What is a Teaching Portfolio?

Updated on June 7, 2018
Jule Romans profile image

Jule Romans is a former college instructor with an M.A. in Education. She guided many new teachers in her 25-year career in the classroom.

Source

A teaching portfolio is much more than a scrapbook. A good teaching portfolio is a collection of items that are carefully selected to demonstrate mastery of educational skills.

What is a Teaching Portfolio?

The teaching portfolio is an ever-evolving showcase that can open doors to a great teaching career. Because teaching requires such a complex array of skills, a resume alone is often not enough. No matter how descriptive they are, words on a page cannot fully illustrate what a teacher can do. The teaching portfolio provides an opportunity to demonstrate these skills.

What is Included in a Teaching Portfolio?

A good teaching portfolio often contains pictures, lesson plans, letters of reference, research writing, and publications. It may also include a variety of other items that show off the best accomplishments of an individual teacher. These items are often called artifacts because there are so many different types of things that can be used as examples of great work.

A teaching portfolio is not merely a collection of course projects, nor is it a scrapbook of teaching memorabilia.

A Teaching Portfolio Is NOT a Scrapbook

We must begin with a clear understanding of the definition and purpose of a portfolio.

“Portfolio” is a word with many applications. An education portfolio is not merely a collection of course projects nor is it a scrapbook of teaching memorabilia.

A teaching portfolio is “an organized, goal-driven documentation of professional growth and achieved competence in the complex act called teaching" (1)

The best portfolios clearly represent the teacher’s knowledge, skills, and beliefs, and show how the teacher implements those in practice.

The key point here is that your portfolio must somehow be MORE than just a collection- it must have some intellectual basis.

The best portfolios clearly represent the teacher’s knowledge, skills, and beliefs, and show how the teacher implements those in practice.

A Teaching Portfolio is a Showcase for Your Skills

Most recognized education colleges demand the production of a portfolio as the final experience for their graduates. “Every student who is preparing to teach should begin developing a professional portfolio. If you have not yet begun, now is the time to do so. A teaching portfolio is an organized collection of artifacts that document your developing professional skills. (1)"

Demonstrate Teaching Skills With Good Examples

Since there might be any number of items that could prove or demonstrate your accomplishment, the word artifact has gained popularity. Don’t let the word confuse you. Simply remember to make purposeful selection of all kinds of items, and you will do just fine.

The term artifact is often misunderstood. “artifact” is used to describe any item you place in your portfolio to demonstrate a specific point. An artifact might be a sample of student work, a certificate of achievement, or a thank you note. The point is that the item is deliberately selected to illustrate a specific part of your teaching persona.

The Teaching Portfolio is a Perfect Showcase...

One university puts it like this: “Although you will discover areas for improvement as you compile your portfolio, you will emphasize mainly the positive aspects of your work. “A "teaching portfolio" is a compilation of information about your teaching. It can therefore be selective, emphasizing the positive--to serve as a showcase for your achievements in teaching, not necessarily a comprehensive or balanced picture of everything. (2)”

...And Always Evolving

That makes sense. You will go through a certain process, independently, that will result in a final product which represents your best work. Getting to that point, however, will involve creating and re-creating the portfolio many times. In fact, you might think of the process as divided into two parts. You should have two portfolios: a working portfolio and a presentation portfolio.

Your portfolio must somehow be MORE than just a collection- it must have some intellectual basis.

Examples of Items in a Teaching Portfolio

Writing
Creating
Interacting
Teaching Philosopy
Lesson Plans
Classroom Photos
Resume
Photos of Bulletin Boards
Candid Photos
Cover Letter
Unit Outlines
Parent Contacts
Published Articles
Tests/Quizzes
Professional Associations
Research Reports
Websites
References
Case Studies
Blogs
Public Speaking
Personal Reflections
Think-Sheets
Class Performances
Classroom Newsletters
Flashcards
Read-Aloud Events

Through your working portfolio, you will be able to assess yourself; your strengths and areas for improvement.

The working portfolio utilizes many different resources.
The working portfolio utilizes many different resources. | Source

The Teacher Portfolio: Working Version

Ever since you took your first education class and began to save your work, your writing, and evidence of your developing teacher-self. In a way, it’s your draft portfolio.This is what you have been collecting all along. The working portfolio is the master collection of artifacts.

Portfolio-in-Progress

A working portfolio is much larger than the presentation or assessment portfolio. It contains unabridged versions of documents you choose to portray your professional growth.

It could contain all your journal entries, all your lessons plan, every reading you have done, etc. The working portfolio will also help you to document your attainment of teaching standards and practices.

The Portfolio is a Process of Self-Assessment

Through your developing portfolio, you will be able to assess yourself; your strengths and areas for improvement. Often working portfolios are contained in crates to facilitate transporting such a large volume of materials! (1)”

Example of a Teaching Portfolio

The Teacher Portfolio: Presentation Version

The working portfolio is not the end of the process, though. “From time to time, you will select items from the working portfolio to organize into a presentation portfolio. Your teaching portfolio will grow over your professional life. You will add to it and, from time to time, will weed out obsolete items. Later, near the end of the semester and for any presentation, you will cull, reorganize, and consolidate to create your presentation portfolio.

You will use the presentation portfolio to introduce yourself to potential cooperating teachers when it comes time for student teaching, and you'll use it when you begin applying for teaching positions.

The Presentation Portfolio is for Job-Seeking

As you finish student teaching and begin looking for the job you want, you will revise, edit, and polish a portfolio to show as your interview. A presentation portfolio gives others an effective and easy-to-read portrait of your professional development. It is selective and represents your best at the time.

A high-quality portfolio may give you the edge over other candidates.

A Presentation Portfolio is also a Professional Teaching Portfolio

After you begin teaching and begin to grow professionally, you may wish to begin the process of becoming a National Board-Certified teacher. As part of that process, you will have to develop a professional portfolio documenting your competency.

The portfolio you begin now can serve as the foundation for that. While the format is different, the process is similar, and some of the artifacts you begin collecting now might be used as part of that portfolio.” (1)

The best portfolios clearly represent the teacher’s knowledge, skills, and beliefs, and show how the teacher implements those in practice.

Begin assembling your professional portfolio, but be prepared for it to change.
Begin assembling your professional portfolio, but be prepared for it to change. | Source

A Good Teacher Portfolio Opens Doors

Thus, the process of creating a portfolio is likely to continue into your career. A portfolio is a deliberate presentation of yourself as a teacher.

Its purpose is to show your work in the best possible manner. Understanding this is the key to compiling a good portfolio- one which will not only get you noticed, but also get you accepted as a member of a school community.

References

  1. Professional Portfolios. 2003. Department of Middle and Secondary Education, Florida State University. 30 Mar 2005.
  2. The Teaching Portfolio at Washington State University. 1996. Office of the Provost, Washington State University. 27 Mar 2005.
  3. Preparing a Teaching Portfolio: A Guidebook. 17 Mar 2005. The center for teaching effectiveness, University of Texas at Austin. 31 Mar 2005.
  4. Capstone Requirements. 11 Jun 2003. Curriculum & Instruction,
    UMass Boston. 31 Mar 2005.
  5. EDU 307 AB Student Teaching Portfolio requirements/checklist. 1 Apr, 2005. University of California, Irvine. 1 Apr 2005.

Questions & Answers

    © 2018 Jule Romans

    Comments

    Submit a Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, owlcation.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://owlcation.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)