PBL World 2022 New Technology High School Student Panel 06 29 22

PBL World 2022 New Technology High School Student Panel 06 29 22

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Just wanted to to let you know that the group of  students that we have today we pretty specially   picked because they represent a pretty diverse  set of types of students and types of learners,   and I know sometimes when we hear from students  at things like this, sometimes we feel like   students are cherry-picked or whatever, and don't  necessarily give us a sense of what it means   to actually be like a real student in a real  classroom, and so we were really thoughtful about   making sure that we picked a variety of kinds  of students, so you can really hear from a variety   of learners and kind of get a sense of what  students in your own classrooms might think or say.   And so I think what I'll do is I'll go ahead and  introduce them individually and what   I'll do is I'll introduce them with a little bit  of the blurb that they asked me to say about them,   and then we'll go ahead and invite them  on and then you can like go crazy and   clap for them and do the whole thing  right, and like show the love for them.   So the first student that I will introduce is  Janelle, and Janelle is a recent graduate from New   Tech High and she is attending Sacramento State in  the fall as a criminal justice major, minoring in   forensics and Spanish. She is planning on a career  as a lawyer. So I'll go ahead and invite Janelle. And next up is Juan, and Juan is also  a recent graduate from New Tech High,   and he is a future barber and  is deeply committed to family.

So next up is Fatima. Fatima is an incoming  senior. She is a skilled self-advocate with   a quiet confidence and charisma that I'm  sure you'll see from her as she is up here. Next up we have Araceli, and she is  an incoming senior, and incoming ASB   President. She has a deep commitment  to social equity, and actually is the only  

one on this stage that's talked in front of  800 people before, so that's pretty exciting. And our last student, Case, is also  an incoming senior, and is the incoming ASB   Vice President, and his interests lie  in environmental justice in action. And so I guess what we'll do is just go  ahead and jump right into the questions,   and start giving you a chance to  hear sort of what the students have to say.

That's our school. You saw a little  bit of that, as well as a URL in case   you're interested in kind of checking out  what we do at our space. I'll give you a   chance to just like take pictures or  whatever, right, do that whole thing. That's me,   you don't need to follow me on Twitter,  but if you want to, there it is, it's fine. There's a picture of our school - looks  surprisingly similar in some ways to this one,   but let's let's go ahead and jump in with with  the first question. This one's a little bit   of a multi-parter, of course, but how has your  relationship with learning changed while you've   been a student at New Tech, or maybe even a student  doing PBL more generally,? And then can you share a   story of how a project has changed the way that  you understand yourself, your identity, and/or the   world around you, and we'll go ahead and take  maybe two or three responses for this one.

So I've been doing Project Based Learning  for a while now. I went to a Project Based   Learning middle school, so I've been  doing this for a while. I have realized that   it has helped me grow so much. When I first  went into high school, I was a very shy, very   quiet girl, who didn't really like  to present in front of people, could   not even do a presentation without shaking  or constantly saying "um" or "or," for example,   but it has helped me a lot to be able to get out  of my bubble, to talk be able to understand   my peers and have a strong connection, not just  with them, but as well as the teachers, and just   overall I was able to be more involved with  my community. I was able to do a lot. There  

have been many projects that we have done over the  years. For example, our culture project that we had   back in Freshman year. We basically had to learn  about our culture. For example, one of the main   criterias that we had was finding a food from your  culture and seeing how you can go ahead and   make it for other people to enjoy. For  example, I chose flan, a well-known dish from   Mexico. And one thing that they told us was have  fun with it, but also really just make sure that  

you're making it so people are learning, and I  was able to show in front of the whole school and   their parents how to make a flan. Not just a flan,  but also a flan for diabetics, and it was pretty   fun. Freshman year was full of projects and amazing  times, and just a lot of work. Awesome, maybe one more.   So I didn't go to a Project Based Learning  middle school, although that sounds super cool.  

I actually entered Project Based Learning when  I was in high school. When I started I was also   pretty shy. Like Janelle had mentioned earlier, I  didn't have a lot of confidence in myself,   and in public speaking, or even in creating a full  concept idea. Along with working with other kids,  

I struggled like with taking on all the work.  So I was used to being put in like groups when   we did have something that was a project, and  being the only one to work on it, so I think one   of the biggest things that I've learned over the  past three years has been how to   delegate my work to other like fellow students,  and not just taking all that burden onto myself.   And I learned about myself  through these projects as well.  

