Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Teaching Portfolio



Because we move around a lot for my husbands work, I have really put in some time to my teaching portfolio. A portfolio is a very personal thing. It reflects you as a teacher and as a professional. That being said, no two portfolios will look the same. My portfolio might not be just right for you. But, I wanted to share some of my ideas.


Why I Created A Portfolio- Interview Story Time 

I had an interview about a year ago when we first moved to our current location. It did not go well. My answers HORRIBLE. I knew after answering the first question, it was a bad interview. Here is what happened. There was a job posting for a reading teacher. Like most jobs, it was a generic posting so I didn't know exactly what the reading teacher would be doing. Is it in the room? Pull out groups? What grades? What curriculum? The first question I was asked (and of course it was a panel of teachers and administrators) was, "What is your goal for this program?" Um what? I don't know what the program is! So I asked if he would please explain to me what the program was. He couldn't. All I could gather was the it was a grant based position and that I would probably pull students out and sit in the hallway with them. I truly couldn't answer his question. I didn't know what curriculum, if any, they were using. He couldn't tell me the grades he wanted me to work with. Nothing. Needless to say my answer was truly embarrassing. This left me feeling so badly about myself and my interviewing skills that I knew I had to do something about it so that didn't happen again.

I should also mention that my greatest fear is public speaking. Not speaking to kids, but to adults. That makes interviewing a very hard task for me. This makes interviewing for another job after a bad interview completely overwhelming. I needed something to help me out during this next interview. Enter the portfolio.

The Portfolio 

I know that a portfolio looks good to interviewers, but my main reason for creating it was because I wanted a prop or something I could rely on if I got stuck or had a moment of panic. When I sat down to create the portfolio I asked myself the following questions.

1. What defines me as a teacher?
2. What kinds of questions am I most likely to be asked?
3. Can I provide examples from my past experience to support my answers?
4. What kind of data can I provide the interviewers?
5. What work am I most proud of?

So in answering these questions, I decided to include the following sections to the portfolio

1. Original Lessons
2. Student Achievement Data
3. Observations- both official and not
4. Classroom Management Philosophy
5. Sample Lesson Plans
6. Credentials

I also stuck a few random odds and ends in the back pocket of the folder such as examples of my classroom modifications.

Did It Work? 

YES! I spent a fair amount of time creating the portfolio so when it came time to interview, I already had specific examples and physical examples to back up my answers. It made me so much less nervous and I think the panel liked the portfolio. I walked out of the interview and called my husband and told him that I actually thought it went well! And you know what, it did, because the next day, I got the job!

Want to get these dividers for your portfolio? CLICK HERE



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