Spent the day in a workshop with Charlotte Danielson talking about professional evaluation and what comprises good teaching. It’s really a very straightforward, very logical framework that we’re hoping will make our teacher evaluation programs more consistent across the disciplines. I got a chance to show her my teacher portfolio/weblog idea, and we discussed the portfolio idea at length in the large group. There is no doubt that our administration realizes the benefit of portfolios, so now my job is to convince them that the weblog is a perfect km system to build and revise artifacts of professional development with reflection.
We talked about how portfolios are pretty much done in a vacuum, with only the teacher, potentially a mentor, and a supervisor getting the chance to see the work. Online portfolio/weblogs would allow a much wider audience for feedback and collaboration and publication. It would be easy to manage. It would be fairly easy to create and update. If I can get the gems aspect of Manila going, it could host all sorts of artifacts. I’m almost more excited by the potential here than in the classroom, perhaps because I know everyone has the access necessary to make it work. Now, of course, I have to get crankin’ on my own portfolio! The list grows…
BTW, does anyone out there know how to add a background to a Manila template? I hate being a newbie! (UPDATE: Ken T. set me straight. Nice to have helpful techie friends!)
Joe Luft says
First, a quick comment on student portfolios. I realize the scale was radically different but in my school graduation portfolios are always done with a minimum of three adults and two juniors. Adults included the mentor who really just facilitates. Other adults included teachers from our school, teachers from other schools, internship mentors. The presentation and discussion lasted 2.5 to 3 hours. Again, the size of our school allowed us to do it this way.
We have also done teacher portfolios as part of our professional evaluation. We thought we should practice what we preach to the kids. Recently, trying to juggle student portfolios AND state exams the process has fallen apart. We’re trying to get it together again this year. I plan on using my weblog and some examples of students’ weblogs in my portfolio. I’m interested in following along as you develop yours. Perhaps I’ll present mine this way at the end of the year and see if I can win some converts at my school too.
Karen McComas says
An online support group for teaching portfolios? What a great idea…:)