Portfolio Ideas for Prospective Elementary Teachers

By Leah Davies, M.Ed.

If you decide to take a portfolio to an interview, make it compact and easily accessible. Your portfolio should be designed to demonstrate your teaching knowledge and skills. Be selective and include only examples of your best work. When asked questions such as: “Describe your greatest strength,” “Tell us about your most successful lesson,” or “How do you keep parents informed?”, use your portfolio to clarify and support your answers.

Types of Portfolios
  • An album of your teaching experiences. Put all pages in slip protector sheets. Attach tabs to organize items and use scrap booking paper to back your photos.
  • A mini-portfolio for each interviewer. It could include copies of your cover letter, resume, teaching certificate, philosophy, references, transcripts, etc.
  • A binder to highlight five or more adjectives that describe you. Choose pictures that illustrate each of your attributes.
  • A PowerPoint presentation organized around the state's standards for teaching. For each standard include two artifacts, along with an explanation for why you chose them.
  • A PowerPoint portfolio that includes video clips of you teaching children, sample lesson plans, philosophy, photos, created bulletin boards, etc. Burn it onto a CD to use on your laptop. If you are unable to show it, you may choose to leave the CD with the interviewers. Or, you could upload it onto your website. Provide the interviewer(s) with the address and password.

Items You May Want to Include
  • Table of Contents
  • Pictures of your room arrangement, floor plan, bulletin boards, and learning centers
  • Pictures that show you interacting with students who are participating in a unique lesson along with printed objectives and lesson assessments
  • Photos that portray your students being actively engaged in hands-on learning with captions
  • Pictorial examples of lesson plans based on state standards
  • Student projects
  • Classroom management plan
  • Discipline plan
  • Lesson plans
  • Copies of thematic units
  • Adaptations for special needs students
  • Anecdotal records
  • Assessments tools you have used
  • Extracurricular activities you have supervised
  • Games and handouts you have created
  • Photos depicting parental involvement
  • Parent newsletter
  • Documents that validate your ability to elicit parental cooperation, such as a thank you note from a parent
  • Resume and teaching credentials
  • College grades, transcripts and test results
  • Projects prepared for college courses
  • Certificates of attendance at professional meetings
  • Memberships in professional organizations
  • Classroom awards, commendations, and newspaper articles
  • Workshops you have conducted including evaluations
  • Grants you have written and received

Also see “Interview Tips for Prospective Elementary Teachers” and “Interview Questions for Prospective Elementary Teachers."

Used by permission of the author, Leah Davies, and selected from the Kelly Bear website [www.kellybear.com], 1/08.

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