Teacher portfolio?

Discussion in 'Job Hunting & Interviews' started by lilrabbit, Dec 17, 2002.

  1. lilrabbit

    lilrabbit Rookie

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    Dec 17, 2002

    Hi, everyone! :)

    I'm still in the midst of getting ready to interview with school districts after the holidays... I'm working on my resume, and looking at some of the research and information I worked on in college so that I'm ready to back up my philosophies and strategies during interviews.

    I've been planning to make up a portfolio to take to my interviews - I have an information packet from the first internship I would have taken in college (if I hadn't opted to graduate without the certification) - I've looked up lots of information regarding portfolios on the Internet (I found basically the same information as I've already got).

    I also talked to a couple of teachers who didn't have portfolios at all when they interviewed...and landed their jobs just fine.

    My question is... Do I really need a portfolio when I interview? I was thinking that instead of creating and lugging around that huge volume (it would be enormous if I were to include everything listed in the internship packet) - perhaps I could create a small professional looking folder or presentation of sorts - including just the information that a principal would be really interested in...

    If that sounds like a good idea in your opinion, do you have a suggestion of something I need to be sure to include?

    My thoughts are that I would need my teaching philosophy, my behavior management plan, sample lesson plans, and some examples of my assessment and evaluation ideas. What else?

    Thank you so much for your help! :)
     
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  3. lilrabbit

    lilrabbit Rookie

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    Dec 17, 2002

    Just saw the portfolio post on General Ed...

    After I wrote my post, I checked the other board and found a thread about portfolios! :rolleyes: ;)

    It's given me some great ideas - however, I'd still welcome some replies here if anyone has anything else to add...

    Thanks! :)
     
  4. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Dec 18, 2002

    Look into creating an electronic portfolio!! You won't have to lung anything around and you'll still be able to put everything on there you need!
     
  5. AngelaS

    AngelaS Cohort

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    Dec 18, 2002

    Hmmm.. to portfolio or not portfolio? Some people are passionate about one or the other. I went on successful interviews with portfolio and without, and unsuccessful ones with and without, too. Very rarely do they really have time to look at it- you'll have to tell them your behavior mngmnt strategies because they probably won't read it. You can offer to leave it there and pick it up later in the week so they can view it at their convenience while trying to make a selection. Personally, if I were a prinicipal, I would want to see a video of how the candidate actually teaches and interacts with kids. Again, pick it up later or give them their own copy. But in practice, I did this for a job (which I did not get). The lesson started partway through the tape and the video was set in that spot. When I went back to get the tape... it was still in that same spot. He never looked at it. :(

    The last job I landed, I let my experience, education, and personality speak for itself and handed the principal nothing but a resume. If you don't have the time to get a portfolio together, don't stress over it, but it never hurts to have it. You can decide not to show it to them if you want .

    Good luck! You'll be great!;)
     
  6. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Dec 21, 2002

    Portfolio all the way!

    I'm not a degreed or certified teacher, but I do have a lot of experience teaching preschool (and I do have some college bachground in education.

    Anyway, I put together my own portfolio (which I have continued o develop) and it has helped me everytime.

    I include my resume, written references, copies of lesson plans, a few art projects I have saved, photographs (of bulletin boards, classrooms, happy children, I have a few of me with the kids, and some class pictures), copies of my CPR, 1st Aid certification, info packets from other training workshops, college papers, syllabus from education classes and anything else that could possibly help me!
     
  7. AngelaS

    AngelaS Cohort

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    Dec 21, 2002

    Unregistered's post (above) reminded me of something. All that stuff s/he put in there may not get looked at, but s/he is right to say that s/he wants anything that could possibly help!

    If you are answering an interview question about, say, hands-on learning, you could mention a recent project and flip to the photos in your portfolio to illustrate your point. Or, maybe there was a great lesson you did once and you could pull it out to remember that fantastic assessment you used.

    Teachers aren't usually taught how to use the portfolio once they are assembled, which is a real shame. They could be very valuable if used in that way.:)
     
  8. ShaddyBaby

    ShaddyBaby Rookie

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    Dec 23, 2002

    I went on several interviews before I landed my first job. During undergraduate work all they talked about was my portfolio and how important it is! To be honest, no one wanted to see it! The administration didn't have the time to flip through that huge book of papers, lesson plans, etc. Several classmates told me they were frowned upon when they took their portfolio to interviews. I took mine but I left it in the car so it would be there if I needed it. I never did!
     
  9. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Dec 28, 2002

    You are all right, no one is going to sit down and look at your porfolio page by page, but one good thing about it is, if they ask you "what was your most sucessful lesson" you can have that lesson and pictures in your binder and just pull it out. It gives proff that you are able to do what you are talking about. ....I used my portfolio at almost all my interviews, and once you work it into an answer, they are more than likely to flip through it.
     
  10. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Dec 31, 2002

    Electronic Portfolio

    I am a first year teacher and I used an electronic portfolio during my interviews. I used PowerPoint to create a presentation that included video clips of my teaching, sample lesson plans, my philosophies, photographs, bulletin boards as well as other things. Then I burned my PowerPoint presentation onto a CD and was able to take it around on my laptop to share with my prospective employers. Each interviewer I met with was extremely impressed mainly because it showed that I was technologically saavy and principals want that in their school.
     
