Life experiences are a part of personal learning, and good teachers share a variety of their life lessons with their students. Teachers-in-training are often asked to develop a portfolio to demonstrate their competency based on state teaching standards. They may also be called upon to add "artifact" reports to support their reflections on their life lessons and what they learned from them. Artifacts are examples of those experiences that demonstrate competency gained from life lessons. Artifacts should be carefully chosen, professionally presented and personally meaningful. Writing a reflective or artifact report helps to demonstrate competency and gain course credits toward meeting the state teaching standards.
Collect all relevant artifacts that support and provide proof of competency for the teaching course or standard being pursued. Choose artifacts from the course work such as essays, curriculum plans, peer critiques, research projects or projects. Choose artifacts from field work such as assessment plans, field logs, journals and notes from teachers, parents or students. Include awards and certificates, conferences attended, volunteer and community-related service.
Review the standards for courses and choose the artifacts that best exemplify the standards of the course that have been met.
Write a "reflection" or artifact report that describes an event, experience or artifact that includes the relevant details. Analyze the strength and weakness as it applies to the learning standard. Explain the quality of the experience and the reasons it was judged as such.
Explain what was learned from the artifact and why it was chosen, as it is important the artifact have personal meaning and significance. Relate what was learned in terms of standards, theory, coursework and practice.
Conclude the report by identifying ways for future development and improvement in regards to meeting the course standards. Describe goals over time for professional development.
A carefully chosen artifact demonstrates teaching competencies. Remember that the artifact should address the standards, be visible and have a good written, audio or video reflective statement.
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