Hello fellow educators! I want to share some important information with you about portfolios. If you’re a new teacher you’re probably familiar with this but if not it’s worth the read. If you’ve been teaching longer than 3 years you might want to continue reading too….especially if you’re thinking about making some transitions. There are some nonnegotiable things that you must have in your portfolio. If you haven’t touched yours in a while I’d strongly suggest you start updating sooner than later.
1. First and foremost you need a Table of Contents (TOC). You want your information organized. It’s good that you know where things are but the person seeing/reading it for the first time doesn’t.
2. Education Philosophy. What’s yours? Do you have one? This may take a little time to write if you don’t have one. It’s not something you copy and paste. Take the time you need but jump on it now.
3. Resume…please make sure it’s updated.
4. Transcripts/Degrees/Certifications/Awards: They don’t have to be official but make sure the copies are clean. They should be placed in order by the most recent date.
5. Instructional Planning: Sample lesson plans and supplemental materials (ie activities)
6. Student Work Samples/Rubrics/Student Data: We want to see your creative sauce and the level of expectations you have for your students. More importantly, we want to see if you can move students (grow them academically). You can include pics/videos of students actively engaged (groups/centers) and even you teach. Just make sure you star the faces of your students.
7. Professional Development: Do you have documentation to show that you’re making efforts to grow… fine-tune your craft? This would also include integrating technology.
8. Communication: Do you have any supporting samples. Examples might include flyers, announcements, newsletters, etc.
9. Family/Community Involvement: Do you have any examples to show you’re willing to stretch after hours?
10. Reference/Recommendation Letters: You should have at least 3.
11. OPTIONAL…you can also include your appraisal data if you really want to be transparent. No pressure but I’ve seen it a couple of times.
Portfolios take time to create so be patient. You may run into a few bumps but stick to it. You should have something of value to add or update to your portfolio each year.
As always I hope this helps.
Here to serve…