How to Create a Teaching Portfolio
Before embarking on a career in teaching or applying for a new position, educators will need to prepare a teaching portfolio to demonstrate their expertise and document their growth and achievements in the field. Creating a teaching portfolio is essential to illustrating how you have used your skills in the past and how you plan to use them to guide your teaching approach in the future. A teaching portfolio should include:
1. Background information
As with any job application, your teaching portfolio should include requisite background information, such as your career experience and training. It should also contain a detailed list of courses you taught with a description of your responsibilities.
2. Philosophy statement
A key part of any teaching portfolio is the philosophy statement. This should be one to two pages long and clearly detail your teaching approach, methods and goals. As you formulate your philosophy statement, contemplate what, how and why you teach, and how you measure your effectiveness as an educator. Be sure to include concrete examples and consider your audience as you write.
Teaching portfolios should include clear documentation of the approaches and methods that you have referenced in your philosophy statement. Include sample syllabi of courses you have taught or planned, course descriptions, sample assignments and exams, handouts and lecture outlines. You may also want to add video of you teaching and thorough descriptions of any visual materials or technology that you used during your lessons.
The main purpose of a teaching portfolio is to demonstrate to a potential employer how effective you would be in the classroom. You will need to include student evaluations, statements from colleagues and peer observers, and materials that demonstrate how much your students have learned. This can vary from documented improvements on standardized tests to graded student work that contains teacher feedback.
5. Professional development
Being a teacher means constantly learning, and your teaching portfolio should demonstrate what steps you have taken to improve professionally, such as participating in workshops or seminars. If you have published any papers, served on teaching or committees or provided assistance to colleagues, include that information here. Don't forget to note if you have received any honors or awards related to the teaching profession!
This article is sponsored by Western Governors University, a non-profit, accredited, online university. WGU's Teachers College offers multiple online degree programs for current teachers or those looking to become teachers. To find out more, please visit our website at www.wgu.edu.