We had a project earlier this year, and it was  given to us by our Environmental Science teacher,   and I really enjoyed her class because not  only did she teach us in, I mean,   I like Project Based Learning, but I also like  the lecture aspect of school, so she would give   us a lecture, but when it came down to the project  part, what she would end up doing is that she would   kind of let us pick what we wanted to do, or what  we wanted to focus based on what we had learned,   so for example we were learning about  agricultural pollution and agricultural   runoff and stuff like that, and I realized that  that didn't really excite me as much as the   humanitarian and ethic part of that, so instead  my team ended up creating what we call the "seed   library," and the seed library helped us. And it gave us  the opportunity to look more into our communities'   economical stance. As you guys know — Napa —I don't  know if you guys do know, actually, but it's pretty   expensive here, and you know not everyone has that  kind of money, but like including people that live   there, and so being able to create a space, and our  future plans are to put them into the corners of   middle school, the corners of elementary schools,  so that elementary school kids can, you know, entice   their parents, and be like, hey, I want plants, and then  they can go off from there and be able to create   their own garden along, with like instruction  manuals and stuff. So I think that that really  

fed into my own passion of personal humanitarian  work, and what i want to do like in the future.   Awesome, so let's keep going and  we'll hit you with a new question   So how do you think your work with projects will  affect you into your future, and what skills do   you think you will use in your post-New Tech  High future, or post-high school perhaps future.   I'm sure I'm gonna use a lot of the communication  skills that I learned at New Tech. I use it actually in my everyday life. I  work at a burger place, Squeezin'. I don't   know if people have heard about it, but in  there, I meet all sorts of different people,   with all sorts of different backgrounds, and  honestly, I'm able to communicate with them, really   talk to them. They're able to hear my story, I'm  able to hear their story, and I that's something I  

really learned from New Tech, because before I got  there, I went to Vintage, and there I wasn't really   an open student, I was more shut off, away from  all my teachers, and there I was really able to,   you know, put myself into the projects, really apply  myself in everything I learned, and honestly that's   a skill I'm sure I'm going to use every single day  in my barber career, and in the career I hold now. So I agree with Juan. I think that one of the  biggest things that I've taken away from PBL,   and from New Tech in general, has been  how to communicate with people not just my age,   but of all ages. I think that that's somewhere  that I struggled with when I first started,  

and especially going into the field that  I want to go into. I need to learn how to   use those things. Along with that, our school  requires us to do an internship. My internship is working in one of  the representatives' offices, and so that is a lot   of talking, that's a lot of communicating, it's a  lot of talking on the phone, it's a lot of dealing   with situations that you don't, I mean you have  no idea. Every day is a new day in that office, so  

I think that PBL definitely taught  me how to communicate with other people,   along with taking taking stuff as it goes,  taking, you know, finding solutions to problems.   As Juan and Aracelli both said,  I think communication is a huge part of PBL,   and has kind of been what shaped my learning  experience, at least before going to a PBL school.   You know, my kindergarten through eighth grade  year, I went to this very small school in a very   small town called Calistoga. I don't know if any  of you know where Calistoga is, but I never had   positive experiences with like teachers, students,  anything like that. I never really had   positive communication. I became pretty shut off  because of that, and going to New Tech and being  

put in somewhat uncomfortable situations with, you  know, both teachers and students, has kind of like   shaped this idea that I know that I need  to communicate. Now I know that that's kind of like   a necessary thing that i need to do, and so  I've been able to shape how to negotiate   with others, how to collaborate with others,  how to problem-solve with others, and I think   bringing that into my future is really that's the  main thing. I think I've grown from PBL, and   I think that's the main thing I need to bring  into my future, because I definitely know that,   you know, there's going to be a lot of  people I work with who I need to be   used to that type of communication, and even  conflict, to be able to like, carry on in life. Cool, so let's hit it with another  one. So what do you think that it   takes for a student to be  successful in a PBL class? Personally, me, from what I saw, that it takes  to be successful is honestly, just be yourself.   Don't try to put on this act that you  know that you're a cool kid or anything.  

Just be yourself. Get along  with students because everyone in my school —    New Tech — personally I don't know how it is at  bigger schools, but everybody knew each other.   There was no time where, or rarely a  time, we would really see anybody conflicting with   each other. Of course, conflict happens at a school,  that's just how kids are, but genuinely everybody   knew each other. There wasn't a time where I walked  past and I didn't see a familiar face, so genuinely  

just be yourself, because everybody at that  school is going to be accepting. And honestly a   time that a project was probably most difficult  was the time that I got my Sophomore year, because   I didn't, like I said, I didn't go there my Freshman  year. I got thrown in there, and it was really   different, because I was so used to, you know just  everybody doing their equal part of the project   and just getting the project done, making sure you  got the grade, but it wasn't really about the grade   there. It was making sure you learned, and that's  what I got, from not even the teachers,   from the students. They were trying to make sure that I really understood it.  

