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Tips for completing your Proficient Portfolio

28 Jan

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New teachers will know all about the huge shadow that hangs over you during your first year or two of teaching – the shadow is also known as a Proficient Portfolio and takes up a great deal of thought and time in the early years of our careers.

My journey through my Proficient Portfolio was supported by a team of beautiful, experienced and encouraging colleagues who cheered me on, reflected with me and helped me to see evidence in my practice when I struggled to see past my doubt.

I wanted to share some tips for those of you about to embark on this journey.

Firstly, the Framework for Progression will quickly become your best friend.  It contains all of the information that you, your mentor and your supervisor should become familiar with regarding timelines, expectations and planning structures.

My second piece of advice seems to go against my very organised and forward planning nature… Don’t get ahead of yourself!  Whilst I planned my portfolio throughout the year I did not let it take up too much space.  I had to allow myself time to settle into teaching and the evidence unfolded naturally.  I documented it as it occurred but I did not spend hours labouring over evidence which wasn’t yet there.

TRUST THE PEOPLE WHO CARE ABOUT YOU – I can’t say this enough.  I hope that you are as blessed as I have been with the people around me; in my workplace and outside of school.  People who know and care about me and my passion for teaching.  These people reminded me of my impact on my students when I sat staring at a blank piece of paper.  These people celebrated my successes when I thought they were too small to count.  And these people cheered me on when I presented my portfolio (a thoroughly nerve wracking experience).  Trust these people!

Finally, less is more.  You are only allowed to have 6-10 pieces of evidence, each of these pieces may be made up of a number of artefacts which add to the big picture.  Once you get on a roll you will find oodles of pieces of evidence that could be used to demonstrate your proficiency in certain standards.  But less in more! You don’t need to include all of it, make things easier on yourself and select pieces of evidence that work across multiple standards.  When annotating you may feel like you’re repeating yourself but an interconnected portfolio is a good thing – embrace it!

If you have an online portfolio which you would like to share with us for inspiration please feel free to add the link to a comment or post it on the Teacher On Training Wheel’s facebook page.  Sharing is caring 🙂

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