Thursday, January 6, 2011

First Time With Portfolios ... Preschool

 I had a contract position at a work based long day care centre which really had a long history with portfolios and documentation. They did amazing work and the educators there really knew their stuff. It didn’t matter if they were an ECT or a Diploma or an Assistant ... they had focus children and they did the work. The staff were mentored by the ECTs as well as the very hands-on director and they worked together in this way to create relevant portfolios for the children in their care.

I had seven portfolios and the children were going to school at the end of the year. I remember being really overwhelmed by the task. I am not sure how relevant my work actually was, but I am sure if I was lagging behind, I would have been supported and guided in the direction they wanted me to go. We also all shared a computer in the staff room ... There were I think 8 or 9 staff who maintained portfolios and shared one desk and one computer in the staff room, occasionally the administrators computer and there were a couple of computers in the rooms to maintain the daily reflective journals.

I can’t remember how much portfolio time I had, but I think it might have been an hour and a half every fortnight or something along those lines. My colleagues put in so much effort and time on their books ~ including working on the weekends. I did some work at home as I was under so much pressure I felt for maintaining the books at a certain standard. I honestly don’t know if I did that ... I think I might have been a bit out of my depth at the time. I know that it was all in my own head.

It was the first time I had ever done anything like that and I felt that there was so much pressure because everyone else had had so much practice!  I remember that some of the educators took their books home each weekend and worked on them for hours.  I understand that portfolios are a valuable tool, but I think it’s too easy to get obsessed and too involved. It’s important to maintain balance and have a life!

So that was my first ever time with portfolios ... Other than that, I don’t remember much! I thankfully had the foresight to take photos of some of my work so I could remember where I came from in my professional journal!

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