Let’s face it. Interviewing for jobs are nerve-wracking and intimidating. Preparing by going over possible interview questions helps, but it’s also important to bring a strong portfolio of your work to help elaborate and show evidence to support your answers.
When I was student teaching in 2007-2008, I was fortunate enough to be a part of a special student teaching program through Illinois State University. Being in the Professional Development School of education (a select number of students were selected every year) really helped prepare me as a future teacher. I was able to student teach for a full school year and was in the classroom over the summer helping my cooperating teacher set up, and I was there when the students left on the last day. Although my placement was in a third grade classroom, we also spent 2 months in a middle school, where I taught all subjects in 8th grade including freshman algebra. One thing I was told by my university supervisors was to TAKE PICTURES and COLLECT EVIDENCE because that will make my portfolio pop!
So, that’s what I did. During every engaging activity, I snapped pictures. I photocopied and saved original copies of student work, with the child’s permission. This resulted in a portfolio that was praised in all of my interviews. I also continued adding to it throughout my first few years of teaching, knowing that I was going to get married and move out of state and was going to have to look for another job.
Here are some tips and tricks I used, along with some items I included.
This is what my portfolio looked like. I included my name on the front and side, along with some education-related clipart. I’ve really come a long way in terms of design and my use of fonts since starting with TpT and blogging!
I also had tabs running along the side that were there for the interviewers to look at. I had one large interview where all of the 12 principals from the district sat in a room along a large conference table and I was on one end. I ended up passing the portfolio around the table and the tabs helped them look at areas that they were interested in.
Behind the tabs were outlines of what was included in that section. This gives those looking at it an idea of what they will find if they keep flipping through the pages.
The next two pages shows pictures of student work that I had collected. It’s really important to not only include lesson plans.
I had numerous pages of pictures that I took. My cooperating teacher was really good at picking up my camera on my desk whenever she saw something memorable that I might like to have.