|One goal of your portfolio, and perhaps its most important function, is to showcase your strengths as an educator to colleagues, parents, students, and potential employers. Few things can tell your story as an educator better than the voices of your students as evidenced in their work. This Piece of Flair is an opportunity to showcase your students’ work. Please note, as we discuss below in the requirements section, that if you are in an administrative or managerial position, you can, as you deem appropriate, replace “student work” with the work produced by the colleagues and employees that you work with.|
Considering your past lessons and looking around your classroom, in your files, and on your bulletin boards, mull over these questions:
- Are there any examples of student work that you would like to keep to show next year’s students?
- Could you scan or digitally photograph such work so that it features in your web portfolio?
- What projects showcase both your students’ skills and your skills as an educator?
A classroom portfolio can be a valuable tool for showcasing, sharing, and preserving examples of good student work. The classroom portfolio is a way for a teacher to celebrate the accomplishments of students while also conveying a clear vision of the kinds of work students are expected to do in the class.
Design a separate page (or pages) that showcase examples of your students work. Think of this as "An Advertisement of My Fine Teaching" (or if this sounds too egotistical, think of it as "An Advertisement for Our School: Why Taxpayers Shouldn’t Vote for Further Cuts to Education"). As always, be mindful of your possible audiences. This could be the students whose work you’re celebrating, students who may be coming to your class next year, or parents thinking of moving into your school district. It is critical that we make the great things happening in our schools visible to all the stakeholders.
- Include at least 6 artifacts of student work
- For each, provide an introductory paragraph that describes the assignment or activity that led to the work, why the work is strong or exemplary, and how this activity relates to your state’s curriculum standards or some other learning goal.
- This is not a page that simply is a collection of photos or other artifacts. The goal of this page is to develop a handful of carefully chosen examples with annotation and commentary.
Feel free to adapt this Piece of Flair to serve your purposes. If you’re not a teacher, try to come up with an element of your portfolio that is similar. Your instructors can help you brainstorm ideas.
School Policies on Publishing Student Work on the Web
If you add student work to your portfolio, be careful to comply with school policies regarding putting students’ work on the Web, including such issues as whether one can put photos, whether or not you need parents’ permission, and whether or not you can use first or last names. Make sure you become familiar with your school’s policy, and make sure you understand it.
Strategies that are often helpful for displaying student work in order to comply with school policies include:
- Showing work without names
- Using pseudonyms or no names at all (e.g, "One student" as opposed to "Matt").
- Using photographs that show students working without showing faces (e.g., backs of students heads).
Relationship to Other Pieces of Flair
If you also do the “About my Classroom” Piece of Flair or “Teaching Philosophy” Pieces of Flair, make sure the “Gallery of Student Work” Piece of Flair is sufficiently different.
If this doesn’t sound like a good fit for your portfolio, please see other Pieces of Flair for ideas that might work better for you.