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How to Write a WINNING Teaching Portfolio

Updated: Feb 19, 2018

Welcome to episode 3 of the Job Series! This week, we’re talking about Teaching Portfolios—actually I want to be more general and simply called them Portfolios. Some of us will be using them for teaching positions, while some of us will not.

Congratulations! You’ve landed that interview, now you need to prepare for it! You can’t show up empty handed. Remember, what separates you from other candidates is that you can demonstrate your skills and ability. An easy way to do that is to bring a portfolio with you. Now, we’ve all had to make a teaching portfolio for our Education programs—I had to make a digital portfolio, as well as a hardcopy of one for my program! The thing is, those portfolios tend to be HUGE! They house AMAZING information, but when you are in a situation such as a job fair, the hiring manager may not have time to review a 3-inch binder’s worth of information!

In this case, especially if you are attending something brief like a job fair, I recommend bringing a core portfolio with a quick snapshot of your “bests”. Include the following:

Cover Letter: Include a brief, formally written, letter that discusses why you want the job, your education background, and your professional background.

Resume: Be sure to review resume writing tips! Highlight your skills, proofread the document, make sure the formatting is clean, avoid things such as pictures and other graphics, and QUANTIFY your statements!!!

Philosophy of Education: Include a statement explaining why you are in education. What do you believe in? Why did you decide to become an educator?

Business Card: If you have them, include one or two!  If not, order some, they are great for networking purposes, and, no worries, they are very reasonably priced!

Charts or Graphs Illustrating Data: Review any data that you have that illustrates growth. Did you move your students’ reading scores 4% in a year? Did your school see a 75% increase in participation in a specific initiative? Convert all of that data into graphs and bring it along with you!

Unit Map & Coordinating Lesson Plan: Including a unit map demonstrates your ability to deconstruct (unpack) learning standards, to scaffold, to cohesively plan, and to select appropriate materials for your students. In addition, include a coordinating lesson plan because it demonstrates your ability to scaffold assignments and provides a snapshot of your classroom.

Before you go...

Now, if you find that you are going to a set interview, as a rule of thumb, I always use the job description as a guide for what materials to included in my portfolio. This way, you are definitely bringing in information that the principal/hiring manager will want to see.

If you are interesting in learning more about teaching portfolios, please CLICK HERE to check out my video on the topic! I actually review MY original teaching portfolio and discuss some dos and don’ts!

I’ll catch you next week, when I’ll discuss “How to Write a Philosophy of Education”.

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