created, whom it was written by, and so on.
The second academic skill is the organization skills. I believe that this was one of the skills that grew the most in my high school life because of all the assessments that I had to go through. For example, the whole of Grade 10 challenged my organization skill because of the Personal Project. The Personal Project added to the workload we had from all the other classes, making it very hard for me to catch up and make sure everything finished on time. To overcome this challenge, I made a schedule of all the due dates for assignments, including the Personal Project, in one place so that I can compare and see how much I need to work beforehand to complete some assignments. This was especially useful during the last few months of Personal Project because there were so many tasks to complete, like the essay, the product, and the process journal. However, now that it is over, I realize how managing my time lead to my success in Personal Project because it relieved my stress and allowed me to concentrate on work. Another time I demonstrated my organization skill was in Art and Design. For both classes, I had to finish making a project by a set date and even though it seemed like a lot of time, I had to make sure to manage my time well because the project was both very big. To finish this, I had to come before and after school, as well as on some weekends to the classes so that I completed what needed to be done for each stage. During this process, the plan that I created beforehand helped me a lot because I had small deadlines and stages in the plan that guided me and told me what I needed to get done by when. As you can see from both of the examples, there were many times my organization skill was challenged that helped me to become good at organizing.
Lastly, I demonstrated my collaboration skills whenever I had a group project in any of my subjects. From these experiences, I learned how to work as a team and the importance of listening and accepting different ideas and opinions. One example of this was the Further Oral Activity assignment that I did in English class with my partner. The assignment was about exploring the magazine’s brand through the different text types presented in their magazine. My partner and I decided to do this presentation in the format of a conversation between two chief editors of two different magazines; the Maclean’s and the New Yorkers. To complete the assignment, we both assigned tasks to each other and made deadlines on what we each needed to do by when. By making this timeline, we had time to practice the actual presentation before the real deadline. In the beginning, we had trouble coming up with the format of the presentation because we did not have a common idea. So, to solve this we came up with a new idea together, not individually and decided how it will go together as well. This lead to our success because we both understood what we had to do and were happy with how it was done. Another time that I demonstrated my collaboration skill was in Physical Education class when we had to choreograph and dance performance in groups of three. For this, my group decided to dance to Singing in the Rain and we thought of the choreography together. Some times along the way, we argued a little because we had different ideas but overcame those by combining the ideas together into one. From these assignments, I learned to collaborate with different people and how groupwork can achieve more than individual work.
All these academic skills that I demonstrated were not only demonstrated in these examples but in more places and more times. These helped me to grow as a learner and will continue to do so even in the future.