Since I am waiting on phone calls from the applications I put in, I decided to update my Professional Teaching Portfolio. Our Education program had us make one for one of our courses. I have not kept up on it much since I began teaching, updating it last in 2008. But I am hoping for an interview soon, and the one time I don't bring it will be the time they ask!
In case you are unfamiliar with Teaching Portfolios, or looking for ideas, I thought I would take a few posts to run down the way mine if organized and what I have included this time around.
First of all, I am an elementary teacher (usually on the primary junior end, at that) so I include a lot of colour in mine. It also reflects my personality! I have a favourite paper I use for all of my section dividers and permanent pages. This time around, I wanted to change a few titles, and being a little bit obsessed with format, decided to redo all of the dividers.
Here are the main sections in my portfolio:
1. Educational Philosophy
2. Table of Contents
4. Reference Letters
5. Educational Documents
6. Photo Pages
7. Lesson Plans
8. Teaching Aspirations
*My portfolio used to include a goals page. I would like to put this back in, but since I didn't feel I have the time right now to update this, I didn't want to include one that was out of date.
My first page is a copy of my binder title page. This includes both my name and the date I last updated my portfolio.
Immediately afterward is my Educational Philosophy. Our professors were adamant that this is the first piece of information that should be included in our portfolios, even before the table of contents.
I am a very visual person and had to fiddle with the spacing of each line and section. I also have a tendency to be wordy, so I thought that breaking it into sections that were clear and concise kept things neat. It was interesting this time around to see what I updated and changed after teaching full time for four years.
Below is my Educational Philosophy. Feel free to use bits and pieces or just some inspiration if you are writing one of your own. Just a note, I have another on for my Philosophy of Christian Education for when I was apply for private school jobs. It is mostly the same with a few additional comments.
Education is a process that involves many elements working together for a common goal.
I believe that…
Every child can learn and has the potential to succeed.
Every student is an individual and has their own learning style.
Every student should be assessed in the way that allows them to best express their abilities.
Learning should be student centred.
Learning should be authentic and interdisciplinary.
Learning should be interactive, engaging and creative.
The classroom climate is set by the teacher’s attitude.
The classroom creates a family of learners, working together.
The classroom should be a safe, inviting and stimulating environment.
Teachers are only part of a team.
Teachers should have high expectations.
Teachers should be role-models for their students;
both in the classroom and in the community.
Teachers must go above and beyond their teaching duties.
Teachers should be involved with extra-curricular activities.
Teachers must be adaptable, constantly evaluating their teaching practices and seeking to improve their methods.
Teachers work with students, parents, colleagues, administrators and community members.
After this document is my Table of Contents, which simply lists my section headings.
Everything is put into plastic page protectors which makes it easy to update pages as well as keeping documents from holes and damage when pages are flipped.
Stay tuned this week for a closer look at my resume and references.
See you soon!