Common ErrorsRevision

Common Errors in Writing Portfolio Essays

Teachers need to be able to articulate what informs their teaching (what they know), and how they teach (what they do/demonstrate). Portfolios should focus on demonstrated knowledge and skills:

  1. Not addressing the rubric criteria.

  2. Naming persons and schools.

  3. Referencing IWU course numbers rather than name or type of course (audience).

  4. Not referencing standard indicators, so fail to speak comprehensively to standard.

  5. Trying to address every indicator individually. It is ok to write holistically, but be sure the essay and evidence speak comprehensively to each standard.

  6. Being too general, simply repeating phrases from standards, or asserting one has meet standard without specific examples of mastery.

  7. No evidence list included; not fully developed drafts.

  8. Misinterpreting standard, indicating need to study it more closely. Confusing one standard with another.

  9. Examples not connected to or illustrative of specific standard being addressed.

  10. Poor writing (LAS 2): clarity, coherence, grammar, syntax, wordiness, repetition, audience. Casual language, phrasing, style.

  11. References to “the class,” “we discussed,” instead of “what I have learned and demonstrated I know and can do.”

  12. Writing of one’s learning process rather than current state of knowledge and skills-what one knows and can do. Or, writing about what one “aims” to do, rather than what one does or has done. Similarly, writing about what one believes or feels, rather than what one knows and is able to do.

  13. Pre-student teachers (9th sem) submission of “can’t reflect because not yet student taught” statements. These students need to look back at how, through previous coursework and field experiences, they have partially met standards. They should also look ahead as to what experiences to plan for during student teaching. In sum, pre-student teachers’ reflections should be retrospective, as well as forward-looking.

  14. Not citing full reference to articles, books or materials discussed as artifacts.

Revising Draft Essay

  1. Follow file naming style, Proofread, spell check, visit writing tutor (2nd read).

  2. Write brief intro and conclusion (2-3 sentences).

  3. Tie together knowledge and performance. Discuss what you know AND how you apply your knowledge.

  4. Less process more on outcome (impact).

  5. Include sample student's work (if possible) or provide illustrative example to show evidence of impact.