Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Professional Portfolio

UPDATED 4-19-14:  The pages that were created for this portfolio have been combined in their entirety into a one page archive, "Professional Portfolio Archive"

Today, I publish and present my Professional Portfolio. This portfolio was developed in conjunction with my internship experience for EDL 770, for my Educational Specialist program at Grand Valley State University. My goal was to create this portfolio in a completely digital format. You can link to my documents and presentations housed in Google Docs and on YouTube. This portfolio will continue to be updated to reflect new experiences and valuable resources as they are discovered. The portfolio components are contained within the tabs beginning with About Me through Policy that you see above. The home tab will remain my blog posting page.

I already have list of resources I want to add!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Eye of the Beholder

Sandhill Cranes a few miles from my home
Not everyone gets as excited as I do in March and April when Sandhill Cranes and loons are migrating though West Michigan on their way north to their summer breeding grounds. For the past 20 years, at least one loon has stopped by for a week or so on Pettys Bayou near my home. A few days ago, my husband spotted a sizable flock of migrating Sandhill Cranes in a corn field nearby. I think they are beautiful birds and I'm fascinated by their prehistoric-sounding call. And, again, not everyone agrees with me.

You can't see the birds in the video below, but about halfway through, you can hear their call.

This got me thinking about the  "good teacher"/"bad teacher" discussions surrounding education reform. In particular, about the following quote: "Everyone knows a bad teacher." Each time I read it, I wonder, what exactly is a "bad teacher?"

The characteristics that define a "good teacher" or "bad teacher" are as subjective as those that define a "beautiful bird." However, I suspect that both definitions are in the eye of the beholder.

How do you define a "good teacher"? "bad teacher?"

4-3-11 Update: When You Have a Problem with a Mediocre Teacher . . . Hat tip to Terie Engelbrecht @mrsebiology -- Thank you!

The above article breaks down difficulties with problem teachers into three categories: committing an immoral act, insubordination, and incompetence. It makes sense to me as an educator. However, there seems to be a significant difference in how the general public makes these distinctions.

In today's local news, a high school teacher was arrested for an immoral act and placed on unpaid leave, yet a number of the comments from the public indicate some feel this doesn't make him a "bad teacher."

In another situation, a very competent teacher was considered a "bad teacher" by parents because the teacher held a student--their child--accountable for unacceptable behavior.

I don't have answers to this, but the disconnect is frustrating.