A student themselves told me they were like, the  grade doesn't matter, let's just make sure we're   actually understanding what we're doing here, and  you know, that's something that stood out for me   since that day, and you know I still hang out with  that student to this day. He's graduated now. You   know, it's pretty it's pretty cool, like you make  a lot of different friendships there. It's amazing.   I will add that I've been asked this question  multiple times — what makes a student   successful, and there is no ideal success type of  thing, because success can be very different for   many people, and I think that's another thing  that I learned from Project Based Learning,   that no one's gonna think the same, no one's  going to work to, say, no one's going to learn   the same, everybody's different, and Project Based  Learning has showed that each person's differences   can help us create a bigger and better change,  for whatever it is, if it's a small project or   if it's something bigger for the community,   there will always be a different view, a different   output, a different, everything's going to be  different, no issue is going to be the same.   So one thing I wanted to add on  to all of you guys' response was that   every student has a different point of  view in every project. You might be like, oh,   they have the same mindset or something,  everyone has a different point of view into   a project, but to be successful as Janelle  said, it doesn't have to always be like   "oh, you're like really smart" and all that stuff,  for situations like that. But to be successful,  

you have to be proud of yourself no matter  what, even if it's like, "oh I probably don't,   or can't do that good," like that's what  makes you makes you think   negative, but always have a positive  mindset. Because I remember back in elementary,   well, middle school, technically, always have  a positive attitude, because you don't know   how other people will think of you, so it's  just better to be yourself, as Juan said too. Awesome, so Juan actually kind of got us started  on this second question, but we'll dedicate   some time specifically for that one, and that  is just to think about a time that a project   was really difficult for you, and what was it  that helped you to push through that difficulty? I think a project that was,   I don't think the work was difficult, but more was  the information I was getting was hard to hear.  

We had a project in our senior year. Our economics  class, and they were asking us to look at an issue   that really affects our county, and I chose  immigration, and how COVID has really affected   us, and how it has just affected many people. And  something that was very difficult to do was really   get everybody's point of view, because with the  Project Based Learning, they wanted us not just to   get a personal person's view, they also wanted us to  do a more of a looking at a government, or looking   how the government has helped, what acts have been  done. Just overall, looking at what has already been  

done, so we can go ahead and add to that, or to  just overall help out, and just overall add our   input, so that we can be able to have a better,  just better community, and just add more to it. This past year, in my Junior year, we had an  assignment, and we were supposed to find an unsung   hero, basically a important figure in history that  you know hasn't been widely spoken about, isn't   widely known, as making the change that  they've made. And so we were supposed to take   that unsung hero, and create a children's book, and  we had picked our own partners for this project.   I ended up picking someone who I didn't know  very well, but I had a lot of trust in, and I had an unexpected outcome with this partner, and we ended up having   some communication boundaries, and you know  obviously COVID, and nothing helped with that,   but you know, I think what helped me push  through the difficulties of that project,   the communication boundaries, the deadline things, is really being able to negotiate,   communicate, with not only that partner, but my  teachers. I was able to take time for,   to sit down with them, and they were able to make  negotiations with me, to help me   adapt, to the change in attitude and  and commitment from my partner, and I was able to   create almost a different expectation with them,  to where I had expectations and requirements that more fit what I was  able to complete, and what I was able to  really focus on with  with my aspect of the project.   And so I was able to end up with a  book that was a little bit different from   most of my classmates, but I was able to still  push through, and get that grade, and really   come out with an equal amount of work to everybody  else, with it being my own experience.

One of my favorites, so think about the  teachers that you have learned the most from.   So what happens in their class that helps you to  learn? This is actually a question that stood   out a lot to me, because something I got from  this, what really is a teacher. Of course, yes, I   got an education from everybody, every class  I was in, I was able to learn something in,   but what a teacher is. I really learned a lot from  was a staff member, actually named Ms. Sharington.   She was a teacher I was able to go  to since my Sophomore year. The year I got there,   I was a really quiet student. I  didn't really talk, and honestly just being able   to talk to someone there, even if it was a staff  member, it really taught me how to grow. She showed  

