Portfolio of Professional Experience
The philosophy of teaching and statement of personal goals will be submitted by May 31 (for those whose contract began in April) and October 31 (for those whose contract began in September) at the beginning of each academic year to all the directors of the GTI. The remaining portion of the portfolio will be submitted by March 31 of each academic year (for those whose contract began in April) or August 31 of each academic year (for those whose contract began in September) to all the directors of the GTI.
The portfolio of professional experience at TIU is to be collected by all GTFs participating in the system. In essence the portfolio should illustrate the reflective process that each individual has gone through. Experience shows that compiling the portfolio progressively, over a series of semesters, is preferable to putting it together close to the due date (see time frames below). The latter method reduces the portfolio to a highly stressful and labor-intensive ‘assignment’, rather than a useful and creative document that reflects professional growth over a period of time. There are opportunities to discuss the portfolio with GTI management in the time leading up to its submission (as outlined in the section on lesson observations).
Once submitted, each portfolio receives a close reading by one member of GTI management (although all portfolios are looked through and discussed by the management team as a whole). This reader, the Director or Associate Director who conducts the class observations in spring semester, then offers the portfolio author an opportunity to discuss its contents in a feedback meeting. However, this meeting is not mandatory – it is the participant’s decision as to whether this meeting is held or not (and whatever decision is taken has no bearing whatsoever on contract renewal).
The composition of the portfolio will differ from one individual to another. Each GTF has the freedom to produce an artifact that they think best reflects themselves as professionals.
- Do NOT include materials from formal lesson/session observations (see below), as GTI management already has all this documentation.
- You may submit the portfolio in any format (eg. binder, folder, online/cloud-based).
Content of the Portfolio
a) Philosophy of Teaching
Please include, at the beginning of your portfolio, a brief statement outlining your philosophy of teaching (suggested length one A4 page). This self-reflective statement should first outline your beliefs about teaching and learning and second discuss how you put your beliefs into practice. Include concrete examples of what you do in your work.
b) Statement of Personal Goals:
Please include two statements with your personal goals for your professional development (a) in your first semester and (b) after two years in the GTI. That is, we would like you to consider in what ways you would like, or need, to develop in the field of language education. For example: 1) if you have a strong teaching background you may wish to focus on developing your research skills and/or 2) if you have not used technology much in your classes you may be interested in developing that experience and/or 3) if you do not have much experience in collaboratively developing instructional materials you may wish to focus on that area.
In essence what you choose to include in your portfolio should document the ways in which you have gone about trying to achieve your goals.
Apart from including a statement of personal goals, all other content is up to you. Some suggested content categories that you might like to consider are provided below.
c) Examples of instructional materials prepared and trialed, together with reports of such trials Instructional materials refer to materials prepared within any course or workshop; as the main focus of the learning or as supplemental to existing texts or materials. A report on the instructional materials can contain an outline of the rationale for preparing the materials, examples of the materials, links to online resources, a description of the trialing (when, who, etc), data gained as a result of the trialing, and reflections on the data, as well as any other information the teacher/learning advisor feels is important.
d) Reports of collaborative or individual action research
These reports can include details of who was involved, an outline of the research conducted, the findings and interpretations, and any action that was taken as a result of this research.
e) Reports of peer classroom visits or peer advising sessions made or received
Peer observation is strongly encouraged in the GTI. Any materials and reflections derived from peer observation are welcome to be included in the portfolio.
f) Papers and/or presentations made at professional meetings
This category can include presentations at conferences, in-house, PR events, etc; it can be in the form of a formal paper, a presentation written up as a long summary (including the main points of the paper or salient results), or a handout-version of a PowerPoint.
g) Informal student evaluations
The portfolio may include reflections on formal and/or informal student evaluations by the teacher or learning advisor. Informal student evaluations are those that are administered by individuals within a course or module as a whole. They may be quantitative or qualitative. Formal student evaluations are administered by the university at the end of each semester (note: formal student evaluations already form one component of the formal evaluative component). If you are planning on conducting a survey, please contact the Director of GTI to complete all the required documents authenticating ethical behavior.
h) GTF self-evaluation
A GTF can undertake a self-evaluation of teaching/advising experiences. The self-evaluation would give the individual the opportunity to reflect on areas of work experience that are considered to have been performed effectively, and those areas that are perceived to need improvement or further development. This self-evaluation can then be used, if desired, to establish criteria for peer observations.
i) Workshops, Courses, and/or Conferences attended
In addition to recording attendance at such professional development activities, some reflection on the relevance or usefulness of the presentations/courses would be deemed most appropriate. Of particular interest would be conference presentations made, particularly presentations about TIU-related teaching or research.
j) Informal Discussions
A GTF may wish to keep a record of informal discussions with peers – and reflect on the usefulness, relevance or appropriateness of what was discussed. This could include, for example, discussions held as part of staff meetings.
k) Committee Work
GTFs are very active committee members in the Plaza (conversation lounge, advising, workshops, technology and cafe) and in various other manners. Information about such activities can make interesting and useful contributions to the portfolio, and can be particularly helpful evidence in support of future job applications.
l) Participation in Extra-Curricular Activities
GTFs are often active in areas other than teaching, coordinating, researching and similar contractual obligations. Reports and reflections on such activities are also appropriate for the portfolio. Some examples are: organizing GTI sports events, involvement in student clubs, speech and essay contest participation, performing at the Kawagoe Festival, and creating a lunchtime reading group for students.