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Brenda Anaya

June 8, 2014
Habit of Mind Summary
Throughout my junior year at Blackstone, the Habits of Mind that I felt were my
strengths were Collaboration, Creativity, Gratitude and Organization. Compared to last year, I
feel like Collaboration was my biggest improvement. Before when I worked in a group, I got
stuck with most of the work because my group members didnt do their share. On the other hand,
this year in Environmental Science, I worked with my partner on our Birdbox Study Lab Report.
We constantly met with each other and discussed about how to go about our project. Each of us
constantly shared our ideas, gave the other feedback and decided which approach will best
explain our point.
Another Habit of Mind I consider my strength is Creativity because I demonstrate it in
the majority of my classes. This Habit of Mind is demonstrated mostly in Pre-Calculus because
most math problems can be solved by using different approaches. There are moments were an
equation we learn doesnt perfectly fit with the problem. We are forced to see an equation as
something that can be played around with despite it not looking pretty and easy. In addition, I
had to realize that there are more to circles and squares besides one being round and the other
having four sides. There are much more complex and deeper meaning behind what makes a
circle a circle and a square a square.
Gratitude is the Habit of Mind I feel I constantly demonstrate both in and outside of
school. Blackstone has given me the opportunity to have a close relationship with my teachers
that I wouldnt have gotten at any other school. I have random conversations with my teachers
that I would normally have with a friend and I enjoy them. My friends are also people I deeply
appreciate because they have helped me overcome several obstacles this year from a difficult
assignment to problems I have at home.
Every year at Blackstone, the Habit of Mind of Organization always seems to be my
strongest one that constantly develops over the years. Agendas are my best friend when it comes
to keeping me on track with my homework. I constantly write down what I have to get done and
check off each as I completed it. In addition, I have become better at organizing papers and
projects. Throughout our English class, the class focused on bettering the structure of our essays
in order to go into senior year strong. I had to create my own outlines for my essays which would
be graded and approved on before writing. Also, the class focused on fixing the flow of our
essays by transitioning and including more context where evidence seems confusing. At the end
of the year, it was evident I had developed a better structure in my writing.
Some Habits of Mind that could definitely be improved and developed further are
Community Engagement, Upstanderness and Optimism. Community Engagement is the Habit of
Mind that Im slowly, but surely am improving on. Throughout the year, I began participating
more within the school compared to the past two years. Ive joined the newly formed debate
team, continued working with Sci-Fi club, tutored several students in Geometry and took part in
the Japanese class. Despite my participation within these activities, my participation within my
community, as in outside of Blackstone, isnt as strong in comparison. Currently, I am speaking
with Beth in order to volunteer with Headstart during the summer and probably finding other
possible volunteering options.
Upstanderness is another fairly developed Habit of Mind that I should focus on
improving. For the most, I demonstrate this Habit of Mind through my internship as the math
tutor. Constantly, I stay after school in order to help students better their math skills and their
understanding of certain aspects of math. Normally, it's difficult for me to talk to new people.
Actually promoting my internship to the school was difficult for me because I always hesitated
to show the whole school that I like math and I want to help. On the other hand, I demonstrate
upstanderness in general because I enjoy helping people with their classwork. As I work, I try to
motivate them by showing understanding and giving advice on how to move forward.
Through the course of the year, Optimism is the Habit of Mind that constantly had its ups
and downs. There were several problems at home that affected the way I viewed school life and
my personal life. I slowly lost my motivation during the last semester as my grades slowly
started to decline. At the end, I rushed to get them back up which I did. During the time, I felt
that my problems would continue and only get worse. With the help of my friends, I was able to
get back on my feet and slowly transition back to seeing the bright side of situations. I'm still not
completely recovered, but I feel that could better improve it.
Despite having certain Habits of Minds as my strengths, I feel that my weaknesses this
year were Wellness, Zest and Humility. Of these three Habits of Mind, I struggle most with
Wellness. To be honest, I do not actively work to maintain a healthy state of being. For the most
part, I get roughly between 4-6 hours every night or sometimes I am unable to sleep. Stress is a
key factor that I need to improve because I dont have a concrete way of handling it.\
Zest is the Habit of Mind that just seems completely out of character for me in certain
situations. For the most part in class, I normally dont participate as enthusiastically in classes
unless the topic is compelling and I enjoy what Im doing. I usually participate in a casual
manner. In almost all my classes, I participate and take what I can out of what Im learning, but I
dont demonstrate that Im actually enjoying what Im learning or am interested in it until I speak
one on one with a teacher. It is actually very difficult to invigorate others in whichever subject it
may be because certain students simply dont like the subject or dont like school in general.
Last, but not least, Humility is another Habit of Mind I feel is my weakness. I completely
understand which are my strengths and which are my weaknesses, but I feel as though I never
confront them. I use them as reasons to push forward, but I don't necessarily face them head on.
On the other hand, I am a hypocrite because I feel that I constantly encourage others to face their
weakness. I help them with finding ways to overcome their weaknesses, but I don't use my own
advice.
Overall, I have a variety of Habits of Minds that are both my strengths and my
weaknesses. I was able to demonstrate them throughout all of my classes. In comparison to these
past years, there has been improvement among certain Habits of Mind. After completing this
summary, I understand that I must find ways to better my weakness in order to overcome my
obstacles.