What is a Teacher Portfolio and Why is it Important?
A teacher portfolio serves as a collection or record of your professional background and experience as a teacher and documents what you believe about language learning and teaching and how you teach. Items often found in a portfolio include a statement of your philosophy of teaching, your curriculum vitae, examples of materials, activities, or lesson plans you have developed, video clips of your classroom teaching, samples of student, peer, or administrative evaluations of your teaching, and so on. Increasingly, employers are asking for various portfolio elements before, during, and after the interview/hiring process. By putting together an organized, cohesive, reflective, and ever-growing portfolio, you better prepare yourself to show who you are as a teacher and what you offer to a potential employer and to make a good impression.
During our 7-part TiPPS workshop series, we cover some of the basics toward conducting a job/information search, preparing necessary job application materials (effective CVs and cover letters), and gathering examples of you as a teacher (teaching philosophy statement, activities/materials), so you can put your best foot forward for that fateful interview. We cannot possibly cover everything, however, and that is why we include a lot of resources for TiPPS participants or the casual web surfer for further reference. We encourage you to make good use of them and send us any suggestions for additions. Aloha!
TiPPS HANDOUTS ON TEACHER PORTFOLIOS
BOOKS AND ARTICLES ON TEACHER PORTFOLIOS
Bullock, Ann Adams, & Hawk, Parmalee P. (2001). Developing a teaching portfolio: A guide for preservice and practicing teachers. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill Prentice Hall.
A comprehensive guide for developing portfolios for a variety of specific purposes
Journal on Excellence in College Teaching – Volume 6, No. 1
An issue totally devoted to a variety of issues regarding teacher portfolios. Available in print or online
Murray, John P. (1997). Successful faculty development and evaluation: The complete teaching portfolio. Washington, DC : Graduate School of Education and Human Development, George Washington University
Seldin, Peter (1991). Teaching portfolio: A practical guide to improved performance and promotion/tenure decisions. Bolton, MA : Anker Pub. Co.
Wolfe-Quintero, K., & Brown, J.D. (1998). Teacher portfolios. TESOL Journal 7(6), 24-27.
A good place to start – we often use this article for a quick overview of teacher portfolios, their contents, and uses.
WEBSITES ON TEACHER PORTFOLIOS
This handbook is targeted toward Cornell faculty seeking tenure and promotion but serves as a comprehensive guide to developing a good reflective and representative teacher portfolio (HTML and PDF versions available)
Another comprehensive guide to developing a teacher portfolio.
Guidelines, tips, and examples of teacher portfolios.
A comprehensive handbook on putting together a teacher portfolio.
Provides a good set of guidelines for getting your electronic portfolio started.
Everything you ever wanted to know about developing electronic portfolios (a good resource with lots of links)
SOME TEACHER PORTFOLIO EXAMPLES (ELECTRONIC)
The websites that follow were found via an internet search and are designed for you to review and learn from (we’re not saying that any of them are exemplary — nor are we saying that they are not exemplary). As you look at some of these portfolios, here are a few things to look for:
- Do you get a clear idea about this person as a teacher? Are there sufficient and varied documents/examples to give you a fairly full picture?
- Do you get a clear idea about what the teacher believes about learning and teaching and how they carry it out in the classroom?
- Do aspects of teaching that are not included feel like they were omitted as a result of informed choices or as a result of a careless oversight that you feel should be rectified?
See samples in the Gallery section. The site also contains tips for both teachers and students for putting together a portfolio, including tutorials.
More samples of teacher portfolios
Electronic portfolios of former TiPPS participants
Used by permission