  11. mommaruthie

    mommaruthie Aficionado

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    Jan 1, 2003

    photographic resume

    I had a great album of me and my internship experiences. I always offered it to demonstrate creativity. Its difficult to attend an interview and describe an activity without stumbling over your words! THe album should be scanned in and made into a DVD or powerpoint. I am so outdated!
     
  12. lilrabbit

    lilrabbit Rookie

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    Jan 2, 2003

    Thanks - still worried a bit

    Thank you everyone for all of your insightful comments about portfolios. :) It's really helped me tremedously, and it's also scared me a bit because I'm not sure mine would be very good :(

    Ultimately, in a perfect world, I would have all that you've suggested and more, but as I start really trying to put together something, I realize just how little information I have to go in it.

    I've got all my papers I wrote in college - about my philosophy, how children learn, how a child's developing brain works, my classrrom management training, etc. I've even got about 50 sample lesson plans (not that I would need them all, I would likely pull the very best ones)... but I don't have a single picture of myself in a classroom. I did several observations and practicums, and worked with individual kids and a small group for a few weeks, but I just never thought of taking pictures. I'm sure if I'd gone on to do my internships and student teaching (where I would be in the classroom for more than an hour at a time), I would have thought about bringing a camera. :rolleyes:

    This doesn't make for a very interesting portfolio - in my opinion... Therefore it makes me wonder if bringing it in would only serve to show my LACK of experience... The sad thing is that I worked in several preschools for 12 years (back in the '80s and early '90s) - and in all that time, I never once thought about bringing in a camera! I've taken pictures with parent's cameras during birthday parties, etc, but never took any for myself....

    I was always so busy, I just never thought about iit! What was I thinking!? :confused:

    Now, I'm just hoping that I don't need a portfolio in order to get into a district certification program...
     
  13. Alexis

    Alexis Rookie

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    Jan 3, 2003

    Portfolios

    I am currently a senior doing my undergrad in elementary and special education. It is a requirement that we have a portfolio in my programs. After finishing my Elementary education field this past semester, I had a portfolio review with my supervisor. Without warning, she asked me interview questions, and I had to back up my answers with artifacts in my portfolio. I had most of the items, but there was one interesting suggestion that she made, that may help you in your portfolio development. She told me to describe myself, using 5 adjectives. Then she told me to show her how my portfolio portrayed these five adjectives. Of course, that caught me totally off-guard, however, I am still in the process of developing my portfolio, and will keep this in mind. I think it shows principals important things about you as a teacher and as a person without coming out and saying it. It shows that you not only can talk the talk, but you can walk the walk. Hope that helps! Good luck!
     
  14. mommaruthie

    mommaruthie Aficionado

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    Jan 3, 2003

    five adjectives hmmmm

    I LOVE the adjective idea. In fact, I am totally going to empty my 'folders' and combine my PHOTOS into a proper portfolio. If anyone can think of some other adjectives and what you would put in it PLEASE post!

    i would say:
    creative- and have a section of interesting projects or bulletin boards

    adaptable- photos of you using a work space or one on one instruction areas you designed in your room, outside your classroom, with a small group on the floor holding a mini chalkboard

    humorous- and have pics of you in costume or being silly

    nurturing- and pics of loving shots, hugs etc

    Family oriented- put in a biography of yourself, hobbies, spiritual, physical/sports stuff you do, family activities, even photo of travel.

    competitive- and have competitions results or awards for entering in competitions, newspaper articles, publishings, certificates you receive, commendations...

    innovative- any workshops you run or teams you coach or worksheets, games you created

    approachable- (keep logs of parent contacts, home visits)

    organized- keep all blank teacher data sheets you create or borrow from other teachers to demonstrate seating, grading, phone logs, lesson plans, a year at a glance objectives, holiday calendar, school year calendar

    artistic- keep samples of your art assignments and put them into slip protector sheets.

    Studious- put in college grades/transcripts, workshops attended

    reliable- put in all letters of reference. one thing i learned is always get UNDATED letters of reference and copies of the letters for future use. You could even put in your internship evaluations or your principal observation sheets.

    I would recommend EVERYTHING goes into a slip protector sheet instead of each loose paper being hole punched . You could get the tabs to put the adjectives in and also buy cute scrapbooking paper to put your photos on before putting them into the slip protector sheets. Use the computer and dont manually write explanations of the photos.
     
  15. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Jan 9, 2003

    Re: Just saw the portfolio post on General Ed...

    One idea that is good is to make mini-portfolios. Make at least 5 so that everyone at the interview can have a copy during the interview. Include you resume, philosophy, references, copy of transcripts, or Praxis scores.
     
  16. CeCe

    CeCe Companion

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    Jan 10, 2003

    OOOOOHHHH! I also love the adjective idea! The photo section of my portfolio currently shows my experiences in a chronological order, but I think I'm going to re-do mine in sort of a biographical format. I think it might be kind of catchy to title it something like "Who is CeCe (Last Name)?" Page One could have a photo of me and some pertinent background info about me personally. Then a page of photos (or documentation) for each adjective I'm using to describe myself as a teacher.
    Seems to me portfolios are a good visual, but need to be concise - not a fat binder full of papers. Every interview I've ever had, the interviewers always asked some form of the question: "What sets you apart from others applying for this position? Describe your strengths." A slim portfolio with adjectives would be a great tool for answering this question!
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2003

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