Teachers seeking jobs in today’s market need to use every tool at their disposal – the teaching job market is very tough, so you need every advantage. One of the most valuable job search tools a teaching candidate can possess is a strong, visually appealing teaching portfolio. A teacher’s portfolio can contain a variety of different pieces of evidence which work to demonstrate their ability as a teacher. Your teaching portfolio should allow prospective school districts to envision how effective you will be as a teacher in their school.
- Philosophy of Teaching Statement / Philosophy of Education Statement
Most education training programs require their licensure candidates to compose a philosophy of teaching. This is an essay containing several paragraphs that communicate your passion, thoughts and beliefs of education and outline the principles you consider to be important in educating students. What is included will vary for each teaching candidate. It is useful to have a copy of this philosophy in your teaching portfolio so that interviewers can read it and gain insight on your personal approach to the teaching profession.
Be sure to include an up-to-date resume in your teaching portfolio. While your interviewer may already have a copy, they may want to glance over it during the interview or check to see if you brought a copy to the interview. It is a sign of strong preparation to have a copy that you can easily provide.
- Licensure / Certification
Place your most current licensure or certification in your teaching portfolio. By doing this, you will have the paperwork to show your credential on hand should the interviewer want a copy. It also gives the prospective employer the opportunity to review the specifics, if needed. They can then determine if you would be qualified for the position.
Include all test scores, regardless of the quality, in your portfolio. If you do not include certain test scores, it may appear that you have something to hide. Even if your results on the test were not great, as long as you passed, you should include that documentation.
- Letters of Recommendations
It is advisable to solicit recommendation letters from college instructors, past supervisors, and other educators or administers that you have worked with in the past. Quite frequently, schools will want to see recommendations or a list of references to contact. So save yourself some time and have them in advance.
- Student Teacher Performance Evaluations
Make sure to include some samples of past evaluations you have received either during student teaching or in other teaching jobs. If you have had some negative evaluations, you do not need to include them. There is no way for your prospective employer to know how many times you have been evaluated. Just makes sure that you include a collection of them.
One of the most important elements in any quality teaching portfolio is an assortment of relevant sample lessons. Including high quality, standards-based lessons in your portfolio will impress interviewers and allow them to see that you will be an organized and effective teacher.
While it is important to have a quality teaching portfolio assembled, there are some interviewers who will not be interested in pursuing its contents. Don’t impose the portfolio on those who do not wish to see it, just be sure you have it for those who do.
A quality teaching portfolio can be very helpful in assisting you in obtaining the job of your dreams. Take time to assemble a professionally, content-rich one so you have it ready when a teaching opportunity knocks.