Organizing the central fundamentals of my professional life as an educator into a single comprehensive document, arranged as a professional portfolio, has truly been a progress experience for me. All the views, ideas, passions, and perspectives were somewhere in my subconscious, but it was both thought-provoking and rewarding to have an in-depth study of the materials and wrote them in so many words. The portfolio itself was created as part of the requirement to fulfill as a graduate student in Master of Arts in Teaching Elementary Education program at Wingate University, which I’m currently completing this fall of 2018. Since enrolling in the program, I have continued to grow as a professional educator.
The artifacts created and included in this portfolio include a wide variation of teaching tools applied in my classroom. Each artifact was used in at least one of my classes or in my work with the MAT/MAED program. Taken together, the artifacts prove professional competence, creativity, and noteworthy professional growth.
The formation of this portfolio has been a significant part of learning, implementing, and evaluating new teaching tools in my classroom. I have seen a huge increase in the motivation, cooperation, and reflection skills of my students through the application of new ideas. In order to do so, I constantly challenge myself to step away from the routine, ordinary, and to adopt new instruction and assessment strategies passionately. While this was sometimes uncomfortable, it gave me the opportunity to grow in ways I had not assumed possible prior to creating this portfolio. The portfolio was not the means of this change, only a catalyst and reflection of the process.
As an educator, I recognize that change is continuous, I will actively explore and deliberate on new ideas that improve teaching and learning. I will make sure I adopt practice based on research and data that is suitable to meet the needs of my students. Participating in recommended activities for professional learning and development will be one of my top priorities. Also, using a variety of research-verified approaches to improve teaching and learning.
There is no doubt that the mistakes I made during my time in the school bothered me then. But I was surrounded by experienced teachers that always tried their best to point out and make me understand my mistakes in a hasty manner, which I eventually adapted into my dealing with my students. Also, I found it comforting that they told me that mistakes are part of this experience, and that I could learn from these mistakes in the future by not trying to repeat them. In contrast to this, another thing I learned from this experience is that, to encourage students to perform better in class, teachers should give compliments to every student’s good hard work, like correct answers or creative outputs. This must be done for them to keep working hard and inspire their classmates to do the same. This experience makes me know that Teaching is an honorable profession. This is true because teachers must radiate favorable qualities and impart moral principles. We must remember that more than anyone else, teachers are judged by their character. So, educators should strive to be the best that they can be.
In the future, I will continue to develop this portfolio as an active document. Having seen the worth of reflective analysis, I will continue to frequently and rigorously evaluate my teaching and professional development. I will also regularly revisit my professional goals and assess my progress toward meeting them.
During the portfolio development and revision process, I have grown as an educator. I hope to continue this growth path, and this portfolio will be a helpful tool in demonstrating and evaluating my continued professional development. I’m grateful to my professors, and the staff of Wingate University who made the MAT/MAED program a success for all the graduate students of 2018.