BLOG AMENDMENT | 07/04/2019

I wanted to add a quick comment about this blog before you read it.

Having looked back over this post with a pair of fresh eyes, I can now see that I was in a reactive state when I wrote it. While I was proactive in putting out my level three portfolio for review, the tone of my post was more of a vent; however, I want to leave this blog up in its original form.

It’s important for teachers to see when we should process information a bit more before responding to feedback. I also wrote a follow up article called ‘From Bitter to Better - How Critical Strangers Helped Me Learn From Failure’.

I strongly urge you to read this blog post once you are finished.

During this calendar year I submitted my Level 3 Classroom Teacher (L3CT) portfolio for assessment to the Department of Education. Not many people submit a L3CT portfolio so actually planning, draft and publishing one is a huge achievement in itself. However around August I received the news that my L3CT portfolio was unsuccessful. I was of the belief that I would be able to bank a couple of competencies at least. I had prepared myself for failure however the amount by which I failed truly shocked me. 

Here is a breakdown of my L3CT portfolio scores. 

•    Competency 1 = 2.6
•    Competency 2 = 2.4
•    Competency 3 = 2.0
•    Competency 4 = 2.25
•    Competency 5 = 2.4

A lot of people reading this blog entry will be saying ‘Matt, that’s the L3CT process’ and ‘Matt, you need to have a look at what you didn’t do’. Well after reading about the sheer amount of work I did put into publishing my portfolio you might reconsider those comments. 

I’ve been writing this portfolio on and off for 3 years (since 2013). Prior to publishing, I had six Level 3 teachers and one Level 3 assessor critique my portfolio. These seven people, some of whom were from the L3CT Association, were critical friends who did not hold back with their feedback about my portfolio. I cannot begin to tell you how many times I have rewritten my portfolio based on their feedback. 

Even before completing the final draft, the feedback I got from the teachers from the L3CT association was that it ‘could’ pass. Prior to the submission date I worked extensively with a L3CT and a L3CT assessor to get my portfolio ready for submission. While there was no guarantee of passing I was left with the distinct impression that I would at least bank some competencies and that I was submitting a ‘strong’ portfolio. It appears that all of the advice I received about my portfolio went against the opinions of the two assessors who assessed it. 

So here is my dilemma. I am left in a situation where I literally do not know what to do next. The lack of thorough and accurate feedback post-assessment has left me rudderless. 

So this is what I need from the L3CT support group. I need you to tell me whether or not my portfolio was a pass and the only way to do this is to publish it in its entirety. Here are the three outcomes I envisage from this exercise . . . 

1.    The original decision by the assessors was correct. If so I’ll eat that slab of humble pie. 
2.    The original decision by the assessors was incorrect or . . . 
3.    There are areas of improvement however this competency x,y or z should have been a pass. 

I believe the most likely outcome is number three. 

Before you read my portfolio I want to leave you with one more thing to think about. In competency four I wrote about my website of educational resources which I created from scratch, and I run on a not-for-profit basis (which has now been visited by over 10,000 people). I also wrote about the professional learning course which I created about using the iPad that is run at the SSTUWA. I have run this workshop 13 times now and have had around about over 300 course participants. Sounds pretty awesome right? Well WRONG!


Seriously, however many other teachers are doing what I’m doing when it comes to teaching teachers? Yet this competency got the second lowest score!

Ok, rant over. Damn that felt good!

So just like I told my critical friends, please be ruthless with your feedback. Rip my ‘still beating educational heart’ out of my chest, show it to me and I will thank you for it. 

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