IntroductionProfessional Photo

After having grown up in a farming community near Mt. Rainier and going to school in Pullman, WA, moving to the big city of Seattle was a bit of a culture shock. I’ve lived here for more than a year now, and I’ve found that I love it more than I loved living in small country towns (or unincorporated King County). I graduated from Washington State University with a degree in psycology and a minor in English writing, so I spend my free time masquerading as a writer. I have two dogs, whom I spoil terribly, a passion for any meal involving salmon and Brussels sprouts, and a flattened penny collection from all the places I have visited in the US. I have worked as a preschool teacher for two years now and I love it, but I am excited to move on to elementary education.

Interest and Experience in Education

All my life I have loved kids. Even in middle and high school, I was babysitting or playing with my friends’ young siblings, or my cousins’ kids. In college, I nannied to pay for books and rent, and later I took education classes. I volunteered with kids from preschool to middle school with the thought that I would be later going back to university for a counseling degree. Once out of school though, I needed work, and one of the options for working in education was teaching preschool. I took my first job in Sammamish as an assistant preschool teacher, and later switched to a job in Kirkland where I was the lead teacher in my own classroom. The class didn’t exist until I was there, so I got to build it from the ground up. This was a very exciting opportunity for me, and I found that I really enjoyed being in charge of my own classroom. Planning and implementing the curriculum was exciting, challenging, and allowed me to be creative (which I love). Every day is interesting and fun, and even my more difficult days are rewarding. I’ve discovered that teaching is what I love and am passionate about, and I am excited to see what the future has in store.

Purpose of this Portfolio

This portfolio shows knowledge and skills I am acquiring as an emerging teacher as I pursue my teaching certificate at Seattle Pacific University. Entries will be guided by program standards outlined below. These standards have replaced the HOPE standards, which are listed below the program standards.

1. ExpectationsThe teacher communicates high expectations for student learning.
  • 1.1 Demonstrating Knowledge of Content and Pedagogy
    • E.g. Teacher recognizes the value of understanding students’ interests and cultural heritage and displays this knowledge for groups of students.
  • 1.2 Communicating with Students
    • Teacher’s explanation of content is appropriate and connects with students’ knowledge and experience.
  • 1.3 Engaging Students in Learning
    • The lesson has a clearly defined structure around which the activities are organized. Pacing of the lesson is generally appropriate.
2. Instruction – The teacher uses research-based instructional practices to meet the needs of all students.
  • 2.1 Using Questioning and Discussion Techniques
    • Most of the teacher’s questions are of high quality. Adequate time is provided for students to respond.
  • 2.2 Engaging Students in Learning
    • Most activities and assignments are appropriate to students, and almost all students are cognitively engaged in exploring content.
  • 2.3 Reflecting on Teaching
    • Teacher makes an accurate assessment of a lesson’s effectiveness and the extent to which it achieved its instructional outcomes and can cite general references to support the judgment.
3. Differentiation – The teacher acquires and uses specific knowledge about students’ cultural, individual intellectual and social development and uses that knowledge to adjust their practice by employing strategies that advance student learning.
  • 3.1 Demonstrating Knowledge of Students
    • Teacher recognizes the value of understanding students’ skills, knowledge, and language proficiency and displays this knowledge for groups of – students.
  • 3.2 Demonstrating Flexibility and Responsiveness in Lesson Adjustments
    • Teacher makes a minor adjustment to a lesson, and the adjustment occurs smoothly.
  • 3.3 Demonstrating Flexibility and Responsiveness in Persisting to Support Students
    • Teacher persists in seeking approaches for students who have difficulty learning, drawing on a broad repertoire of strategies.
4. Content Knowledge – The teacher uses content area knowledge, learning standards, appropriate pedagogy and resources to design and deliver curricula and instruction to impact student learning.
  • 4.1 Demonstrating Knowledge of Content and Pedagogy
    • Teacher’s plans and practice reflect familiarity with a wide range of effective pedagogical approaches in the discipline.
  • 4.2 Setting Instructional Outcomes
    • All the instructional outcomes are clear, written in the form of student learning. Most suggest viable methods of assessment.
  • 4.3 Designing Coherent Instruction in the area of Learning Activities
    • All of the learning activities are suitable to students or to the instructional outcomes, and most represent significant cognitive challenge, with some differentiation for different groups of students.
  • 4.4 Designing Coherent Instruction in the area of Lesson and Unit Structure
    • The lesson or unit has a clearly defined structure around which activities are organized. Progression of activities is even, with reasonable time allocations.
5. Learning Environment – The teacher fosters and manages a safe and inclusive learning environment that takes into account: physical, emotional and intellectual well-being.
  • 5.1 Creating an Environment of Respect and Rapport
    • Teacher-student interactions are friendly and demonstrate general caring and respect. Such interactions are appropriate to the age and cultures of the students. Students exhibit respect for the teacher.
  • 5.2 Managing Classroom Procedures through Transitions
    • Transitions occur smoothly, with little loss of instructional time.
  • 5.3 Managing Classroom Procedures through Performance of Noninstructional Duties
    • Efficient systems for performing noninstructional duties are in place, resulting in minimal loss of instructional time.
  • 5.4 Managing Student Behavior by Establishing Expectations
    • Standards of conduct are clear to all students.
  • 5.5 Managing Student Behavior by Monitoring
    • Teacher is alert to student behavior at all times.
6. Assessment – The teacher uses multiple data elements (both formative and summative) to plan, inform and adjust instruction and evaluate student learning.
  • 6.1 Designing Student Assessments around Criteria and Standards
    • Assessment criteria and standards are clear.
  • 6.2 Designing Student Assessments with an Emphasis on Formative Assessment
    • Teacher has a well-developed strategy to using formative assessment and has designed particular approaches to be used.
  • 6.3 Designing Student Assessments to Inform Planning
    • Teacher plans to use assessment results to plan for future instruction for groups of students.
  • 6.4 Using Assessment to Provide Feedback to Students
    • Teacher’s feedback to students is timely and of consistently high quality.
7. Families and Community – The teacher communicates and collaborates with students, families and all educational stakeholders in an ethical and professional manner to promote student learning.
  • 7.1 Communicating with Families
    • Teacher communicates with families about students’ progress on a regular basis, respecting cultural norms, and is available as needed to respond to family concerns.
8. Professional Practice – The teacher participates collaboratively in the educational community to improve instruction, advance the knowledge and practice of teaching as a profession, and ultimately impact student learning.
  • 8.1 Participating in a Professional Community
    • Relationships with colleagues are characterized by mutual support and cooperation.
  • 8.2 Growing and Developing Professionally
    • Teacher welcomes feedback from colleagues when made by supervisors or when opportunities arise through professional collaboration.
Principles of Hope

