What is in Your Portfolio?

You now have your cover letter and resume ready for distribution. Good work! Now you need to think about upcoming interviews. Now you need to think about your portfolio.

Not every interviewer looks for a portfolio but picture this; suppose a job is between 2 persons and one has a great portfolio and the other does not, then guess who will impress. Take advantage of the space you are in right now to make a portfolio. Teacher candidates have lesson plans that they've been handing in and examples of their work from university classes should not be ruled out. Here's a guide of what to include in your portfolio artifacts:

1. Lesson plan(s) of a traditional novel or play. Choose wisely by including those that you know have received good press from students and/or supervisors.
2. Photos of working with students/parents/teacher/community to demonstrate your comittment to community. Show that you get involved.
3. One unit plan about a creative project. Show that you can put together a syllabus and that your unit plans have a comprehensive assessment package. If you do not have a unit plan that works to show you can plan assessment then select items that fit into category 4 (next).
4. Rubrics, tests, student portfolio examples that show you can plan with the end in mind. In the interview process, when asked about assessment, you might demonstrate your ability by show and tell. Take a rubric from your portfolio and invite interviewers to allow you to walk them through your thinking as you plan for assessment.
5. Personal writing examples. Interviewers are often impressed when interviewees show that they are writers. Include poems or stories that you have wanted to or already published.
6. Finish with a section on awards. Were you recognized as a top 4-H speech maker? Did you volunteer? The recognition section or awards section of your portfolio can include items where you were thanked for your hard work. You don't need to have received a trophy for it.

Think about keeping your portfolio for a long time. Include a table of contents and choose a container that will allow you to change information as you progress through your English Language Arts teaching career.