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!


Suggested timeline for putting together and developing a teacher portfolio (revised 2016)


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.


Teaching Portfolios (University Center for the Advancement of Teaching, Ohio State University)

Another comprehensive guide to developing a teacher portfolio.

Center for Teaching, Vanderbilt University: Teaching Portfolios

Guidelines, tips, and examples of teacher portfolios.

Teaching Portfolio (The Teaching Center, Washington University in St. Louis)

See also sidebar menu on page for additional articles on collecting your teaching materials, reflecting on your teaching, selecting contact for your portfolio, organizing your content, and sharing your portfolio.

Edutopia: Do I Need a Digital Teaching Portfolio?

Provides a good set of guidelines for getting your electronic portfolio started.

6 Steps to a Professional Online Portfolio for Teachers

Another good set of guidelines for getting your electronic portfolio started.



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?

Portfolios at Penn State

See samples in the Gallery section. The site also contains tips for both teachers and students for putting together a portfolio, including tutorials.

University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Department of Second Language Studies BA program: Sample professional portfolios

More samples of teacher portfolios

Electronic portfolios of former TiPPS participants

Used by permission


  • Weebly – easy drag-and-drop website builder (with templates)
  • Wix – intuitive drag-and-drop web editor (with templates)
  • WordPress – build a blog, a full website, or a combo. Step-by-step guide can be found at https://learn.wordpress.com


Websites – Your 24/7 Salesperson –  This guide is more from a sales perspective, but the information about layout, comparison of different tools, and so forth are all very helpful.


Center for Teaching Excellence, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa – For UH Mānoa faculty and students, a good resource for professional development and feedback on your teaching

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.