Lisanne Schmidt Foster
Land Your Dream Job: Teacher Portfolio
It's that time of year! Time to start the job hunt if you're fresh out of school, or maybe you've moved or are looking for a different school or position.
But I gotchu. We are going to take an in depth look at how to build a teacher portfolio!
1. I put my official portfolio in a binder. This way, it's safe, clean, and easy to present!
When I apply to a school, I also put together my portfolio and hand deliver it to the front office! That way, they have access to it, and I hear that it can help get you an interview!
This is one of the things that is most important, so I always put it right at the front of my portfolio. I also keep multiple copies of my resume in my binder for interviews, so I can hand a copy of it to each person in the interview (if they don't already have a copy, that is!)
This isn't an updated resume. But it's important to keep an updated version of your resume.
Pro tip: I add an bitly link at the top of my resume that links directly to my digital portfolio (which is just a digital version of this portfolio on my Google Drive!) I added it to my resume so that when I submit an application, and they look at my resume, they can check out the digital version of this. It's a great little trick to get it in front of others!
3. Letters of recommendation
I always include letters of recommendations in my portfolio. This is a pretty standard item needed for applications. I just print off the letters and place them in my portfolio. Again, this is also part of my digital portfolio linked in my resume. (I didn't include photos of them because they're personal :) )
4. Meet the Teacher!
This is a fun addition that I added. It's difficult to get a sense of who a teacher or educational professional is. In this piece of my portfolio, I decided to write a short blurb about myself, highlight what I think are my best professional attributes as they relate to education, and I also included my educational philosophy.
I even added a photo of myself. It doesn't have to be a professional headshot, but something that is fun! If I were to create this today, I would probably include a photo of myself and my son, obviously because he's adorable!
Note: If you decide to add this to your portfolio, PLEASE do not take mine word for word. Make it true to you! This is about you and what you can contribute to this work environment, so it should reflect who you are. You're more than welcome to take inspiration from mine, but please don't plagiarize :)
5. Classroom Management
This is such an important element for any classroom teacher, so show off what you're good at! Honestly, I used a lot of photos directly from my Instagram account, but take photos of what you're proud of and share them. For each element of classroom management, I added a blurb about it. For example, every period when students would walk into the classroom, I would project my agenda (which you can snag for free in my TPT store here!), which includes the homework, the tentative plan as well as the "Do Now". I explain how that helps my classroom management and how I implement it!
6. Classroom Set Up
I LOVE classroom aesthetics and decor. I love to create a classroom that feels like home to my students. It is something that is extremely important to me as well as who I am as a teacher. So I included it in my portfolio. That isn't something that you HAVE to have at all! I added this in because I felt it was important and spoke volumes about who I am. You should include elements that are important to you and speak to who you are as a teacher!
7. Student Samples
Are you really a veteran teacher if you don't show off your student's work? I love to share the awesome things my students do (which is what I love to share on my Instagram account!) and brag about them. So you bet that I'm going to brag about those awesome kids in my portfolio!
I like to highlight student work, as well as full class work. Collaborative efforts, art, cool projects. Our students are amazing, and we should show off how great they are!
8. Assignments, Assessments and more!
Including examples of the work that you have students do is a great way to show off your curriculum designing skills. It's important to provide differentiated materials to show that you are versatile and think of every single student in your classroom, as well as provide materials that show that you are relevant, innovative and adaptable!
When I drop off my portfolio at schools prior to getting an interview, I also include a student workbook or assessment that I've created to help give administration a peak into what I like to create and my instructional style.
9. Observations and Reviews
I like to include my formal observations for administrators to review if they want to. I've had very positive experiences with my observations, and I think if an administrator or interviewer wants to have a true opinion of what I can do, then a formal observation is a great way to analyze and see everything that I incorporate into my lessons!
(Again, not pictured because they're personal :) )
A teacher portfolio is one of the best things that I've made for my career. When I moved from the classroom to higher education, I brought it with me to all of my interviews, and it definitely helped. Cater your portfolio to the job you're looking for, and WHO YOU ARE as an educational professional.
If you're looking for a template with SUPER CUTE binder covers, you can find this template in my TPT shop!
I'd love to see what you create with this. Best of luck on your job hunt! I know it can be super stressful, but it'll all be worth it :)