Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Professional Teaching Portfolio - Resume and References

I am back today to continue walking through my Professional Teaching Portfolio. If you missed this introductory post, you can see it here. 

Today we are going to take a look at the Resume and References section.

 My Resume:

Over the years, my resume has changed format a few times. Here are a few general pieces of advice I like to give.

1) Make it look professional. If you have a template that you can plug in your name and contact information as the header, great! It means that your are front and centre at the top of every page. Make sure the font is a standard, legible type (no comic sans or "fontmoochers")

2) Keep it simple. I tend to ramble and can get pretty wordy. So I limit myself to bullet points. Less clutter on the page allows readers to find the information they are looking for more quickly.

3) Emphasize the experience that matters. If you are applying for a teaching job, each individual date that you worked those retail jobs in the summer are probably not going to catch the principal's attention. Lump them together as "Various retail positions" and list the specific stores in the bullet description. Potential Employers are far more interested in seeing the type of experience that shows you are a good fit for that job.

4) Sell yourself! Include the outside experiences, training courses, volunteer jobs that you have completed. This time around, I decided that listing my Community Experiences chronologically didn't make sense. So I lumped them together into categories. (For me, Music, Drama and Community Work). 

5) Include your Professional Development. It is important that employers see your dedication to your field, taking extra workshops, and the topic or subject you have pursued. Below you can see that, again, I put the list into categories for ease of viewing.

 6. Last, but certainly not least, PROOFREAD! Do it yourself at least 3 or 4 times. Ask a good friend or your mom to give it a look. Check and double-check your email and phone numbers. It is even more important for teachers to avoid grammar and spelling errors.


There are two categories of references: Personal and Professional

Professional References should be people who can speak directly to your teaching abilities. This could be your Practice Teaching evaluator, your mentor teacher, your principal or vice-principal, an Education Assistant working in your classroom, or a close co-worker. If you don't have a lot of teaching experience, choose a reference from another job that has relevant experience (summer camp, tutoring, etc.)

Personal References should be credible people who have known you outside of a work setting. This could be someone you volunteered for or with, a pastor, a choir director. Avoid family members, as their close relationship makes them seem biased. It is nice to find someone well spoken that you know can give you a glowing recommendation.

I recently asked a number of people involved with my school to write me recommendation letters to include in my portfolio. I had one parent write the most beautiful recommendation letter! She is also a supply teacher and dedicated volunteer at the school, so she is in my classroom a lot. She highlighted everything I could have asked her to!

I also asked a co-worker, my principal, my E.A., the Occupational Therapist that works in our school (we have worked closely together for three years with four different students), and a couple of Grade Eight students (who I taught in grade 5/6 and continued to work with in choir). It feels really nice to have these beautiful letters to look back at, as well.

 So there you have it. I hope these guidelines help when you create your own resume.

On the job update, I have only been called for one interview and it is a 30% part time position. I am doing the interview tomorrow, but I am disappointed I didn't get called for any of the other positions. I am hoping more might get posted (or re-posted) over the next few months. I am starting to wonder if I should just trust that I will get enough supply days to compensate for my salary (going from private school to public brings a pay increase. I would only have to supply 2.5 days a week to bring in the same amount as my current salary!) So more waiting!

See you soon!

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