Module 3 – Create Your Portfolio
I’m not going to lie…this has been a rocky process. I am persevering and navigating the chasms and boulders.
A portfolio by definition is a range of investments held by a person or even a set of pieces of creative work collected by someone to display their skills. A diary or journal by definition is a book in which one keeps a daily record of events and experiences. In the olden days of teaching, we, the teacher, would keep artifacts of student work in a portfolio to show growth or show off our project ideas that students so masterfully mass-produced. Educators soon found that this was cumbersome the older the student was (but we kindergarten teachers still held portfolios as the ultimate testimony to the amazing skills Kindergarten children gained under our tutelage). Then there was a span, extremely brief, where the Colorado Department of Education required teachers to have a portfolio…and that went out within a couple of years when they realized they would have to sort through them to approve licensing. Along came digital portfolios – without the ability to share with the world. Still the problem of what to include, too much, too little, how to organize, etc persisted. And now here we are. Pics, vids, links, etc. Our entire digital footprint is our portfolio. Choose your clicks wisely, people are looking.
Which brings me to this site. Portfolio, diary, journal, whatever you want to call it, it is just a place to collect my own personal learning. As soon as I had that frame of mind, my WHY, navigating this site actually became easy. Someone else already set up the organization of it. I just had to choose one that worked visually for me. I’m not selling something, so no need to have elements checked off of some random design list. Again, someone else took care of that. The important thing for me now is the content and the audience. The content will be reflections about learning in a place I can come back and say, “now what was I thinking” or “how did I do that”. The audience might be reaching out to others to learn, but I don’t expect that from this blog. There are other tools for feedback and collaboration. If that happens here, great, if not, I can fill that need elsewhere and reflect on it or record learnings here. For me, this site will be for me (and any of the millions who choose to be bored enough to read it, welcome).
I think struggling through WordPress isn’t a lesson in building a blog, but a lesson in reframing my thinking, as it is with learning anything I value that is difficult at first. I am willing to figure things out and make them work if there is a reason to do so. Assigning it as a task isn’t enough for me to persevere, never was, and I suspect not enough for most students except your gold star seekers. Being a polite student, I would have completed this task. But because I am a learner down to my core, I made it meaningful for me (which I suspect it Jennifer’s goal for us). I may not have followed each checkpoint, but this is a useable tool for me now. I will come back to it often. I need to remember to let my students make their own meanings, too. It isn’t always about the outcome I would have originally expected – and, yes, I still am certain I can equate their choices to the standards. Another, aha, maybe this will help me with my Colorado Teacher Rubric, got to love SB191.