07 January 2011

reflection from one of my students

I gave students an opportunity to reflect on the past semester. If you have never done this, it can be very insightful for you as an educator. I wanted to share one of my student's reflection with you because I thought it was exceptionally meaningful.
This semester has flown by. There's only one more semester before my fellow seniors and I begin the rest of our lives. In our last year of high school, all of us will admit at one point that we get a little lazy than in our previous years. I'm included in that. This last year is very important as my father constantly reminds me and it is very significant. I have more absences this year than I've ever had but some how I've learned more this year about myself and the world around me.

Math has never been my strong point, and to be honest I took Physics because my pirate time teacher recommended it and several of my friends were going to take it. The class was much different than what I expected. I've never had a teacher tell us things that Mr. Bowie does. Such as, saying as long as we learn something and think outside the box that's all that matters and if not he has failed us as a teacher. Basically, we need to take something away from the class and apply it to our every day lives.

I've learned that physics applies to everything. To the most simplest of things and complex things. I've always thought that to figure something out, you needed to experiment it. But in the experiment of Shoot For Your Grade it was an experiment without experimentation. It was an experiment of us students figuring out how to use calculations to accurately predict where the ball was going to fall. In that lab, I found that it was a lot more difficult for me. When you think about it though, if you're a person who understands math and equations it's easier to do that than experiment. In my mind I always think about experimenting rather than calculating which shifted my thought process in something I've never thought of before. It's kinda cool to think you can accurately calcuate an experiment. In formulas, I've never heard of "delta x" it was new for me and confused me at first but once it was used several times it got easier to comprehend.

Something I used to always confuse was velocity and acceleration. Then I realized velocity was how fast and what direction and acceleration is the rate of change in the speed and/or direction.

Something I really enjoyed was the Grand Conversation. I love discussing topics with different people and hearing different views. What was disappointing was that the class didn't seem too interested or serious about it as I was. If I could of, I would have taken several turns instead of one to get people talking. What has frustrated me the most is calculations. Other people are faster at solving them and I spend more time to do them.

Last, I like how much Mr. Bowie really cares about us. He reminds us so much of assignments and talks about how important things are that we forget. As students we should invest the same sort of effort Mr. Bowie gives us. It's a class that has to do with so many real world situations and we should take advantage.

This next semester, being the last before being "kicked out of the nest", I plan to absorb and take advantage of everything before it's all over.

If you don't think students are impacted by your class, let them reflect or blog about it. You may find that the opposite is true. Just because their expressions lead you to believe they are not listening, that's not necessarily the case.

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