Getting Around

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Creating a Teaching Portfolio

Creating a professional portfolio is hard work. Not that I didn't think it would be, but it's taking me a long time. We had to create one for our program. I just filled that one with the list of stuff that was required and let it go. I did spend some time narrating my artifacts since I didn't think they demonstrated much all on their own, but the rest was fairly straightforward.

Now, after hearing about interviews from some of the other people in my program, it's come out how handy it is to have a portfolio with you during an interview. Rather than expecting administrators to look at your portfolio, it helps to have examples to prove what you're saying. Most of my teacher-y friends have portfolio binders that are brimming with colorful examples of student work as well as colorful dividers and a colorful cover. I'm a little more subdued in the decoration department (you should see my boring house), so the most important thing for me is to be able to find the thing I want to show at the moment I need it during an interview.

But how to do that? Organization seems to be key. I was scanning stuff and organizing it into folders on my computer and then periodically rearranging the folders when I thought to change the organization of my final portfolio. I decided to take a break and write down my teaching philosophy. This also took longer than I thought it would even though I had to write one for my school portfolio. Once I had a what I thought was a nice philosophy, it all seemed to make sense. If I carefully select artifacts that support what I wrote about myself in my philosophy, that would be a good start.

Of course I'll include all the boring documentation, like my CV and transcript, but now I have a way to weed out the extra stuff I won't need in an interview. I will probably still select things that demonstrate my effectiveness as a teacher even if it's not strictly in my philosophy, but now I have a way to be consistent in my portfolio narration.


And oh yeah, I was hoping to put the portfolio online somewhere...

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