Interview - Portfolio?

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by chebrutta, Jul 13, 2008.

  1. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Jul 13, 2008

    I'm just curious about this - does anyone bring a portfolio with them to an interview? I've never brought one to an interview, but I'm starting to think I need something to be more "marketable."

    I've already done the online application and dropped off resumes at the schools I'm most interested in, but maybe I need to bring something that shows I'm a good teacher? What would I put in it? A rough class syllabus? Student work? An awesome lesson plan? Thank you cards, drawings, and letters from students?

    I really liked the mini-portfolio idea, but I definitely don't have that money to burn. Gaaah! Help!
     
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  3. ready2teachintx

    ready2teachintx Companion

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    Jul 13, 2008

    I would defintely consider investing in a portfolio book. I think it helped me get my recent job in an awesome district at my dream school. I took a 1 inch binder and just put together a collection of different school related items. Such as: pictures of my classroom, bulletin boards,etc., a copy of my evaluation done by my administrator, letters that I have sent home to parents about conferences, parties, etc. an article summary that I wrote that was put in our school newsweek, my daily classroom schedule, my sub info. and schedule, several different projects for the classroom. Just go from there.

    I was surprised to see the administrators interest in my book and looking through everything at my interview. Also, when I was asked about my daily classroom routine, I just opened up to that page and they could follow me.

    I would defintly think this could show you as being a very organized teacher...good luck:)
     
  4. Erin Elizabeth

    Erin Elizabeth Groupie

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    Jul 13, 2008

    I didn't have n official portfolio, but for an interview for a K-5 science position, I put together a folder of science lessons that I had written during my student teaching. I included one for each grade level. I left it with the panel when my interview was over.

    Though the principal loved my packet, I didn't get the science job. Instead, I was offered a LTS in 1st grade, which led to a permanent position!

    I say if you have the time to put something together, it is worth it. Even if only one principal takes the time to look through it, that may be the one principal who hires you.
     
  5. Kangaroo22

    Kangaroo22 Virtuoso

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    I think that having a portfolio makes you stand out. In making one I would think of different common interview questions and then come up with an "artifact" for those topics. That way you can use it as a reference when answering those questions in the interview. An "artifact" can be a lesson, student work, pictures, a newsletter and so on. Also just putting together can help you formulate examples to go along with your interviews.

    I think that a portfolio is a great thing and if you have the time then make it, but if you don't, don't stress about it, because many people get hired without them. And honestly I spent a lot of time on my portfolio for a graduate class and then was offered a job based on a phone interview, but having it did help me to remember what I have done that could help me to answer interview questions. Good luck with your job search!
     
  6. MsWK

    MsWK Habitué

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    Jul 13, 2008

    I always take mine, even if I never use it. I have two portfolios. One is my professional one with evaluations, letters of reference, scores from exams (Praxis, GRE, etc.), articles I've published, etc. The other is nice letters from parents, teachers, etc. I am always able to pull something out if I need to (in the interview for my current position, I pulled out one thing [an info. packet I'd compiled for new teachers], and I think it sealed the deal).
     
  7. TemperanceFaith

    TemperanceFaith Comrade

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    Jul 13, 2008

    I have brought my portfolio to each interview I have had. I plan to bring it to my upcoming interviews as well. Now the two interviews that I had were for short term summer program paraprofessional positions, and no one asked to see it, but I am still carting it along to all future interviews.
     
  8. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Jul 13, 2008

    Thanks for all the advice guys! I pretty much have everything you all mentioned - in binders. I'll just take a sampling, photocopy, and put it together.

    Next question - what do you use? Readytoteach mentioned a 3-ring, but at the district office, most people seem to have a little leather-ish looking thing. Of course, they might be interviewing for the open AP positions. I just want 8th grade LA!
     
  9. Kangaroo22

    Kangaroo22 Virtuoso

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    I have a black leather binder that I use. It was only about $20 and I like how it looks and the fact that there is a section for loose papers where I can put extra copies of my resume, brochure, etc.
     
  10. TemperanceFaith

    TemperanceFaith Comrade

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    I also have a black leather binder. I divided it into segments; Resume, Diplomas, Awards, Certifications, Transcripts, NJ Core Standards, the NJEA Ethics, lesson plans I have made, tests and quizzes, thank yous and letters of reference, etc.
     
