Student Voice: How Poetry Helped Me Grow and Better See Others

When I first heard about Summit Learning, I admit that I was a little discouraged. I thought that the Platform component would lower my interactions with other students. But when I went to school and got to experience Summit firsthand, I was astonished.

“Summit didn’t limit my interactions, it grew them.”

Recently, we did a poetry project in English Language Arts, and one of the activities was a peer review. I would have never done this review if it was up to me, as I prefer to work independently. But when I did the peer review, I found myself making corrections and additions that I would have missed. The experience had done something I thought was nearly impossible — it made my poem better. My partner informed me of my mistakes and told me where I could give more detail.

Interactions like these are what Summit is all about. This style of learning brings a positive, hard-working culture that allows you to break your limits and keep going. It creates a sense of community, since we are all striving for a similar goal. Summit Learning gave me a new meaning of grit and hard work.

I have always been ahead or advanced, but in a normal classroom there are limits to what and when you can do things. With Summit, I can go beyond expectations in projects or move ahead in learning new content when I’m ready. I have ownership of my work and strive for my goals. Plus, I feel a sense of community in my classroom that I have never felt before.

Brady pauses for a close-up while working on his final product in class

In my poetry project, one of our final products was to present our poem to the class. I’ve always loved public speaking, but I thought with Summit I would have fewer chances to speak. I was wrong. The peer activities we did with a partner gave me an extra push of confidence and inspired me to do more to make my presentation the best it could possibly be.

I got up and read my poem with lots of confidence, and one of the questions I got at the end was, “Can you read your second poem again?”

“Summit balances teamwork and community with competitiveness and hard work in a way that is truly motivating.”

Summit Learning has showed me how much people can grow and change. It has been one of the greatest experiences of my life, and I cannot see myself transitioning back to a “normal” classroom. I think Summit is an experience everyone should get to have.

I really feel that learning through Summit has not only helped me grow academically, but also mentally. In moments, I find myself wondering how I knew something or why I helped out a classmate, when I might not have done so in the past. When I tell my brother about me helping others he asks, “Why did you do it?” I have no answer, except Summit Learning. It’s helped me see people differently, and to see myself differently.

Read other student voices on the Summit Learning Blog.

About the author

Brady Wells
Brady Wells is a 6th grade student at Chester County Junior High School. His interests are politics, business, and management. He is also very fond of public speaking. In his free time, he enjoys reading, keeping up to date with politics, and learning geography. Brady plans on majoring in Political Science in college.