My name is Henry Mohn and I am a current senior at Champlain Valley Union High School, in Hinesburg, VT. This is my second year involved in What's the Story. Last year, I was a student in the class. I really loved my experience and this year, I am back as a mentor to the new students.
This year's kickoff was great! As pointed out by others, the class is organized much better than it was last year. It is clear that the experience from last year has allowed for the program to be refined. Also, the academic direction of the class has improved. The students are given a degree of freedom with their topics that wasn't present last year, when I was a student. I really like how from the very beginning, students will be working to find information for their multimedia project, as opposed to last year, where we didn't really start the final project until half way through the year. It seems that the students will be able to make a change in the community, which is an element of the class that we failed to accomplish last year. I am excited to see what the students will achieve!
For ah-ha moments, I was excited to see so many students, of different ages, from all over the state involved in What's the Story The group is much larger than than last year which will allow for more diversity in research topics and opinions. It was also great to see so many so many adults invested in the class as readers, teachers, and mentors. I was very impressed with the first week of blogging as well. The blogs will allow the students to receive personal feedback from multiple people on a weekly basis.
So much has changed from last year when I was a student, so I am curious about many aspects of the class. Initially, I wonder how students will select which social action issue they would like to study. I know I would have trouble choosing if I were a student this year. I also wonder how students will be able to combine or modify their topics into larger topics, that they can work collaboratively on. I wonder what lasting changes to the Vermont community will be made by the end of the year as well.