  11. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Jul 14, 2008

    Mine's in a purple 3-ring binder. Umm, I think I had my current job when I put it together for my grad class. I need to update it.
     
  12. ready2teachintx

    ready2teachintx Companion

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    mine is a 3 inch white binder but I have decortated the front cover with teaching stuff (kinda scrap-booking looking). I had fun making it and it turned out cute:)
     
  13. Vievers

    Vievers Rookie

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    Jul 15, 2008

    My portfolio was required for my college so when I ended student teaching I had everything compiled. I use a 3-ring binder and I decorated the front cover. I have yet to have interviews but I plan on taking it with me.

    Since my portfolio was used as final "show me what you have done during your time in the education program," it is divided into five sections: Knowledge (contains-Philosophy of Education, List of Coursework, Reflections relating to strengths, weaknesses, and application, evidence of competency relating to written of oral language), Planning (Lesson Plans including evidence of long term planning, short term planning, and planning for diverse student needs), Instruction (Strategies used in instruction, evidence of student learning, reflective comments relating to instructional practices, evidence of adjusting instruction to meet needs of diverse students), Creates and Maintains a Positive Learning Climate (Evidence of management plan, evidence of a model that promotes standards of mutual respect, student self discipline, and responsibility), and Professionalism (Evidence of collaboration with colleagues, Evidence of professional growth, Resume, Letters of Reference)

    I know it looks like A LOT but this was complied over 2 semesters and you'd really be suprised what you have left from previous teaching positions or student teaching that all you need to do is copy and put into your portfolio. I hope this helps you think of things you would like in your profolio!
     
  14. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Jul 18, 2008

    3 inch binder? Holy crap. Maybe I need more stuff.

    I have a black 1 inch, 3 ring binder. Here's what I have in it:
    Resume; evaluations; Teacher-of-the-Month award; test results; Parent letter; Student letter and rules; Buddy Letter (time-out); Sample Syllabus; my lesson plan sheet; sample warm-ups; my essay-grading rubric and a copy of the student essay grade sheet; Book report assignment sheet; Reading Comprehension packet (I do them weekly); a full lesson plan for The Most Dangerous Game, including objectives and benchmarks, notes, vocabulary and worksheet, Venn Diagram, study guide, test, Literature Circle folders w/ each job's description, and a copy of the story; student work sample of a plot graph; thank you notes and letters from students and co-workers; sample student file; and a copy of the student newspaper I put together.

    I don't have more examples of student work b/c when I moved a couple months ago, 1 box containing lesson plan was lost (YIKES), and the two boxes of student files was lost. Plus two boxes of books. Plus my fiancee's college football stuff.

    So for the sample file, I just made up a blank one, with a sheet detailing what will be inside.

    Any suggestions about anything else I might need? Maybe a grammar lesson?
     
  15. kstar03

    kstar03 Companion

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    Jul 18, 2008

    You don't need a huge binder if you don't want to have that. Mine is in an 1 inch binder and I put my favorite lesson plans and handouts, my teaching philosophy, a unit plan (to show I can plan a unit out), samples of some of my student's work, pictures of my classroom (when I was student teaching) and the usual resume, reference letters, license, etc. I find having a smaller one makes the interviewer more likely to look at it. With a big one, they might be turned off by all of the material. I'm glad I made one... I used it today in an interview and the interviewer was very impressed with it. She had a better sense of my teaching style, which is sometimes hard to express.
     
  16. Vievers

    Vievers Rookie

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    Jul 18, 2008

    I have an inch and a half binder and still have plenty of space to put more things if I wanted. Think quality not quanitity.
    kseed03 is right in that size may turn off an interviewer from looking at your binder. I've also had the experience where a principal declined to go through my portfolio b/c they did not request it from everyone who was interviewing... something about being fair to everyone...
     
  17. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    Jul 18, 2008

    I've recently been sitting in on interviews at my school and the candidates who have the portfolios and can use them in their answers really seem to stand out to me. They don't just talk about their experiences, they can actually show them to you. :)
     

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