Learning Stories in Educa Teacher Portfolios provide value beyond the classroom, aiding in teacher professional development, mentoring, and raising center standards.
Read on to see how Learning Stories can be used for student teacher mentoring.
Jennifer, You Are Ready!
Jennifer, it has been such a great year for you and the other student teachers. I have very much enjoyed reading your teacher portfolio posts in Educa. Your inquiry project on the Guidance Approach was so interesting.
I was also very proud of the collaboration you did with the other student teachers on using language in the classroom. It was a smart idea to create a Language Inquiry group in Educa so you could have a Teacher Message channel dedicated to that topic. It was clear that being able to invite your peers into your Educa teacher portfolio so you could all compare ideas and work together was helpful to all of you.
I hope you didn’t mind the various Mentor Posts that I made to your teacher portfolio this year. There are so many good ideas floating around right now – inquiry projects, insights – that I could have shared in teacher messages, but wanted to leave in your portfolio as a more permanent record.
We toyed with a number of different teacher standards and philosophies that you could link to your portfolio posts. Educa told us they would add any public framework we request, and we did toy with adding our “123 Charter,” but settled on the NAEYC Ethics standards – which is already in Educa. Part of that choice was to help you all get familiar with them, by scrolling through them every time you make a post.
I was happy to sign off on your Individual Professional Development Plan in your teacher profile in Educa Forms. Your summaries were informative and insightful, I hope you found my comments helpful. Thank you for adding those story links so I could see the Learning Stories and Plans you created for children this year – they are such a gift to families. I also appreciated the essay PDF you attached.
What Learning is Happening Here?
All of the student teachers have gotten so much out of writing Learning Stories for their children, and then applying that same reflective practice to their own development as teachers. Being able to share ideas and take on the ideas of others is an important career booster. And your teacher portfolio is helping to track your growth as a teacher and as a person.
Opportunities and Possibilities. What’s Next?
There is no better way to organize your thoughts than writing about them. Jennifer, the habit of reflective practice will serve you well in the future. I hope you keep up your habit of inquiry, individually and with others. The good news is that you can take your Educa portfolio with you if you move to a new center. We are going to set up a Community of Teachers account in Educa for all the student teachers. The normal Educa community message board home page can be for teachers, and you can create your own inquiry groups if you like. Educa will transfer your portfolios over for you.