Having a teaching portfolio can provide a competitive edge during the interviewing process. This tool is your way to showcase your accomplishments, teaching style, organization skills, technical skills, and overall passion for education. However, the teaching portfolio is seen differently depending on the reviewer and the avenue in which the information is presented. For example, a principal will view your portfolio in an entirely different way from the human resources director. There are three types of portfolios you can create: trifold portfolio, electronic portfolio and hard copy portfolio.
A trifold portfolio should be a small version of your main portfolio. This portfolio should be used during teaching recruitment fairs. A trifold is used instead of a binder containing of all of your materials because you can leave it with the employer along with your résumé.
An electronic portfolio is a great portfolio to have because you can include videos of you teaching in the classroom. This portfolio should include everything that your main portfolio has, however, it should be more interactive for the reviewer. The best way to inform potential employers of your electronic portfolio is by including your web address in the personal information section on your résumé and in your cover letter.
A hard copy portfolio is a three-ring binder containing a variety of documents. This portfolio should serve as your main portfolio. You should have two copies of this main portfolio: the original and one containing copies of everything. The original main portfolio should contain all of your original documentation; the second (containing copies of everything) is what you will bring with you on interviews. When you bring this portfolio with you, make sure to use it. When the interviewer says “Describe a successful lesson plan you implemented,” use the portfolio to show the successful lesson plan and talk the interviewer through it.
To create your portfolios, begin collecting documentation as you go. Do not be afraid to include a few unsuccessful items in your portfolio as it displays growth. This is your time to shine so enjoy the stage!
Tradara McLaurine, Assistant Director
Career Center, Indiana State University
The opinions expressed in Career Corner are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.