I wish I could claim I was this brilliant on my own, but I am not. I was having a conversation with a colleague ( thank you Jen) and we were evaluating our practice with portfolios. Why do we do it?What's in for us as teachers? Why should it be part of my professional development? Isn't it a student thing? We started discussing how it affects us and our ability to show progress. We know it works great at the end of a course to show how far a student has come with skills, but how was it working for us in our teaching practices?
We talked about it changing the onslaught of mass marking for assignments as students tend to pace themselves differently in this kind of environment. We also talked about how that could cause us to use this tool differently. I am working on showing students their progress on a more micro scale. Yes the big progress will be evident at the end of the course, but how I use portfolios to show little increments of skill building is where I want to focus.
This is when lightening struck!
Jen asked what about reflecting on reflecting? I probably looked like a deer in headlights at the point because I hadn't a clue what she was talking about. She must have sensed by utter confusion, because she continued.
"What if I use a reflection within a reflection with the gr 9"s?
What if they have to examine how they verbalize how they think and reflect on their learning over the course of a semester?"
I was gob smacked! Of course. We evaluate portfolios for skills in a particular course but I haven't been asking students to evaluate how they verbalize their own reflections. How does that change over the course of a semester, a year, a grade, a high school career. How does one's view of your education change as you reflect? Does your reflection have a pattern? Does is cycle? Does it change based on the course? I feel a thesis coming on!
Jen my wonderful friend this place is so lucky to have you!!