me how to mature. She helped me through so many  personal issues, and genuinely most of my,   I want to say, my graduation why I was really able  to graduate, was for her, because she taught me so   much. She showed me so much effort, so much  support that I've never gotten from any other teacher,   and I've been to a couple schools, and so  genuinely, that's   the moment that I can really learn from, because  I learned so much from her, and so for context, Ms.   Sharington is our registrar, so when he's saying  that he's open about his definition of   what a teacher means, I just wanted to make  sure that that part was clear as well. For me personally, I have a hard time building a  bond with teachers, and mostly for the fact that   I'm not the best at communicating, and I don't  really, well before I didn't know how to express   how I didn't understand the work, and one teacher  that really stood out to me was Ms. Warnock. She   was the most supportive teacher I had, because  she every little thing, even if it was an at home   problem, she made sure to see that I was okay. Even  if she saw that I was tired, she would ask me  

"Hey, what are you doing? Are you okay? You can go  ahead and take a nap if you need, we're not doing   something really important today." But going back to  Juan, what he said, as well, I had another staff   member who really impacted me, and who actually  helped me so much, to the point to want to help   others in my career of choice, and that would  be our principal, Ms. Miller.   For me, she was my vice principal since Freshman  year, and her and I had not the best bond. I did   not like her, but she told me one thing that stuck  to me, and it was "I'm gonna make you   like me," and that's exactly what she  did. I love Ms. Miller, and to this day I will say  

she was one of the teachers that really helped me  get through life. So there's a special person in this audience that I would like to say "thank you"  from Freshman year to upcoming Senior   year, and that'll be Mr. Dev, he's right there in the  audience, I would like to say thank you to him. Since Freshman year, I remember Freshman year, he  called me up for some help in classes, and I was   kind of confused, because I was like, "why do  I need help when I could just do it myself," but   throughout that Freshman year I remember him  checking up on me like every single time   we would pass by each other and I started  to have confidence in him, and   trusting him a lot too. But he has been there  since Freshman year, and he really has supported me  

because, without him, I would have probably not been  here, or I would have probably been like failing   my whole high school years, but thankfully  for him, he's gonna be our future principal   at New Tech High School, and honestly,  that's, how would I say, a good thing to many students. He has been there  for mostly all the students, even upcoming Seniors.   He's still been there and one  thing that I learned from him was   to have confidence. And a lot of teachers, because  you don't know what teachers go through   in their daily life, I feel like crying,  but honestly teachers are really   supportive in certain situations. So all of,  I don't know whose teacher you guys are, teachers  

or not, but one thing you guys should know  is that students do care about you. And always know that students do also go through  things too, but just know, teachers, never give up   on yourself. That's one thing for sure, because you  don't know there's students that look up to you,   as I look up to Mr. Dev, so teachers always have a  positive attitude. And also people  

that are not teachers always have that positive  attitude, because students do look up to you guys. Alright, so this takes us to one that I  think we'll take an opportunity to give all   of you a chance to respond to, this one  right, and so this one is that you have   an audience of teachers and others  that are really interested in PBL, and so what   advice would you give teachers as they think  about bringing projects into their classrooms?   And maybe we'll just keep it simple, and we'll  start with Janelle, and just roll down the line.   So one thing about Project Based Learning that  I honestly loved was at the end of every project,   they had us do a feedback on our peers and  we got to tell the truth. We got to tell   who did the work, and who did it what grade  they deserved, and what effort they put in, so   we were able to not just tell the teacher that "hey,  next project I don't really work best with   these people," or "hey I've had a project with them,  and you know I can't really work with them because   my work ethic is different." Like I said  before, everybody's different sometimes,   you need the right pair to do  the dynamic duo for all that project.   I can tell you, me and one of my friends,  we would knock out those projects so fast   and there would always be one student who was  like "oh, okay I don't have to do anything," so   that would probably be my one thing,  is make sure that students are communicating   and be able to work and be able to communicate,   so they don't have to wait till the last minute  to let them know that their partner didn't do work.

