We have had our “leap of faith” and the leaper was successful.
One success is great, but what if I told you there were more and those who are not successes right now are on the right path? You would say to me, “What happened?” And I would reply, “Something finally clicked.”
That “click” moment must be what teachers hope and wait for because prior to today, I was pretty sure I was going to witness several funeral pyres. Make no mistake, the students are not “there” yet, but more of them are closer to “there” than they were a week ago and all of them are further along than they were at the start of the semester. There is work to be done. I believe that they will do the work.
Two more presentations of online portfolios (please take a look at Nycole Sheperd’s) and it looks like some of them are listening to the feedback. Even better some of them are acting upon the feedback. Not in that mindless, someone told me to do something and I did it, but in the thoughtful, someone said something and I figured out how to apply their advice, suggestion, or comment to me in my own way. That is the preferred method.
After the presentations came the dreaded by them, but looked forward to by us print portfolios. I came close to shedding a tear at a couple of them. The progress from the first versions is astounding in most of them. No longer is there one student who is trying. This is where the feedback is showing. Each student, except the one who has yet to present another print version, has made leaps.
Print portfolios were turned in looking like books or whatever form they chose. Some of the students are making notes of their own on their copies, such as page numbers in wrong place, or photos that could be better, and even asking for our assistance from us in their notes. Astounding and amazing. Nycole’s print portfolio (see picture) blew us out of the water. She is a gamer and instead of shunting that gamer to the side as she had been, despite her obvious love of gaming, she embraced it. This portfolio is on the road to being outstanding not only for it’s appearance, but the thoughtfulness. On each page you can see that she thought about what, why, where, and then applied her theme.
Progress is being made and there is a sense of pride from a couple of the students. A teacher or in this case an assistant to the teacher couldn’t be happier. So what is next? For them, they take their print portfolios and online portfolios and make them look like the same student did both. Tightening of the writing on both is mandatory. Lastly, making the print portfolio look as close to professional as they can. In other words, several more rounds of printing off proofs and then off to whatever printer they have chosen.
I already have my eye on a couple that I want a copy to put on my bookshelf next to mine. I may not have created them, but I had a hand and I am proud of the work I am seeing. The cover below is Kira’s, her print and online portfolio have been looking good from day one and now on day…whatever are looking even better. Take a look at her, Kira Poncin, site too.