Teacher Portfolios

New Teachers are encouraged to make a Portfolio. Below you will find some tips from
teachers and student teachers. Also, you will find helpful links, books, and suggestions on
the topic of portfolios!


Books That Will Help you!

Click on a book to learn more about it!

Tips From Student Teachers and Teachers on Portfolios
A compiled list from the teachersnet chatboards and various rings.
Beginning Teachers Chatboard
Student Teaching ChatBoard
These two boards are perfect places for new teachers to visit daily. I suggest you click on a link above and bookmark the two sites.

I keep my eyes open for various topics being discussed on mailrings and chatboards. Then I compile the ideas to a page. It is so nice to have many ideas in one place. New ideas are added often.

Many thanks to the teachers that have shared their ideas. So many teachers have wonderful hearts!

Well-This was the big question during my student teaching---
do people really look at portfolios???

Well I must say that I have been to a job fair in which I talked to many districts and I have been on 1 job interview.
The truth is -no one really looks at it. I put so much time and energy creating my portfolio it has been really dissapointing.

During the job fair I tried working it into the conversation as much as I could-pointing out relevant pages. Mostly they looked to be nice. One man had the nerve not to even look at it-he was busy looking at the people walking around!

If you plan to make a portfolio-dont spend much time on it becuase you really won't use it! Posted by andrea on 5/30/02

I put mine in categories, such as Honors, Student Teaching, Substitute Teaching, etc. I included pictures, lesson plans, certificates, and anything else I hadb. Mine has a table of contents at the beginning. I also used decorative paper. Does this help?

  • I put a portfolio together for a recent interview. I have to say it really helped me display my skills. I included the following:
    -table of contents
    -copies of my certification
    -lesson plans including copies of materials that I developed to
    go along with plans
    -an example of my state's alternate assessment that I completed
    for one of my students
    -a behavior support plan that I developed
    -letters of recommendation
    -philosophy of education
    -photograph of me with students with captions
    -copies of my transcripts

    Work examples of your work by using your portfolio into your conversations when interviewing. Many administrators will want to see if you have the confidence in yourself to use your portfolio. Don't bring it at all if you don't plan on using it. Having it at your side and never opening it during an interview could put you in a negative light.

    Hope this helps! Amy

    having a portfolio just got me a job for next year! At the interview I asked if I could show them or leave it with them for a few days. They called me back 3 days later, told me how impressed they were, and offered me a job!

    Mine's pretty simple - all my certification/resumes/transcripts in one section, one on educational philosophy, then one showing student work (I used work collected during my student teaching, several examples of good work, plus some of how student writing had improved over time), some lesson plans I'd developed and pics of kids working on them, then lists of professional development I'd done. Took me about an hour to pull it together from my boxes of student teaching junk, and it definitely paid off.

    Also might add
    1. sample "letters to parents"
    2. samples of student work
    3. something showing assessment techniques (rubrics, etc.)
    4. a lesson showing how you implemented technology
    5. a lesson showing how you taught based on
    certain "standards"

    Hi, I am now doing my student teaching. We have electronic portfolios on the web. You can go to http://portfolios.valdosta.edu/mge this will give you a list of students' portfolios that you may look at. Some of the ones who are already teaching now, have put all the finishing touches on their portfolio (mine is not finished) I would recommend looking at Pam Varnedore's, Crystal Holbrook's, and Misti Davis's.....all of theirs are wonderful! Good Luck. Posted by kara on 1/13/02

    These are my headings:

    1)Classroom Experience -Mission Field experience evaluations
    -Pictures of activities that I organized/instructed in the classroom
    -Bulletin b\Boards that I created
    -Sample lesson plans
    -Student work from lessons that I planned and instructed
    -Balnaced literacy program pics (How I implmented it)
    -Overall Lesson Plan template
    -Student teaching evaluation
    -Field trip Plan
    -Example of classroom learning enviornment

    2)Achievements -Honors letters
    -Programs that I was involved in

    3)Appreciation -Letters/pictures from kids and parents

    4)Values -Poems (emphasize my mission)

    5)Professional Development -career plan
    -organizations that I belong to
    -Workshops that I attended
    -Pictures of voulunteering

