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Monday, February 19, 2018

3 Tips for Making an Awesome Teacher Portfolio for Interviews

Interviewing for teaching jobs can be stressful, but you can make it easier on yourself by having an awesome portfolio to show principals! If you get a little nervous when interviewing, having physical examples of your work in a portfolio to show off will definitely help ease your nerves! Check out my 3 tips for making an awesome teacher portfolio.

1) Keep your portfolio simple and tailor it to the specific job you're applying for.
There's a fine line between having too much and too little in your portfolio. There's no need to have a 4 inch binder full of materials and examples... because no principal will have time to look through it all, but it's also important to have enough in the portfolio to show that you would be great at the job you're applying for! I suggest tailoring your portfolio to the specific job you're applying for. For example, if you're applying for a job that includes management of paraprofessionals, include information on how you've effectively managed staff in the past. However, if you aren't applying for a teaching job that involves managing paras, then save the space and don't include it in your portfolio. If you're applying for a job in a classroom for students with autism or social/ emotional disabilities, make sure you include information about your experience with behavior management or applied behavior analysis. It's a good idea to look at the specific job description to identify what strengths you should highlight in your portfolio.

2) Put copies of references and letters of recommendation in your portfolio. 
This might sound simple and obvious, but don't be that person who says, "Oh, I'll send you my references and letters of recommendations later today." Make it easy on the hiring principal and show you took the initiative by having copies of letters of recommendation and your references' information ready to hand over at the interview!

3) Include pictures and real-life examples in your portfolio. 
It's a great idea to include pictures and real-life examples of your work in your portfolio. You can include pictures of students working, student work samples, your data wall, how you collaborate with parents, the list can go on and on! Pictures are a great way to capture the awesome things you are doing in the classroom. Something that would be meaningful to include in any teacher portfolio is examples of differentiation. To show how you differentiate, you can include pictures or bring physical materials that are differentiated. You can use page protectors or plastic binder pouches to make pictures and lesson materials look professional. I love these binder friendly pouches from Amazon.

Here are examples of things I included in my most recent portfolio when applying for self-contained special education classroom jobs:

-Resume, References, Letters of Recommendations

-Parent Communication
I included pictures of parent newsletters and back and forth books.

-Staff Management
I included pictures of staff inventories completed, zoning plans and daily task lists/ duties.

-Behavior Management
I included pictures of behavior supports I implement and printouts from a behavior presentation I gave.

-Data Collection (Behavior & Academic)
I included pictures of behavior and academic data collection.

I included an example of a literacy lesson/ book that is differentiated in three levels.

Happy job hunting!


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