Whether you’re a fresh graduate or a veteran teacher, you need to prepare a comprehensive teacher portfolio when you apply for a job. A portfolio doesn’t just contain your usual resume, curriculum vitae, and cover letter. More importantly, your portfolio should showcase the following: who you are as a teacher, what you teach, how you teach, plus your teaching philosophies. In this day and age, the job market has become increasingly competitive and selective. You should have that extra-something that will instantly get you considered for the job. A well-organized portfolio will help do that. Read on and learn to prepare a professional teacher portfolio.
- Present your curriculum vitae. A curriculum vitae shows a summary of your educational and professional background. Allot a page each for your academic and professional details. List the names of schools you attended since elementary, and indicate the inclusive years you spent in each. List the important honors and awards you received. List the major contests you joined and important positions of office that you held. For the professional background, list the jobs you’ve had from the first until the recent one. List the names of schools and other educational institutions you’ve worked with. Indicate the job title or position and the inclusive years spent in each. Indicate the subjects you’ve taught and special types of classes handled if any. Also briefly describe your major responsibilities, tasks, and achievements in each position. For the recent graduate with no work experience yet, include any training, practicum, or volunteer experience you’ve had.
- Include a list of lectures or seminars attended. Include only the most important ones you’ve participated in like IT or management classes and professional development seminars. Indicate the inclusive dates and seminar title. Briefly describe what it’s all about and what you accomplished or achieved.
- Highlight other relevant skills. Let prospective employers know if you have interests, talents and skills that can complement your teaching. Some examples are computer and research skills, IT skills, management skills, foreign language fluency, writing skills, or artistic skills. Some of these skills would come in handy especially if you’re dealing with kids, foreign students, or special students who require you to have more patience and creativity.
- Present your unique teaching philosophies. Briefly include a statement describing your teaching styles, strategies, methodologies, and philosophies. Every teacher is unique and will have differences in these things. However, a lot of statements already sound familiar and unoriginal to prospective employers. To truly stand out and be considered, you need to find something unique and specific in you that you can offer to your students, the institution or the teaching profession itself. Remember to include how you effectively instill learning, values, and discipline in your students. Briefly discuss how you handle disciplinary situations.
- Include samples. To make your portfolio more personal, unique, and professional, include samples of your work. These include copies of your individual class plans and activities. Include a course syllabus. Include class photos and select best works of your students. When including samples you only need to choose at least two of the best ones. You don’t have to put everything in. For evaluation letters, include at least three—one from your university professor, one from your previous employer or supervisor, and one from a peer.
- Maintain a professional look. Create your portfolio contents using a word processor like Microsoft Word. Type all the information first. Use a simple standard font style like Times New Roman, and the standard font size of 12. Provide enough space between lines for an easy read—1.5 is ideal. Keep the margins at 1” on all sides. Edit and proofread your document before printing. Print on clean, wrinkle-free sheets of letter size typing paper. The first page should have the title, “Professional Teacher Portfolio” at the middle. Include your full name at the bottom right part of the page.
- Make it organized and reader-friendly. To make your portfolio more organized and reader-friendly, you can distribute similar contents into appendices. For example, your first appendix can include the course syllabus and descriptions. Your second appendix can include sample lesson plans and class activities. Your third appendix can include all your professional evaluation and assessment forms. Another appendix can contain class photos or sample student works. Remember to group similar contents together.
Employers always look for the best from a pool of potential candidates. Having the right credentials, plus a well organized portfolio might just be the edge you need to get the ideal teaching job.