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Portfolio Development: A Journey of Self-Reflection
Unformatted Document Text:  funded by Syracuse University, therefore teaching while ABD was my only option. Thus while working on my dissertation I had a great deal of teaching experience. I also had a great deal of diversification in teaching. If one college wanted me to teach, say Politics & The Media, I would of course teach Politics & The Media, even though I had never taught in that area. As an adjunct, as I am sure many of you know, we don’t get to choose our classes, we teach what the colleges need. So that experience was extremely useful to me. It helped me develop as a teacher in ways that was not obvious to me at the time. As a non-traditional graduate student with two teenage sons, I thought I knew my students, perhaps a little better than my younger colleagues. I knew how I wanted to teach and sometimes I knew why I wanted to teach in a certain way. I believed that, for example, group learning such as group research and presentations help students far more than rote memorization for an exam. I believe the computer adage applies here, “garbage in, garbage out”. Students delete information after an exam to give way for more space for new information, but researching for a paper and/or a group presentation clings to a student longer and makes more sense in a ‘real world scenario’ or at least it does in my experience. I really didn’t have time to read about different pedagogies, and what they can achieve, or not achieve etcetera, I was learning by doing, as most adjuncts do. I knew what I knew by experience, but I never thought about writing that knowledge down, to seek out the answers, to question whether or not my experiences, my beliefs actually hold water, so to speak? I just knew! My CV was getting longer with all the classes I was teaching and once I got the Ph.D. in my sticky little hands, I was on my quest for a permanent, perfect position in a perfect institution of higher education at a perfect somewhere. So I was travelling to and fro for interviews while I taught full time at Texas Tech as a Visiting Assistant Professor and finally I found my perfect place. This is where I begin my journey. I am up for pre-tenure this spring, 8

Authors: Jones, Sharon.
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funded by Syracuse University, therefore teaching while ABD was my only option. Thus while
working on my dissertation I had a great deal of teaching experience. I also had a great deal of
diversification in teaching. If one college wanted me to teach, say Politics & The Media, I
would of course teach Politics & The Media, even though I had never taught in that area. As an
adjunct, as I am sure many of you know, we don’t get to choose our classes, we teach what the
colleges need. So that experience was extremely useful to me. It helped me develop as a
teacher in ways that was not obvious to me at the time.
As a non-traditional graduate student with two teenage sons, I thought I knew my
students, perhaps a little better than my younger colleagues. I knew how I wanted to teach and
sometimes I knew why I wanted to teach in a certain way. I believed that, for example, group
learning such as group research and presentations help students far more than rote
memorization for an exam. I believe the computer adage applies here, “garbage in, garbage
out”. Students delete information after an exam to give way for more space for new
information, but researching for a paper and/or a group presentation clings to a student longer
and makes more sense in a ‘real world scenario’ or at least it does in my experience. I really
didn’t have time to read about different pedagogies, and what they can achieve, or not achieve
etcetera, I was learning by doing, as most adjuncts do. I knew what I knew by experience, but I
never thought about writing that knowledge down, to seek out the answers, to question whether
or not my experiences, my beliefs actually hold water, so to speak? I just knew!
My CV was getting longer with all the classes I was teaching and once I got the Ph.D.
in my sticky little hands, I was on my quest for a permanent, perfect position in a perfect
institution of higher education at a perfect somewhere. So I was travelling to and fro for
interviews while I taught full time at Texas Tech as a Visiting Assistant Professor and finally I
found my perfect place. This is where I begin my journey. I am up for pre-tenure this spring,
8


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