Plagiarizing Myself

I have been taking an online course to upgrade my teaching credentials. Currently I am qualified to teach Kindergarten up to Grade 6. By the time I am done this course, I will be able to teach all the way up to Grade 10.

I never planned on teaching high school but I have thought about teaching middle school. My current school goes from Kindergarten to Grade 8 so this course should make me more valuable at my school since I will be able to teach any grade in the school. Either way, it never hurts to upgrade my skills.

Many of the assignments in this course have touched on issues or topics that I have already covered in this blog. It was really surprising to find out that I could fulfill some of my assignments by dipping into my old blog posts. I copied some of my blog posts outright and others I had to reformat or rework just a little.

At first, I thought I was plagiarizing myself. But there was a section in the textbook about the value of portfolios and I came to realize that my blog could serve as a professional portfolio. I have written quite a few posts about teaching and if I could use them to answer the questions posed in the course, why not use them?

My only fear is that the professor might find out that I already published material very similar to what I submitted to him on this blog. I wondered if that might get me into trouble. But is it even possible to plagiarize yourself? I don’t think so.

My thoughts haven’t changed much since I wrote those useful posts. I added some of my new learning and references so that that my assignments were more academic. Storytellers do this all the time. They tailor their presentation based on the needs of the audience. At that is just what I did. I don’t feel bad about it at all.

I have done a lot of work for this course and plan on using some of my assignments as future blog posts. So my blog served as a portfolio for my course work and my course work will serve as fodder for blog posts. Pretty cool, eh?

2 responses to “Plagiarizing Myself”

  1. You can't plagerize yourself. I had a friend who's motto was 'rewrite your way to a PHD' and he wrote the same essay for many different classes all the way from elementary to college just by adding additional information and rearranging the paragraphs. You wouldn't think it was possible but he has his PHD today. I hope you get to teach some of the older kids next year. I have been lucky to teach everything from K to Adult and it gives you perspective that never is without its uses. Every skill or experience that we can accumulate can only make us better educators. Hope you are having a restful summer.

  2. Hi Calvin,

    What an interesting story. I didn't think a university would let you rehash your own material. But I guess there is nothing they could really say about it, even if they did manage to find out.

    I know that it is a good experience to teach other grades. I don't think a teacher should just stick to one grade or division. Thanks for the great advice and viewpoint!