A beginner's portfolio

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by texashistory, Aug 10, 2014.

  1. texashistory

    texashistory Rookie

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    Aug 10, 2014

    I'm applying for special education teaching positions but I have no formal teaching experience.

    So no lesson plans, etc. Student work samples and such are classified since we're a clinic so those aren't things I can bring or copy to put in a portfolio. No parent newsletters, etc. Parent questions are sent to my higher ups and a few snippets of my input are included.

    I don't create IEPs, my supervisors and I just follow. Could I do it? Absolutely, I understand how and what not but I'm not a BCBA so I can't at my job.

    I was thinking of printing out a blank one and making up a "case" child but I don't know.
    If asked do I tell them in an interview that I don't actually create IEPs?

    I have my own ideas roughly about classroom management and all but I don't run anything. Classroom management is BCBA and supervisor ran. They'll take suggestions but at the end of the day their decision is how it goes.


    I want to make one but I've been stalling for 2 weeks on the educational philosophy. Everything just sounds so manufactured and cheesy and I don't know how I feel about leading with a quote.

    I just have big blanks on the education philosophy, classroom management, lesson plans, student work samples, etc parts. What exactly could I do to compensate for what I don't have and cannot have?
     
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  3. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Aug 10, 2014

    What is a BCBA?

    I don't quite understand...you are applying for teaching positions but you have no experience, no knowledge of IEP's, classroom management, no parent experience, etc. Did you study any of these things in school?
     
  4. texashistory

    texashistory Rookie

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    Aug 10, 2014

    Board certified behavio analyst.

    I'm a behavior therapist. Line therapist in 1:1 ABA therapy. Parents talk to us but it's very departmentalized to supervisors making most decisions. My parents know me well and I talk about their day with them and write home evaluation logs and we discuss that but if a parent said "I'm wanting her to learn how to do X. Could you do that?" I have to bring that to my higher ups for them to have a meeting with the parents to discuss that. I'm not in the actual meeting. Why? You got me. No therapist is. Just parents and BCBAs. Why? No idea. Have I asked to be? Yep for 3 years. Has it happened? Only to supervisor in trainings a test away from being a BCBA.

    We carry out the IEP. I didn't say I have no knowledge of them. I carry their BIPs with me and know them in my sleep but I wasn't sitting down at the computer creating it. I was in individual FBAs but wasn't sat down with on input on creating an intervention.

    As far as creating it only supervisors do that. I've done it for 3 years so I could do it but without my BCBA I can't be a supervisor and I don't plan on a BCBA
     
  5. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Aug 10, 2014

    That makes it clearer. Are you planning on going an alternate route to get your certification to teach? It sounds like you would be wonderfully qualified to take on a sped class.
     
  6. olivecoffee

    olivecoffee Companion

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    Aug 10, 2014

    Can you create your own classroom management plan? I'm student teaching this semester, so I'm not a teacher quite yet, but I already have my classroom management plan ready to go for when I do have my own classroom. It was something I worked on in my Behavior Strategies class as part of my final project. We used IRIS modules to help guide us.

    This is the IRIS module we used, in case you would like to look over it. It's a two parter, and the second IRIS module walks you through creating your own classroom management plan. http://iris.peabody.vanderbilt.edu/module/beh1/

    Other than tweaking my plan for the grade level in which I'll be hired to teach, my plan is ready for my portfolio and I can explain it and justify it to the interviewer. It took me two days to create from start to finish.

    You could also create a newsletter or two for parent communication, which would give the interviewers an idea of how you'll communicate, what you'll communicate, and when.

    ETA: For your education philosophy, you can write one before your interview and include it in your portfolio. My Ed Psych professor once told me that since your educational philosophy is your own, it can be as short or as long as you want it to be.
     
  7. tired.mom

    tired.mom Companion

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    Aug 10, 2014

    I am guessing you're in Texas as well, and I don't know if this is any help at all, but I wouldn't stress so much over a portfolio. when I was teaching, I did not see any with the candidates who came through our district/interviews, and with special ed, I would think that your experience with ABA would uniquely qualify you, which you could stress in your cover letter.

    Your experience is a LOT more impressive than many regular or special ed teachers I worked with...which is huge. Also, my experience (again, not everyone's experience) is that SpEd teachers need to work closely with general ed teachers and other staff, so that individual philosophy is important, but perhaps more so is how we can blend or collaborate with others. It also depends on the type of special ed you end up teaching--inclusion would look completely different that content mastery or a behavior-management unit.
     
  8. texashistory

    texashistory Rookie

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    Aug 10, 2014

    I've been in an alternative certification program this summer. I'm done and have passed the EC-6 generalist and special education EC-12 so now I'm applying everywhere.

    Yes I'm in Texas.

    I just want to stand out. My neighbor is a former teacher and is sort of coaching me through it all and she's the one who suggested it to me because she said applicants really don't do portfolios anymore but the few who do really stand out.

    I've been looking at samples of educational philosophies that are 3 page essays so I started freaking out. More than a page seems to be standard :eek:
     
  9. tired.mom

    tired.mom Companion

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    Aug 10, 2014

    Gotcha on the portfolio...that's why I said just because I've never seen one doesn't mean they're not a good thing, lol. I do also believe your experience is really awesome and you can build a lot on that as well. I sincerely think that once you get going you won't have any problem with getting a job--the small campus I taught at always has 2-3 SpEd openings each year, which means 50-60% turnover.

    Can you also take the 4-8 Generalist test? It's not particularly difficult, and I think it's a good certificate to pick up since it makes you very versatile in middle schools...again, just my observation from my experiences working in schools and teaching.
     
  10. Ms_C

    Ms_C Comrade

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    Aug 10, 2014

    My portfolio is what I believed helped me get hired this year. I just used a nice binder with sheet protectors. There are 3 sections to mine.

    First section: my resume, test scores, recommendations.
    Second section: philosophy of education (mine is only 1 page), behavior management,
    Third Section: pictures of my classroom, family events that we have done at school w/pics, and lessons that I have actually taught.
    Fourth Section: filled with lessons that I did with my targeted extended day students. I included these separately because these were used with my LEP and SPED kids. They focused a lot on academic language and using ELA skills that we had taught in the year. It is really helpful for me to show these when talking about the growth that this segment of my students obtained.
     
  11. tired.mom

    tired.mom Companion

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    Aug 10, 2014

    Thank you for including this; I likely will create something if/when I ever do another round of interviewing. :p I'm thinking I could sort of blend my teaching experience with my counseling experience and emphasize that both areas involve working with kids and have similar objectives.

    If you're just using photos for presentation/portfolio purposes, I'm guessing you don't have to have a release?
     

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