This article is for those who are trialling or have subscribed to Storypark's new Teacher Portfolio platform. If you are interested in testing Storypark's new Teacher Portfolio platform, add your details here. Learn more here: Old VS new teacher portfolios – what’s the difference?
Every educator has their own homepage or dashboard where you and your managers can see your current and past cycles, your focus areas and your activity.
If your organisation has set up goal cycles for each role, then your Manager will be able to assign you a cycle. If they click the ‘New cycle’ button they’ll see a list of available cycles, then they simply select the correct role under a cycle and assign it to you. The cycle will now be live on your homepage.
What's a cycle?
A cycle is a set of focus areas, called ‘goals’, with a start and an end date. A cycle could be a professional growth or appraisal cycle, or it could be used for induction or leadership. A cycle can also include a self review and/or manager review at the end of the period, but doesn’t have to.
In the example above I have an open annual professional growth cycle with areas of my teaching practice as goals, and below that another completed cycle which was my 3-month induction cycle.
What's a focus area or 'goal'?
Think of a cycle as just a container that holds your list of focus areas or ‘goals’. A goal could be a practice, principle, indicator, standard or quality area.
On my homepage, within each cycle, I'll see a list of goals, and if I click on one I can read a bit more about it. Its description might include what is expected of me in that area of my practice, links to more information, a way to link in a portfolio story or plan, and perhaps what it means to meet or exceed this particular area of practice. If the cycle includes a review, your goals might include information on what the review will entail.
A goal might also have supporting goals, which are basically mini-goals under the main goal. You might for example have a main goal called 'Teaching Standards', and then a supporting goal for each standard. In the goal in the screen above, I have two supporting goals – one for my inquiry and one for my SMART goals.
You’ll notice that this goal has a few links to my different portfolio plans. If I am in my planning area and I’m working on my inquiry plan for example I can now click Link to stories, plans, goals in any cell to open up the linker where I can link to one of my goals. Once it’s in the plan I can click the linked goal to view it straight from the plan.
Back on my homepage, I can now see that one of my goals is linked to a plan. I can see number of links and when the last link was made. As well as linking to plans you can also link to your portfolio stories.
What’s useful about this is that once I’ve started working in this cycle and linking my naturally occurring evidence in Storypark to the cycle goals, my managers and I will have everything that’s relevant to me at our fingertips – a great focal point for a 1:1 or check-in. Keeping this space updated should also take the stress out of working towards appraisal or teacher registration.
Next: Completing an end-of-cycle review
Some cycles might include a self-review and/or a manager review at the end of the period. Learn about cycle reviews here.