H – Honor student diversity, development and their right to learn.

H1 – Honor student diversity and development.
Teacher candidates plan and/or adapt learner centered curricula that engage students in a variety of culturally responsive, developmentally, and age appropriate strategies.

H2 – Honor student access to content material.
Teacher candidates use multiple instructional strategies, including the principles of second language acquisition, to address student academic language ability levels and cultural and linguistic backgrounds.

H3 – Honor the classroom/school community as a milieu for learning.
Teacher candidates implement classroom/school centered instruction, including sheltered instruction that is connected to communities within the classroom and the school, and includes knowledge and skills for working with others.

H4 – Honor family/community involvement in the learning process.
Teacher candidates inform, involve, and collaborate with families/neighborhoods, and communities in each student’s educational process, including using information about student cultural identity, achievement and performance.

H5 – Honor student potential for roles in the greater society.
Teacher candidates prepare students to be responsible citizens for an environmentally sustainable, globally interconnected, and diverse society.

O – Offer an organized and challenging curriculum.

O1. – Offer an organized curriculum aligned to standards and outcomes.
Teacher candidates align instruction to the learning standards and outcomes so all students know the learning targets and their progress toward meeting them.

O2. – Offer appropriate challenge in the content area.
Teacher candidates plan and/or adapt curricula that are standards driven so students develop understanding and problem-solving expertise in the content area(s) using reading, written and oral communication, and technology.

P – Practice effective teaching: inquiry, planning, instruction & assessment.

P1 – Practice intentional inquiry and planning for instruction.
Teacher candidates plan and/or adapt standards-based curricula that are personalized to the diverse needs of each student.

P2 – Practice differentiated instruction.
Teacher candidates apply principles of differentiated instruction, including theories of language acquisition, stages of language, and academic language development, in the integration of subject matter across the content areas of reading, mathematical, scientific, and aesthetic reasoning.

P3 – Practice standards-based assessment.
Teacher candidates use standards-based assessment that is systematically analyzed using multiple formative, summative, and self-assessment strategies to monitor and improve instruction.

P4 – Practice the integration of appropriate technology with instruction.
Teacher candidates use technology that is effectively integrated to create technologically proficient learners.

E – Exemplify service to the teaching profession.

E1 – Exemplify professionally-informed, growth-centered practice.
Teacher candidates develop reflective, collaborative, professional growth-centered practices through regularly evaluating the effects of his/her teaching through feedback and reflection.

E2 – Exemplify collaboration within the school.
Teacher candidates participate collaboratively and professionally in school activities and using appropriate and respectful verbal and written communication.

E3 – Exemplify an understanding of professional responsibilities and policies.
Teacher candidates demonstrate knowledge of professional, legal, and ethical responsibilities and policies.


Elements of a Model Entry

There are different formats for writing portfolio entries. However, responding to writing prompts 1-6 increases the likelihood of writing a quality entry, that attends to current and desired performance on professional knowledge and skills, and impact on K-12 student learning.

1. Citation of the program standard (one standard from HOPE principles) along with an interpretation of what the standard means.

2. Presentation of evidence with description. The description includes context and related research or theory associated with the creation of the evidence.

3. Justification of how the evidence demonstrates competence, or emerging competence, on the program standard.

4. Summary of what was learned as a result of creating the evidence or having the experience.

5. Comment on the implications for student learning.

6. Propose specific changes or next steps to increase effectiveness in the area under examination.


One thought on “Professional

  1. Hello,
    My name is Alicia M. Highland and I am a Master of Education student at the University of Washington doing research on multicultural education in Seattle. I would like to gain more insight on the experiences of Turkish communities in the Seattle area, particularly in relation to education in public schools (grades kindergarten-8th).

    I am hoping to hear perspectives that will help to inform educational practices, this can include ways to educate Turkish students in a culturally competent way. If there is a resource (place or individual) that I can reach out to, I’d really appreciate the help. Thank you and look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Alicia M. Highland
    Master of Education: Science Education (IslandWood). Candidate
    Education for Environment and Community (EEC) Instructor
    University of Washington
    Bainbridge Island, WA
    Cell: 330.958.2893

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