Tips for Teachers: Creating a Teaching Portfolio Online
Finding a Location
- Blog platforms (e.g., WordPress, Blogger, EduBlogs) can be used for portfolio presentation and offer quick set-up with a wide variety of templates or themes to choose from so that your site will have a professional look.
- Website creation tools (e.g., SnapPages, GoogleSites) are becoming more intuitive and allow for some customization and different types of content.
- Digital resume tools (e.g., VisualCV, Pathbrite) are also available and require few technology skills to get started.
The options for publishing an online portfolio range from simple to complex. The goal is to find a platform that is both easy to use and easy to share. If it's difficult for you to use, you won't spend much time developing your presentation, and if it's difficult for others to access, they may not even be able to review your work. Look for platforms that allow you to share your portfolio via URL.
Selecting and Reflecting
What should you include in your portfolio? If you already have artifacts available in a study portfolio, start there and review the content if you haven't done so in a while. You will probably want to make some modifications to change the focus from learning assessment to career development. At the very least, your professional teaching portfolio should address the following:
- Teaching philosophy: Why do you teach? What are your objectives as an educator? Reflect on your approach and motivation. Vanderbilt University provides general guidelines for writing this personal statement and reflective questions to get you started.
- Work samples: Include some of the materials you've created for your courses, such as lesson plans, assignments and rubrics, syllabi, and multimedia items.
- Continuing professional development: How are you strengthening your skills and developing new areas of expertise? Share your efforts ranging from reading lists and conference participation to publications and certificate completion.
- Awards, recommendations, and evaluations: This category includes information provided by others who know you and have worked with you professionally, and can be formal or informal in nature. This could also be just a list of items or bullet points, to keep personal information offline.
Select artifacts that are relevant to your career development and potential job search and add your own reflections to pull everything together. Tell your own story with an introduction and brief descriptions of the items you include. How are they important and why have you chosen them to represent your accomplishments and capabilities? Take a look at what others are doing.
Reviewing other teachers' portfolios is a great way to get ideas and start making a list of what you like and don’t like as it pertains to overall look and layout of the portfolio, as well as the content that is collected there. You can conduct an online search of examples from teachers at all levels of education. My search resulted in this from the University of Virginia, and several teachers: Jennifer Lundstrem, Samantha Decker, and Kelly Larmour. You'll see that there is room for creativity in how you present yourself. Remember that your portfolio is about your experiences – make it unique to you and your career.
Putting it to Use
Whether you are required to maintain a professional portfolio, or choose to do so on your own, an online version can help you document and present what you've done and where you've been, as well as share this information with others. It extends your application for that next job or graduate school, and serves to develop a professional online presence connecting you with parents, colleagues, and larger learning communities. As you move forward with your online portfolio, keep in mind that you are in control: check your settings, choose items carefully, and create a showcase for your best work. The process of building this resource can be a learning adventure in and of itself.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
The impact of a tragic event is felt beyond the immediate sphere of those directly connected, and some of the most confused and vulnerable are our students. Young people need guidance during tragedy, and though home is where they turn first, schools must also be responsive. Children spend most of their time among classmates and teachers, so school should be a place of comfort and community, where they feel safe and receive the help they need. Even if a tragic event has not struck your community, you as a teacher should be equipped to deal with emotional fallout. Just because something didn’t happen to someone your students know personally doesn’t mean that they're unaffected.
On July 20…
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
Michelle Rhee, former chancellor of the Washington D.C. public schools, and founder of Students First, a political advocacy organization for education reform, has tapped into the hype of the 2012 Olympic Games while encouraging major changes in our education system. The ad, however, has drawn criticism from educators who find Rhee's message to be degrading and insulting to American schools.
The advertisement features an out-of-shape athlete competing for the United States in a baton-twirling Olympic sport. The athlete is unprepared, out of br…
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
The ED is discussing a movement called "Education Innovation Clusters," whose purpose and necessity are highlighted in a recent article on the ED website.
“At a time when advances in technology and digital …