Getting a Teaching Job: My Teaching Portfolio

This is my second post in my "Getting a Teaching Job" series!

Today I am sharing one of my favourite interview tools..
The teaching portfolio!

I am a LTO teacher.
This means that I have to interview for a new position every time my contract ends.
This year I have a contract for the whole school year but it will end in June 2015.

Then I will be back to interviewing for positions for the next school year!



Now I know there are mixed feelings about teaching portfolio's.
But I am all for them.

Here's are some reasons why:

1. It helps you reflect

I usually update my porfolio at the beginning of July (or whenever I finish a contract).
This allows me to reflect on things that went well that year.
I find it's like making a cheat sheet.
The process of making it helps you remember all the points that I will
want to talk about in my interview.

2.  Pictures speak a thousand words

Principals won't always want to see your portfolio.
But if you can integrate your portolio into your answers 
the pictures can clarify what you are talking about.

That being said, try to think of what kind of quesions principals might ask
and anticipate some pictures you could show.

Below I listed the pages I include in my teaching portfolio.




How I Use It:

I bring my portfolio with me and bring it in with me when they call my name.
Then I set it on the table so it is visible to the interviewer.
This way they are more likely to ask you to see your portfolio
and you have easy access when you want to reference any pictures in your answers.

A Peek Inside

Here are some pictures of the inside of my teaching portfolio!




I put a copy of the resume and cover letter I originally sent 
to take with me to the interview in the front inside pocket.
I also clip my business card that I've had since my supply teaching days.
When I was just starting to interview for positions I always mentioned that I would love to come
back to the school to supply and give them my business card at the end of the interview.

I also stick a thank you card in the inside pocket.
I always write a quick thank you note to whoever interviewed me after my interview.
I write it in the office after my interview and usually leave it with the secretary.
If I forget or the secretary is not there, I will send the principal a quick thank you e-mail instead.

My boyfriend thinks this is overkill
but I have been pretty successful with this strategy and it only takes a few minutes!



I create my pages in PowerPoint, print them out and stick them in sheet protectors.
That way it is really easy to reorder or add pages if needed.






One time a principal asked me to talk about a lesson that went well.
I talked about a lesson I did in teacher's college but talked about something that
I would change for next time as well even though the lesson went well.

After the interview he told me that he really liked how I was thinking of next steps
because it shows that I am a reflective teacher who is always looking to improve.

So I added some next steps in some of my categories so I can talk about
some things I want to try implementing.



Format:

I've heard some teachers using iPads or laptops and sharing their digital portfolio in interviews.
While I think that it is a great idea and you could show off how tech savy you are
(something a lot of boards are looking for)
I like the convienince of having it in a binder.
If I get an iPad though I might consider trying out a digital portfolio!

I hope this post is useful for anyone thinking of making their own teaching portfolio.

Do you have a teaching portfolio?

Do you include anything I don't?

*I now have an editable version of my teaching portfolio and a full sample available in my TPT store. Click here if you are interested in checking it out!*

6 comments

  1. Thank you so much for posting this, it's definitely a great starting point as I'm preparing my first portfolio. Do you happen to know the name of the fonts that you used for the banners, main text, and all-caps text?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Amber! The fonts I used are KG The Fighter, KG Why You Gotta Be So Mean and KG Primary Penmanship! You can download them free for personal use at Font Space or Teachers Pay Teachers! Hope that helps!

      Delete
  2. Replies
    1. Hi Wilmer! It is not and to be honest I don't even know where the original file is to make it a file that I could put on TPT. However, if I make a portfolio for this coming year (since I will be interviewing again starting this May) I will consider making the template for sale :)

      Yukari
      A Pinch of Kinder

      Delete
  3. What a wonderfully rich example of a portfolio and how it could be used! I, too, have kept a portfolio throughout my career. The artifacts, if well organized and succinct, provide an excellent visual to share when in an interview. As you note, they provide a type of "cheat sheet", but even just preparing them helps you think about the sorts of stories you might tell in an interview, and how you can frame them to share your thinking and learning clearly and effectively.

    Now you can use this blog post as an example of how you embody professionalism -- by making the most of your varied LTO experiences and by sharing your learning with others: Collaboration rather than Competition!!

    If I were a principal, Yukari, I'd hire you in a heartbeat!

    P.S. Tell your boyfriend the thank you note is not overkill. Especially if you include something very specific that stood out for you from the interview or about the school, and make it sincere, such an artifact sets you apart from the crowd. It also indicates you'll probably have a real knack for communicating effectively with families.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi! Thank you so much for you thoughtful comment. Although it can be a little time consuming, I like taking the time to reflect on the year as I update or recreate my portfolio every July. I have found that it really helps me, as I get really nervous at interviews!

      Thank you again for taking the time to comment and sharing your thoughts!

      Yukari

      Delete