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BackArrowJob Preparation
PurposeGetting StartedTypesWhat to IncludeTipsPros & ConsSamples

Portfolio Development 


What is the purpose of a portfolio?

A portfolio is a well-organized collection of documents that showcase your achievements, teaching style, and strengths as a teacher.  While a portfolio is not a required document in the application process, it can help you “stand apart” among candidates as a conscientious, well-organized teacher candidate. As you prepare a portfolio, consider: a)  your organizational system, b) types of portfolios;  c) materials you might include.


Getting Started

Where do I begin? Review your prior experiences and reflect on what you believe is excellence in teaching—your portfolio shows how you demonstrate these qualities. Your portfolio should be a tool to tell about YOU.



Ideally, as you move through field experiences, summer jobs, and volunteer opportunities keep “everything” and keep it organized in file folders. You never know when you might need to draw from a lesson plan for a particular demonstration lesson you are called to do for an interview. Also, take lots of pictures, particularly plan shots that include you interacting with children engaged in an educational activity.
Organize your portfolio materials electronically. This will allow you to manipulate information and print it as necessary. Also, if you decide to prepare an electronic portfolio, you will be able to “demonstrate” your portfolio on your laptop for a second on-site interview. Employers like to see competency and various applications of technology--this is a good excuse to use it!


Types of Portfolios

"Take Portfolio"

A take portfolio is usually a large binder that includes standard job application materials, as well as, a substantial amount of work samples.  Pages are organized in sheet protectors with extra copies tucked inside for items that you might want to provide a school district.  (i.e. reference letters, clearances, transcripts, PRAXIS scores, etc.)


"Send Portfolio"

A send portfolio is usually 15-20 pages and serves as a showcase.  It can be sent or given to a school district with your resume, application, etc.  It can also be a great tool in an interview because it is streamlined, manageable, and concise.


"Tri-fold Brochure"

A personal trifold approach is targeted to your strengths and serves as an engaging piece, especially to hand out at a job fair with your resume.  A brochure might include: philosophy (of education and/or classroom management), pictures, contact information, quotes from references, and whatever elements you decide are important to highlight.


"Electronic Portfolio"

An electronic portfolio can be accessed via the Internet, so it is convenient and affordable.  This can be a great resource to showcase your technological abilities, but don't assume that all interviewers will be interested in this format (just as some employers may not take the time to review your print portfolio).  Efolio, Portfoliogen, and Weebly are sites that allow you to post your electronic portfolio for free.  However, rising in popularity are Google Docs and Pinterest.  They are safe, free, "known", and reputable!  If you prefer to prepare your portfolio in a document like PowerPoint, this is a manageable option too.  See sample below.


What to Include in your Portfolio: Some Options

•Your philosophy of education

•Classroom management philosophy


•Sample lessons and worksheets

     ○Be sure to have samples from a variety of grade levels and subject areas

     ○Use lessons that you feel comfortable discussing with interviewers

•Photos showing:    

     ○Different teaching strategies

     ○Diversity in ethnicity and age

     ○Special activities you did while teaching that you would like to showcase

     ○Sample bulletin boards, posters, or other large manipulatives

     ○Variety of subject content

     ○Interaction with parents, technology, special speakers, etc.

NOTE: ONLY use photos that either protect student subjects or are authorized by parents

•Quotes and/or references

     ○Be sure to get references from a variety of sources

     ○If using quotes, choose quotes from a variety of people (parent, teacher,

       co-op, principal, students, etc.)

•Evaluations from cooperating teachers and advisors

     ○Keeping your final evaluations in a specific spot is especially important

     ○Make copies of all evaluations your co-op and advisors give you 

•Additional resources (These might be put in a larger portfolio, but maybe not included in a "send portfolio" or a brochure)

     ○PRAXIS scores

     ○Reference letters and list of contacts (ASK THEM SOONER RATHER THAN


     ○Certification and clearances


     ○Letters and certificates (e.g., recognition of academic abilities, dean's list,

       professional development activities, honoraries, job recognition,

       participation in education related activities [i.e. Math Blast] etc.) 


Tips from Graduates

Three graduates offer advice on developing portfolios--from binders to electronic formats.  They also share tips on using the portfolio in the job search.

Virtual Portfolio Workshop


Portfolio Pros and Cons

Portfolios in the Job Search: Busy Work or Competitive Edge?





Elementary Middle Level & Secondary
Trifold Brochure
Trifold Brochure
Trifold Brochure
Trifold Brochure
Trifold Brochure
Electronic Portfolio
Electronic Portfolio
Streamlined Portfolio

Trifold Brochure

Trifold Brochure

Trifold Brochure

Trifold Brochure

Electronic Portfolio




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Designed By D. R. Snyder/Maintained By: | Last Updated: November 2016