Keep your heart with all vigilance,

for from it flow the springs of life.

Creating A Teaching Portfolio

Recently, I've been working on crafting my teaching portfolio. It was a little frustrating at the start as there wasn't a clear definitive answer as to what a teacher portfolio was. I've come to appreciate that a teacher portfolio is simply a showcase of your works, development and contribution as a teacher. How and what you choose to show is as unique as you are a person.

It was simultaneously liberating and terrifying. Liberating because there wasn't a fixed format nor the need to worry about some requirement being left out. Terrifying because without guidelines or directions, everything and nothing is significant and insignificant all at once.

I've found 'The Teaching Portfolio' by Rodriguez-Farrar to be the most helpful of all the literature gathered. She introduces the purpose for a teaching portfolio with certain guidelines that provide enough structure to craft a unique product without being too restrictive. What is most beneficial is that Rodriguez-Farrar also provides a process for teachers to follow as well as examples of various teaching portfolios. It was a relief to see the variances and common strands present.

In the process, I've found the teaching portfolio to be a useful developmental tool. A portfolio demands for a teacher to be accountable and clear about the growth and contribution. Admittedly, the intense and busy schedules leaves little time for professional reflection and growth. At best, they come as passing thoughts that are vague and quickly lost with time. In a portfolio, the reflections have to be penned and contributions stated require evidence. It's a method for teachers to take a good honest examination of their professional development.

With ICT, developing a teaching portfolio has become much easier. Reflections can be quickly jotted down on any mobile device (Evertnote, Notes [iOS], email). A myriad of evidence can be collected ranging from photographs (smartphones), quantitative and qualitative feedback (Google Forms). Teaching resources and student works can be kept and retrieved easily without the fear that it will be lost or decay.

I will be attempting to use this website to create my portfolio. At present, it's putting in place the parts and collecting the evidence. If you know of any good teaching portfolios online, please share them in the comments below.

Grant Wiggins & Blogging

Democracy • Education • ICT