About the Portfolio: An Emphasis on Student Voice
The ProTeach Portfolio provides an opportunity to demonstrate your effective teaching, professional development and professional contributions through student-based evidence in three entries: 1) Professional Growth and Contributions, 2) Building a Learning Community and 3) Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment.
The ProTeach Portfolio is a compilation of evidence and commentary demonstrating your positive impact on student learning through reflective practice. A critical component of the portfolio, and of Washington reform, is the ways in which the teacher provides evidence of practice through student voice. Student voice is a particular type of evidence or artifact. It refers to evidence of learning from the students' perspective(s). The term "voice" is not meant to imply that this evidence must be oral or even verbal.
An Example of Student Voice
Student performance improves when students understand the purpose of a lesson or activity and the intended learning target. Students should focus on the intended knowledge, skill or behavior that the lesson is designed to encourage. Consider, for example, a persuasive writing lesson. Students may be divided into two groups, one that will write a pro argument for school uniforms while the other group writes the con argument against school uniforms. While the intent is for students to develop persuasive writing skills, students may easily think the point of the lesson is about whether the school's authority to require school uniforms is right or wrong. If the teacher engages in dialogue about the purpose of this activity and elicits students' comments about the learning targets — in this case, making a persuasive argument in writing — he or she is taking the steps to collect evidence of student voice. Without intentionally seeking evidence in student voice, these more subtle student misunderstandings may go completely undetected and unaddressed.
What are the components of this assessment?
The portfolio assessment is comprised of three entries. The 3 standards and 12 criteria are measured across the three entries. Entry 1, Professional Growth and Contributions, measures your analysis of and reflection on professional growth and its impact on student learning. Entry 2, Building a Learning Community, measures your description and analysis of the learning environment established in the single class or classroom. Entry 3, Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment, measures your analysis of and reflection on the curriculum, instruction and assessment and their impact on three focus students.
How should my portfolio be designed?
You will be required to submit responses to all three entries. The directions for each entry list the criteria that are measured by the entry. While additional criteria may seem to fit well within a given entry, your response will be scored only for those criteria listed as measured within the entry.
Although the three entries are stand-alone documents, Entry 1 is designed to offer guidance as you work through Entries 2 and 3. Entry 1 emphasizes the process of professional growth: describing, analyzing and reflecting on your practice to determine the strengths of your skills and content knowledge. You do not need to do Entry 1 in its entirety first, but it is suggested that you start with Entry 1 to reflect on your practice before working on the other two entries. Once you have completed the Needs Assessment and established your goals as directed in Entry 1, you should go on to respond to the other entries.
The individual sections for each entry include:
- Entry Overview
- Standards & Criteria Measured in This Entry
- What You Have to Do for This Entry
- How to Compose Your Written Commentary
- Steps to Completing the Entry
- Guiding Prompts
- Student and Adult Release Forms
- School/Class Profile
- Rubric for Criteria Measured
What do I have to write for the entries?
The heart of your portfolio will be the evidence you submit in response to the three entries demonstrating your practice relative to the 3 standards and 12 criteria. Each entry will contain your written commentary as well as artifacts from your teaching practice, including teacher and student work samples in student voice, or evidence of learning from the student perspective. Specifically for Entry 3, Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment, your submission will focus on your capacity to engage students in analyzing and reflecting on their learning, and use this evidence to analyze your impact on their learning. In this commentary, you will provide evidence of your impact on student learning as it has taken place over time.
Writing Responses for the Entries with the Use of Student Voice
For each portfolio entry, carefully review the:
- Standards & Criteria
- Entry directions
As you review these documents, you will notice the expectation of reflection and feedback from the learner on their learning and their learning process (use of students' perspective). That is, the learning process should be demystified for students so they can take an active role in their learning and, as a result, achieve higher-quality outcomes. An essential way to determine this engagement is through "student voice." As stated above, student voice is a particular type of evidence or artifact. It refers to evidence of learning from the students' perspective(s). The term "voice" is not meant to imply that this evidence must be oral or even verbal. The use of student voice is a key part of the education reform movement in Washington.
A completed ProTeach Portfolio will consist of:
- School/Class Profile — The purpose of the profile is to provide a description of your classroom, school, district and community setting. The profile is located within the private, secure website you will use to build your ProTeach Portfolio entries. It is not scored.
- Your responses to the three entries, which will include descriptions, analysis of and reflection on your professional growth, planning and implementation of instructional units, classroom procedures and/or other elements of your teaching practice and how you engage students in analysis of and reflection on their own learning. This evidence should demonstrate how you engage student voice in your practice.
- Reflections on what you've learned during your time as a teacher.
- What have you learned about your practice?
- What went well as you responded to each entry?
- What went less well?
- What would you do differently next time?
- What are your next steps?