Teaching Portfolios and Reflection

It is essential to regularly reflect on teaching, and I do this after every class that I teach. When a course is over and I receive my student Student Surveys of Instruction, I begin another round of reflection. It is at this point, beyond the feedback that I get from students during the class that is usually favorable, that I receive the feedback that some students may be unsure about sharing. I am happy that my current college writing students are not so shy, but I am critiquing my college writing II class from Fall 2010 as a result of the no-holds barred comments that I received from students. This is a constructive process, because I want to make my classes as successful and engaging as possible for my future students. It is unfortunate that I only hear some of these complaints now, after the fact, but it is worthwhile that student voices can be included in the reflective process of their teachers.

Along with this process of reflection and reviewing student comments, I am also putting together the most thorough teaching portfolio that I have ever done. I have the beginnings of a teaching portfolio from past exercises and most recently from putting together a packet for the Midwestern Association of Graduate School’s Excellence in Teaching Award. In the packet that I am assembling now, I am thinking about and justifying certain elements of my portfolio. I am working through the rationalizations and results of particular choices that I have made as a composition instructor at Kent State. This is all very useful work for my development as a teacher, and it is giving me additional ideas about how to conclude my current college writing class and expand my future college writing classes.