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Monday, November 19, 2012

Teaching portfolio

Well, I managed to go the entire five weeks of the Blendkit course (and then some) without actually blogging about it (or about anything else for that matter). For awhile I was mired in mid-semester grading (I thought I was being so smart the way I spread out exams and papers but instead, as soon as I finished one stack, there was another one coming in), and then, well, life happened. I'll try to catch up with the blended stuff eventually...

One of the things that has been distracting me is putting together my 'teaching portfolio'. My chair would like to nominate me for a teaching award, which is very cool, but I need to put together a teaching portfolio that he can submit with his nomination. Although I have a statement about my teaching that I wrote for my tenure and promotion reviews, this portfolio needs to be much more extensive. Specifically, the guidelines for the award say it should include "such items as: recommendation letter(s), summaries of student evaluations and evidence of awards, content expertise, instructional design and/or delivery, mentoring, student accomplishments, and commitment to improving pedagogical practice." Unfortunately, I don't think I can tell the committee to just read my blog so I've been trying to organize and succinctly explain all the various things I do in my classes. I found a couple of good resources about what should be in a teaching portfolio and that has helped a lot with the organization part; I'm still working on 'succinctly explain' part...

One of the unexpected benefits of doing this has been that I can see, in one place, all the things I've accomplished with my teaching. It's only been a couple of years since I went up for promotion to full professor but my teaching portfolio contains a lot of information that wasn't really explicit in my RTP files. And while I do use this blog as a way to chronicle the various things I try in the classroom, going through and systematically listing those things has been kind of neat. As we slog through the daily ups and downs of classes, it's too easy to get lost in the weeds; it's good to step back and look at the overall picture and realize how much we've actually accomplished. I highly recommend it... 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Happy Friday!

Life has gotten the better of me the last few weeks but I hope to have some new posts up soon. In the meantime, this popped up in my Facebook feed and I just had to share:

And remember, no matter how you feel about the election results, the one thing we can all be happy about is that the campaign is over!