Sample Portfolio Essay #1
My time at Isothermal has greatly affected my life in many ways. Thanks to my time spent at Isothermal, I have decided that upon completion of my education, I hope to be able to work as a Spanish educator at K-12 and college level and as a Spanish-English translator. I have decided on these careers because of my love for the Spanish language and the fact that Spanish educators and translators are in high demand. I also believe that these are career choices with which I will be satisfied even later on in life.
I have included a variety of artifacts in order to reflect the fact that my experience at Isothermal has not been focused on just one aspect of learning. The artifacts show my development not only in writing and reading but also in speaking, math, group work, and many other areas. Through my experiences at Isothermal, I have come to discover my strengths and weaknesses. I learn better alone or in extremely calm and quiet places. I am very easily led astray by distractions. It is much easier for me to learn visually than by just listening. I find even the simplest problems difficult if not given a literal example or interpretation (mainly with math problems). Learning through group work is difficult for me. A collection of more than two people serves as more of a distraction than a learning experience for me. In the process of learning to overcome this weakness I have discovered that if I keep myself concentrated by going over the instructions when I feel distracted and by not participating in unrelated conversations I can successfully complete any group assignment with time to spare. While group work is still a challenge for me, I have through my time at Isothermal learned to work my way through it.
When I first arrived at Isothermal, my skills in many of the education competencies were lacking. However, over the year and a half that I have been here I feel that I have greatly improved in all aspects of my education. I am now more confident in my skills and abilities than I have ever been in my life.
When I first began at Isothermal I believe that my reading and writing skills were about a two. I believe this because I struggled greatly with grammar and spelling, and found long essays a challenge. While at Isothermal I have taken at least six classes that have directly involved this competency (not including classes that involved it indirectly). These classes have not only helped me improve my grammar and spelling but I have also become a much more centered and concentrated writer. I no longer find long essays so challenging. These skills were improved through constant practice and feedback from my instructors. Now that I am nearly done with my degree, I feel that I perform at a level four. I believe this because my artifacts in reading and writing are graded very highly by my instructors. For my reading artifacts, I chose to include a book review of Rites of Spring by Modris Eksteins, an essay on Thomas Hardy's Tess of the d'Urbervilles, and the study guide I completed as I read Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. I chose these because I feel that they are some of the most complicated books I have read. I also included them because I believe they reflect my strength in reading. I received a 95 for the review, a 94 for the essay, and a 100 for the study guide. Before these classes I struggled to understand meanings of books, but now I understand even the most complex of meanings. All of my artifacts in this section reflect the writing competency. I feel that the ones I have chosen really show my improvement in writing as I advanced through my classes. I especially enjoyed my Thomas Hardy essay entitled "Family as a Factor in Failure." I believe it truly exhibits my abilities not only in reading but also in my ability to express my own opinion through writing. I feel that this competency is important to me because, as a teacher, I will need to be able to write properly as well as understand...
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