What I would have to say, it would kind of have  to bounce back, well what Fatima was saying,   if you guys ever have a project that you  guys want to throw out there, no matter if   some students don't give you the reaction you  want, don't give up. Genuinely keep pushing at   it, keep going at it, because there's going  to be, once that one student, that project   could have changed their entire view, and how  they viewed high school. You know, what I mean,   honestly like Fatima was  saying, just keep going, keep pushing,   because genuinely, all the students, as much  we will rebuttal, you know,   argue with you, we respect you guys. You guys are  up here teaching us how to be adults, how to make a living in this world, and as much as someone  will say "when will I use this in the future?"   just be like, "wait till you get to life,  you'll see it," you know. An advice that I will give to all the  teachers for upcoming projects would be that   choose a project that will engage everyone,  because there's certain projects that people   wouldn't really care or really pay much attention,  but choose something that seems fun and that will   engage many students. Like, make sure they have  that positive attitude though, because that's very   important, and also communication too. So an advice  would be make a project seem fun and engaging too,  

because the past projects I've been  through in New Tech High, not all   projects are or seemed important, but  they really did have a big impact on me.   So make a project very fun or just engaging,  or really like make it seem important, because   at one point, these projects will change their life.  No matter what, it will have a big impact in them   throughout life as well, so just make the  projects funner, like engaging.

I have a couple things that I wanted to point out  for like advice to you guys. So one thing that   our teachers do that like we don't always  appreciate it when it happens, but we will   thank them later, is putting us in groups that  we would not have picked ourselves.    Like if they know that something's going on, like I  think Juan had talked about it, our school's small.   Sometimes our teachers like to put us with people  that they know we have issues with, sometimes.  

It sucks when you get paired with them at  first, but having to be forced to be in the same   area with them and work within the same project  with them for like three weeks, I mean if you end   up not liking that person at the end of it then  I mean, at least now you know you can work with   them. Like in the real world, we're going to have  to work with people we don't like all the time, so this is just practice. Another thing I was going to mention to you guys  is to give your students an outlet, like some type   of outlet. You know, they were saying we all  have things that we have going on in our lives as  

well as you do as well, so I'm sure you guys can  relate to it too. I mean I'm sure some of you guys   like journal, or scream, I don't know, and one thing  that over COVID because we weren't allowed to be   in school all the time, we had this one teacher. She  was our English teacher, and she used to give us an   assignment every week. We had to write something  in a journal. She had a few prompts for us, but   we didn't always have to follow them, and  let me just tell you, me and my friends ranted. This  

was like our drop journal, and she told us  that she didn't have to read it, she just graded us   for doing it. And I know that so many students  benefited from those journals, because even if   it was a couple sentences, we were alone. You know,  COVID was a time where we were locked in with   with our family and that's it, and so just  that outlet, and even beyond COVID, that outlet can   help anybody. And so I think that's important to  give your students an area that they feel safe in —    not only in your classroom and not only if  they don't feel safe and confiding in you — but an area where they can get things  off their mind and into the classroom. To bounce off of what  all three of my peers here said,   I think PBL is really based on  engagement, so I believe   that flexibility in the classroom like I spoke  about earlier, being able to negotiate with   my teachers to make the project better fit me  as a student. I think there's ways that we can  

create a project, or like ourselves talking earlier,  we, for example, we had that project, and it was   about agriculture and the impacts of agriculture,  especially locally, so she was able to find that   project, and talk to our teacher, and make it  more about her interest and her group's interest   and humanitarian impacts. So being able to  create a project with expectations, and   because that's realistic, you have to  create a project, and have expectations, and have   requirements and things like that, but to make it  flexible around a student's interest, that's where   you really grab engagement. That's where I think  that interest comes from, and so bringing that   type of flexibility into the classroom, I think  will bring interest. It'll bring like joy to   the students, really like to sit there and  learn about something I've been wanting to,   you know, learn more about, research about, and  giving them that outlet, and them actually   being able to get a grade for that, it's kind of  satisfying in a way. Also just like what Araceli was saying, those kids, we all are put into situations where   we need to be able to work with others. That's what happens in real life, and New Tech   has brought us a lot of us, I mean, literally last  month I had this project where I was with a   bunch of people who I knew didn't specifically  like, you know, get along with me, but I was able to   work with them, and just communicate and  be able to create a space where we all had,   we're in a similar boat, and could kind of push  through, get work done, you know, collaborate, you   know, we're all in the same spot there, we're all having the same experience. And so  

working together is, you know, being being pushed  to do that is so important, and it really helps   us learn a lot about each other and about  ourselves, and just about our topics. Awesome. So thanks for letting us go  a little long. I think we'll kind of   end on that question, but thanks to  the students for coming out today. And as as one last plug, I'm just projecting  here, if you have any questions or are interested   in a tour of our campus, to kind of check out  what it is that we do, to kind of see behind   the scenes of what it is that students are sharing  a little bit about, I have an email address up   here that you can follow up with, in case you or  your school are interested in a little bit more   of that, having opportunities for tours or whatever  it is that comes to mind, shoot us an email.

2022-07-28 22:55

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