Saturday, May 17, 2008

Developing a Teaching Portfolio

It is almost the end of the school more month to go. Time flies fast! As I reflect on my teaching practices and assess my accomplishments this school year, I also begin to prepare to add and modify for next school year.

Next week is the beginning of our Teachers Final Evaluations, the last stage in the Professional Performance Evaluation Process (PPEP). The school system has developed a process using the work of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards as a guide. I am getting my teaching portfolio ready for this right now. I remember doing something similar to this few months ago as a candidate to the National Board Certification.
I would like to share to my colleagues how I create my formative teaching portfolio. Some people describe a teaching portfolio as a place to summarize your teaching accomplishments and provide examples of classroom material. Others describe it as a mechanism and space for reflecting upon your teaching. And for the rest of us, it can be described as a space to do both.

What are some characteristics of effective portfolios?
The format of a portfolio varies considerably. An effective portfolio should be well documented and organized. The American Association for Higher Education (AAHE) suggests that a teaching portfolio should be structured, representative, and selective.

A structured portfolio should be organized, complete, and creative in its presentation. Some questions for you to think about might be: Is my portfolio neat? Are the contents displayed in an organized fashion? Are the contents representative for the purpose that it is intended?

In addition to attending to structure, a portfolio should also be comprehensive. The documentation should represent the scope of one's work. It should be representative across courses and time. Some questions for you think about might be: Does my portfolio portray the types and levels of courses that I have taught? Does my portfolio display a cross-section of my work in teaching?

The natural tendency for anyone preparing a portfolio is wanting to document everything. However, if a portfolio is being used either for summative or formative purposes, careful attention should be given to conciseness and selectivity in order to appropriately document one's work. Peter Seldin (1997) suggests limiting the contents of a portfolio to ten pages. We suggest that you limit the contents of your portfolio to what is required by the reviewer while also keeping the purpose in mind. Continuation

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