The end of the year is a traditional time for reflection. Regardless of the date on the calendar, you can gather artifacts throughout the school year to build a professional portfolio. From examples of lesson plans, pictures of classroom celebrations, and video clips, Spark Page is an excellent tool for creating teacher portfolios!
If you’ve made your way to my site before, you know I’m a big fan of the free Spark tools. They are fantastic, totally free options for student creators. Whether students are making movies with Spark Video, websites with Spark Page, or graphics with Spark Post, there are lots of curriculum connections. So how can educators use these tools to showcase their work?
Professional Portfolio for Teachers
A professional portfolio captures the memorable moments from your teaching career. It highlights accomplishments and gives you a space for reflection and goal setting. Creating a professional portfolio with a tool like Spark Page lets you tell the story of your work on a blank canvas. You can include movies you’ve created with Spark Video, images you’ve created with Spark Post, and links to content hosted on other places on the web.
Although you might create a portfolio when searching for a new position in your district or before interviewing at a new school, you can pause at the beginning, middle or end of the school year to strategically gather items to share. Since Spark Page is a website creation tool, you can add and edit throughout the school year to update your portfolio with new details. On the list below you’ll find a few examples of items you might include.
When you open up Spark Page, you can add a background image, title, and header right away. The buttons with a plus sign will prompt you to add new content to your page as you scroll down. If you haven’t used Spark Page before, try out the search feature when adding photos to find images you can add to your website. In addition to a title and image for your header, you might also include a paragraph to introduce yourself.
Establishing a Philosophy
A powerful component of a professional portfolio is a philosophy. Use this spot to discuss why you became an educator and your beliefs about the power of education. In the screenshot below, you can see how I included a quote layered on an image. This is an image I created using Spark Post similar to the steps outlined in this blog post. Sharing quotes that inspire you is a great way to bring your philosophy on education to life.
As you scroll down your Spark Page, each plus sign button prompts you to add more media to your website. You can include photographs from special events or a paragraph about a notable moment from your school year or career. The text button gives options for alignment, emphasis, and organization like bullets or numbered lists. You’ll also find the option to add a button that links to content hosted somewhere else on the Internet. If your class was highlighted in a local news article, you could add a button with a link to the online feature.
Do you have videos you would like to include? The video option gives you the choice of adding a Spark Video creation or embedding a Vimeo or YouTube hosted video. If you’ve snapped lots of pictures and don’t have a video to share, you might decide to add a photo grid or glideshow.
Student Work Samples
Student work samples are often a component of professional portfolios. If you have permission to share student work you can snap a photograph and upload it to your Spark Page. The space for the caption can be used to describe the activity. If you don’t have an image to share, use the text option to provide information about a favorite activity. The text option also lets you add a link to an outside resource.
Reflections and Goals
A professional portfolio can capture important moments of your career and communicate your mission as an educator. It’s also a spot to share reflections and goals. You might decide to create a video reflection with Spark Video to embed in your Spark Page. Alternatively, try listing goals for the upcoming school year with bullets or series of photos.
Creating a professional portfolio isn’t about a job search. It’s a chance to celebrate your great work from this school year and years past. With Spark Page, you can showcase accomplishments, discuss your philosophy as an educator, and celebrate the work of your students!
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Best, Dr. Monica Burns - Founder of ClassTechTips.com