Dear Reader,

I have found that learning to teach is similar to making a quilt. I remember watching my grandmother collect many kinds of cloth for quilt, and as she collected, she watched for patterns to create a new quilt. I  marveled at how she could see the finished product in her mind before starting. When she was ready, she would to sew together just a few squares first; each had a small piece of the overall pattern. Then she would sew the squares together. Eventually, the whole piece came together as one beautiful, finished piece.

The process of learning to teach is similar to how my grandmother created quilts. Teachers begin with many  ideas and constantly collect new pieces along the way. Just as quilts follow common patterns, most teachers today are learning to teach by following the pattern laid out in documents like the California Standards for the Teaching Profession (CSTP). I have found this document to be invaluable in framing how I see my own learning to be a teacher, which is why I have chosen to use it as a framework for this web portfolio.
Each section is headed with an explanation of its contents, much like the stories the maker of a quilt will tell about the fabric that comprises their quilts. Each part of the CSTP has a special quality that it adds to the "quilt" of standards, yet no section could stand by itself. So much can be seen by lookingup close at examples of the parts of what makes a teacher, but it is also important to stand back and see the whole picture. In viewing this portfolio, I hope you catch a glimpse of who I am as an educator in the details as well as in the whole.

Leah R. Jost