Creating an organised working portfolio
Teacher: Welcome back! This session today is looking at the working portfolio.
Teacher: I welcome our final-year student Amanda to the segment, and Amanda has very kindly brought in her working portfolio for us to have a look at. Amanda, this is a great looking folder. Can you please tell us a little bit about how you've organised it.
Amanda: Okay, so to begin with I went on to the CQU Handbook for the placement, and I have just used the headings that you have provided there. I found those were a great way to make sure my folder was organised and I didn't miss out any information.
Amanda: So I like to begin with my teaching prep and planning because these are things that I use every day when I'm on my placement, so I put those at the beginning. Then I go through to my observations of teaching.
Teacher: Oh, you've got tabs to organise your folder.
Amanda: Tabs to organise it, so when somebody asks me I can just flick straight there. So my observations of teaching - this is where I put all my documentation of any observations I've made of my teacher teaching.
Teacher: Great, excellent. And you use the templates, don't you.
Amanda: I sure do. They're fantastic. Okay, on to my student and class profile information. Now this is something I found I often need to flick to, so it's important to have the tabs. If you want to jot something down you need to be able to go straight there. Then my daily reflections - so this is obviously all the reflections of the day of my teaching.
Amanda: And then my resources. I've actually found it quite handy to buy some of these folders that clip in and you can just put all of your resources in there. I usually put one in every section, so any bulky information I have to put in there I put straight in the folder and then it's ready to go in that section.
Teacher: So these are all the resources that you've used in your lessons.
Amanda: That's right. If I can't slip them into my little plastic folders I put them in the folder at the back and they're there ready to go.
Teacher: Fantastic that looks wonderful. So Amanda, as far as each day that you go to prac, or when you’re on the block, do you organise your, say, your reflections, how do you organise them? Are they ad-hoc or do you have them in a particular order.
Amanda: Okay, for my reflections - obviously we do those every day, so rather than put in a new plastic sleeve for every day I just use the one sleeve and the reflections go on top of each other. So the newest one will be on top so should my teacher come and ask me could she read my reflection, I open up to that section and it's the one on top ready to go. Organisation is key.
Teacher: Yes, I agree totally. All right, let me just flick through. I’d just like to have a look at some of your lesson plans because I think it's always important to see an example of what good lesson planning looks like. So that's the front section here, here we go. I can see that, so Amanda is, this is actually your folder from your third-year placement. I guess before I get you to show us a lesson plan, your first-year and second-year placement folder, was it of a similar size? Did you organise it the same way?
Amanda: Absolutely. Most of the bulky stuff in here are your resources and your documentation from the school. Those things you need to collect. They are bulky, so yes the folder is always nice and fat, full of information.
Teacher: Fantastic. All right, so this is a daily plan, an example of a daily plan, fabulous. Because that's always an important thing when you are doing quite a lot of teaching during your placement.
Amanda: Yes. So I run with two plans when we're doing the whole day. So I'll have a daily plan so I know where I'm up to, what I'm teaching, which section is mine, and then from that daily plan I'll have individual lesson plans ready to go for the lessons I'm teaching.
Teacher: Would you be able to find us a lesson plan for an individual lesson.
Amanda: It's been a while since I taught an individual lesson. There we go! Okay, so there's one ready to go. So once again, these are in date order as well, so newest on top, ready to go.
Teacher: I'm just going to pull this one out and we will have a look at the fact that you've got some annotations on your lesson plan which is exactly what you should be doing. Can you just tell us about why you put annotations?
Amanda: Sure. Once I finished teaching a lesson we're required to have a reflection in here. Now that’s additional to the daily reflection. So I like to do the lesson reflection for each lesson on the plan that I talk with. That way when I go back I have notes on there. So the little notes I've made are the sections of the lesson that I thought went really well or things that stood out to me that I could improve next time okay so I can go back and say, well that didn't work so well, here's why and here's what I thought I could do better next time.
Teacher: Excellent. And then that helps you to write that evaluation at the very end. Fantastic. That's wonderful! Thank you Amanda, I'm very impressed with this.
Teacher: Okay, so Amanda, as part of your assessment and obviously as part of being a graduate teacher you have to demonstrate the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers. Can you tell us a little bit about how your folder helps you to evidence those standards at the level that you're at, at the moment.
Amanda: Sure. Obviously the folder has all of the information about my teaching and my observations along the way. Having the tabs in there if I need something from my folder I can easily go and find it, scan it in and put it into my e-portfolio under the standard that it meets.
Teacher: Great. And I would imagine too that when your mentor teacher is completing the assessment criteria at the end of the placement, she or he then is easily able to find evidence to help tick off those standards as well.
Amanda: That's correct. And we know exactly where we're looking.
Teacher: Fantastic, that's great. To finish off, Amanda, do you have any handy hints for pre-service teachers around their working portfolio?
Amanda: I sure do. Something I found that's worked really well for me is at the beginning, without a tab, before I even get into the chunky information, I like to put my week, because we were doing weekly blocks. So my week on top, and then anything in that specific week that I'll be using right on top so I can easily access it without having to flick through. I also like to go onto Moodle where you very kindly put very detailed information for our daily requirements on there. Always print it out, because that way during the day you can go back and actually tick and flick what you are doing and what you need to do, and it's really good for your teacher to see your actual requirements for the day because if nobody knows what you're supposed to be doing it's easy for things to get missed.
Teacher: Fantastic. I think that's a fantastic hint. Wonderful. And I also see that you've actually got the Standards here, printed out, just as a bit of a reminder for you.
Amanda: In nice clear little dot points. I can go back and go, oh goodness I haven't met that one yet, I'll make sure in my planning that's very specific and that's my evidence for that Standard.
Teacher: Fantastic. Thanks Amanda for coming in today. You've provided a fantastic example for our other students to base their working portfolio. Thank you.