Updated: Nov 10, 2018
Monday - When I was in education classes at my university, they emphasized the importance of maintaining a teaching portfolio. It was what would be used to provide a potential employer your teaching manifesto, your transcripts, resume. examples of your own work and a copy if published work, if you had published. I presented it at a campus visit and it was impressive enough to be offered a doctoral scholarship at the University of West Virginia in 2005. Unfortunately, it did not fit into my situation as a single dad with 3 children at home. I have never regretted that decision and I found a home in a great school district. Every few years, I updated it even though I am completely happy at the school district I work for. My thought was in case an advancement opportunity arose, it was better to be prepared than not.
Now the digital age is upon us. Teachers are usually the last ones to accept change and promote it. Why? If it's not broken, don't fix it. In the last 12 years of teaching, I have been completely comfortable updating my lesson plans but basically using the same methods of teaching. I prided myself in differential instruction daily. Now, after beginning to learn about the growth mindset and COVA, I find that I had been in a fixed mindset and that I need to change. My teaching may have met the definition of differentiation, but it was still the same year after year. I don't mind change, I usually embrace it; however, when you tell me I have to create it, wait just a minute here. I have to start from scratch on something I have no idea of what I'm doing? So began my ePortfolio. After struggling for 5 weeks, I feel its making progress, but something is missing.
I realized that I was simply filling the minimum requirements of what my professor required. It was my own, but not reallymy own. I need to make it so that it shows my work, my innovations, my "risks". I have to showcase my work just like I did in my paper portfolio. So today, I added a forum to my e-portfolio, where we can have open discussion on digital learning and leading or just about any topic in education. In the summer of 2005, my paper on Euclid's Fifth Postulate was published in the 2005 NcNair's Scholars Journal. I need to showcase it and consider publishing again, if I can find a copy from a floppy drive that still works.
So I think I have figured out what the ePortfolio is about. It's the personal risk we need to take to show who we are, what we have done and what we can do. It's about accepting feedback, positive and negative and learning from it and not take it as a personal attack. Its about having a growth mindset.