Things to Include in a Teaching Portfolio
Just like any other professional, teachers need growth and achievement over time. A professional portfolio is a vehicle for collecting those achievements. For many of us, it's just practicing what we preach. We encourage our students to select examples of their work over time to demonstrate how much they've learned, and we must do the same. Portfolios allow us to become reflective about what it is we do. And they allow us to document the practices we'd like to preserve and even pass on to others.
Dos and Don'ts to Keep in Mind while preparing Portfolio
Share information about what's happening in your classroom.
Reflect on what is and what isn't working in your classroom.
List relevant skills and classroom experiences.
Share articles, interviews, and other projects that you've been involved with.
Feel like you have nothing to share.
Sugarcoat your classroom experiences.
Vaguely describe your skill set.
Your philosophy of education statement is your interpretation of what YOU think teaching and learning means. Included in your statement should be a brief description of how you teach and why you teach that way.
Your resume (and a good cover letter) is the most important piece of your professional portfolio and an important step on the way to help you get a teaching job. This is the first glimpse prospective employers get of you, so you better make it stand out. All of the items you list on this document will serve as a catalyst for the rest of your portfolio. Focus on making it look professional and include certification, education, teaching experience, professional goals and related qualifications. Once you have written your resume then can expand and showcase the items you listed in your portfolio.
Although your resume may list your degree, awards and certificates, now is the chance for you to physically show off your accomplishments. In this section of your teaching portfolio, include a copy of your degree, teaching license, awards of honor and specialized training certificates.
Prospective employers will want to see proof that you know how to prepare lesson plans and teach them. For this section of the portfolio, include a thematic unit along with curriculum standards for each activity. It's a good idea to include photographs of the students participating in the activities, so the potential employer will be able have a visual of how you taught the lesson.
Additional Materials to Add:
- Lesson plans
- Field trips
- Exam sheets
- Interactive Bulletin Boards
Letters of Recommendation
You have put a lot of hard work and dedication into being a teacher, and now it's time to get credit for it. This section is essential to have in your portfolio because it gives potential employers the opportunity to learn about what kind of teacher you are. Include letters from past employers, college professors and supervisors. In addition to the items listed above, your professional teacher portfolio should include examples of parent-teacher communication, students' work and professional development.
Portfolios are the best way teachers can document their professional growth. As you gain experience and knowledge as a teacher, you should review your portfolio to add and take away materials. This valuable tool just may be the best way to get a teaching job or advance your career.