    Before all of these headings I have My mission
    Why I want to be a teacher
    Test scores
    Phiosophy if teaching (diff subjects)
    Letters of recommendation

    I also know some teachers who have the same heading in their portfolio that are on their resume. So as they are speaking they can turn to that section

    Hope this helps! Melissa

    I will be having my interview in a few months and I have already done a trial run of my portfolio, set out in the following way: (BTW, I have answered this question before on a list, so I have cut and pasted from my previous message)

    Title page
    Contents page
    Teaching Philosophy
    Rationale - for how my portfolio is set out and the purpose
    behind the included items.

    1. 'Teacher as Professional'
    - teaching philosophy, interests/abilities/aptitudes,
    transcripts, certificates and awards, prac reports,
    professional memberships, technological abilities

    2. 'Teacher as Planner' - (focuses on ability to plan and
    sequence lessons and concepts)
    - long-term planning, unit planning, lesson planning

    3. 'Teacher as Facilitator of Learning' (focuses on ability
    to meet diverse needs of learners)
    - classroom environment, behaviour management, diverse
    learners, instructional strategies, resourcefulness (use of

    4. 'Teacher as Evaluator'
    - monitoring practices, diagnostic/ formative/ summative
    assessment, authentic assessment

    5. 'Teacher as Communicator'
    - ability to communicate with students, fellow teachers
    (collaboration), school staff, and parents

    6. 'Teacher as Reflective Practitioner'
    - reflections on own teaching and development; value you have
    of reflection on your teaching

    At the beginning of each section I wrote a brief rationale/ explanation for the things that were included and what they showed (so your lesson plans etc are EVIDENCE only - you need explanatory notes to draw out WHY the item was included - what is its importance? what does it show about you as a teacher?).

    Where I included resources that I had made, students' work, or other resources, I included a brief note (on a bit of square coloured paper slotted into the plastic sleeve holding the resource) explaining its importance or relevance - eg "This is a piece of student's work taken from an art lesson on line and colour. The piece is evidence of the student's understanding of warm and cool colours, plus sharp and flowing line, as a result of the lesson. Unfortunately, trying to cover two concepts (line and colour) in the one lesson meant that many students did not achieve the same understanding as this student did. In the future, I would teach one full lesson on line and have students do their drawing incorporating flowing and sharp lines. Then in a following lesson I would teach the concept of warm and cool colours, having students apply colour to the drawing from the previous lesson." - this is pretty much one of my examples from my trial portfolio.
    Donna T on 1/15/02

Helpful Links On This Topic

Portfolio - Whether you are a 20-year veteran or just starting out, a portfolio should be a key component of your teaching tools. Portfolios are a nearly universal requirement for the hiring process, but if you already have a secure job you should view a portfolio as your insurance against unforseen district shake-ups. Keeping one of these self-promotion tools up-to-date also can be a good exercise in self-evaluation.


Teaching Portfolios

The Advantages of Teaching Portfolios: A concise list of advantages of the portfolio for teaching and for use in promotion and tenure.

Portfolios Playing Increasing Role In Teacher Hiring, Study Finds

Electronic Portfolio - This is a model for a professional portfolio. A sample is given along with prompts for those who wish to create one of their own.

Professional Portfolio - Advice for planning your own professional portfolio.

What is a Teacher Portfolio? - Description of a teacher's portfolio and suggestions of things that can be included

Teacher Portfolio Organizers and Ideas :  - scroll to the bottom table on this page and you will see some GREAT portfolio recources!

Portfolios Playing Increasing Role In Teacher Hiring

D & W's Teacher Resources

Portfolio Resources On The Internet

Visit portfolios online!

One Site with MANY sample online portfolios

sample from a professional site

online portfolio examples


Electronic Teaching Portfolios - Here's a chance to see samples of teachers' portfolios. Examples are from pre-service and practicing teacher at all levels.

Kelly's Teaching Portfolio - Here is a sample portfolio, detailing teaching philosophy, recent lesson palns and projects

Click here to learn more about a must have for new and student teachers!


Teaching is a Work of Heart