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Professional Portfolios in Teaching - Essay Example

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It is at this critical juncture that a professional is required to update himself, excel in his respective area and sing the tune of the market. More so for a teacher, because, not only is he supposed to develop himself, he is also required to relay this development to his students, generating an overall improvement in the teaching-learning process.
A comprehensive Professional Portfolio, therefore, would aid continuous development of a teacher besides embellishing his professional competence. Apart from showing professional growth over time in assorted educational situations, a portfolio would provide a venue to undertake reflective thinking, self-provoking exercise and identification of relevant pitfalls. The purposeful and careful documentation of what teachers are doing in school encourages teachers to conduct ongoing self-evaluation and reflection, and provides them with information to guide future self-improvement and professional development. This review process would fuel positive developments in a teacher, and all the while, the benefits would be radiated to the students.
Although it is essential that a teacher document and review his activities to fuel professional development, he must clearly understand the key components of such development. Professionalism, to mature, requires undisputed appreciation of the profession, clear understanding of strengths and weaknesses and a continuous thirst to improve the prevailing state of affairs.

Identification of one's strengths and weakness is the very first step towards any development. Professional development does not mean random application of development interventions to an individual professional. It stands for need-based and priority-focussed development process and entails, as a prerequisite, a clear identification of strengths and weaknesses.

Like any other real-time service providing, interactive and hugely sensitive professions, self-reflection is crucial in teaching. This may be the only infallible, absolute characteristic of all good teachers. Good teachers routinely think about and reflect on their classes, their students, their methods, and their materials. They compare and contrast, draw parallels and distinctions, review, remove and restore. By doing this, they identify and develop an inventory of their strengths and weaknesses. This inventory, when subjected to analysis and prioritisation, would suggest areas that need attention. This platform would guide identification of development priorities and appropriate interventions. Developing a professional portfolio would enable teachers to review their progress and guide them towards more improvements (Edgerton, Hutchings, and Quinlan, 1991).

While it is very important that a teacher understands his strengths and weaknesses, it would be incomplete if not demonstrated adequately. He must ensure that his strengths are appropriately applied for the overall improvement in the teaching-learning process while continuing to develop himself as a teaching professional. In the meantime, while it is important that his allied weaknesses are properly communicated, a teacher must review them and ensure that the impacts are minimal. In the longer run efforts must be made to minimise them.

In this tune, opportunities are to be explored and created by a teaching professional to demonstrate his positive and negative attributes. It is essential, ...Show more
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Summary

While Professional Portfolios are being used to provide substantiation of the various skills and abilities that is desired in a teaching candidate, they allow teachers to present their qualifications, experiences and accomplishments in a manner that can distinguish themselves far ahead of their counterparts…
Professional Portfolios in Teaching
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