Video on Portfolios

This is Tina here.  I thought I might as well jump right in here and post this.  I just finished up marking the kids’ portfolios in class with them for the last two days.  It was hectic, sure, but not as bad as wasting a perfectly-good grading day.  I figure why spend that nice quiet time marking up their portfolios when I could spend it doing other things that actually require my attention.  I could mark up the portfolios in my sleep so I thought, “Why not take two days in class to just have the kids bring me their work one by one and I can mark their papers right there beside them?  Hey. I can call it “conferencing” with them if admin asks.  Which they didn’t.

These portfolios are basically a great smoke-and-mirrors tactic to make it look like kids are learning stuff.  I mean, they are learning TONS.  I see it every day.  I can tell.  I am a teacher.  A professional language educator.  I have been doing this for years.  I do not need to circle boxes on a rubric to let me know that I am teaching them stuff.

But my admin wants to see progress.  The kids like to see progress.  So, I make portfolios.  If I had my way I would just teach and never assess, EVER.  Like, ever.  I pretty much hate it.  But if it gets admin off my back, then I will do it.

So, I made this video on portfolios and here it is.  It might help someone else.  Just, please, do not grade these outside of class.  Have the kids do some busywork (that’s what the “reflection sheets” were for) and call ’em up one by one, and grade them right there.

The less time we spend looking at what the kids “got” and the more time we can spend giving it to them, the more they will grow.

But by the same token, I sure ain’t planning to give up my precious quiet hours of my grading day, to do something that I could do with the kids there with me.



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