Pruning is a process done to encourage new and increased amounts of growth for trees, shrubs, or bushes. However, being a Tri-County Early College student, I think the term “pruning” is an appropriate metaphor for the growth of this past year. Much like a tree or shrub, education and lifestyles can be pruned. When you prune your education and lifestyle it can be something in either a mental, physical, or emotional manner. TCEC regularly prunes its educational approach to empower students to reach their fullest and highest potential where the staff, students, and community notice and acknowledge the progress. TCEC’s Project Based Learning (PBL) system, recently underwent one of its biggest and most influential education prunings. This pruning was not removing or cutting off any prior PBL knowledge or techniques, but removed what wasn't letting the teachers or the students see the highest of their potential and growing from that.
In the beginning, being a creature who doesn't adapt well to sudden huge changes in environment such as what TCEC had undergone this year, I was not ecstatic about it. I had gone from being a common leader of the group projects in our previous PBL system during my freshman year to just one of the pack trying to keep up with where everyone else was going at the beginning of this year. Not having the attitude or understanding to be eligible as the leader for my group projects this year was definitely hard for me. Being terrified of teachers and students noticing how poorly I was taking to this new system since I had always had things in order, I would rarely ask for a teachers or students help, which put me at a personal disadvantage. It took me two quarters of the year just to be able to understand how to prove and master learning targets/competencies because of this fear of inferiority. Then, I had a parent and teacher conference set up that changed how I looked at the program.
With the staff, my parents, and me sitting down together to discuss personal and academic goals and achievements, then creating a success plan, I realized I wasn't standing alone. I had all of the staff’s support and guidance, plus my parents’ motivational threats of taking away my electronics if my grades did not improve! As soon as I came to this realization, I knew what to do and how to do it. Since then, I've come so far from who I had been at the beginning of this school year. I've improved on my amounts in mastery and assessed in competencies and most importantly, my attitude. I say attitude being most important because if you don't have a healthy attitude or mindset, everything around you becomes toxic as well. Relationships, environments, and work ethics are all affected and created by attitudes. Whatever relationships, environments, or work ethics you wish to have can be created by the attitude you put towards them just as easily as they can be affected. I chose to turn all three of these factors in a healthy and positive direction. And I can't thank my parents, friends, or TCEC’s staff enough for guiding and helping me along in this journey.