Tips for applicants: Developing a Professional Portfolio
“Beyond a resume, a well structured portfolio is a tool that intentionally creates alignment between professional experiences and the dynamic nature of the role of a teacher.”
A thoughtfully developed professional portfolio can provide a competitive edge to a teacher candidate seeking employment. A professional portfolio is composed of a collection of documents, examples of student work samples or learning tasks, and pedagogical tools that provide a comprehensive overview of one’s competencies and skills. Beyond a resume, a well structured portfolio is a tool that intentionally creates alignment between professional experiences and the dynamic nature of the role of a teacher.
First and foremost, the structure of the portfolio is important. If applying to a job in a jurisdiction where a professional self-regulatory body exists, published norms of the profession may provide a possible structure. For example, in the Ontario context, the Ontario College of Teachers publicly posts the standards of practice for the teaching profession: Commitment to Students and Student Learning; Professional Knowledge; Professional Practice; Leadership in Learning Communities; and, Ongoing Professional Learning.
A handful of carefully selected and curated examples under all five of the above standards not only provide an overview of one’s professional experiences, which can be shared in an interview setting, but also engages the teacher in a self reflective exercise on the responsibilities and complexities of the teaching profession.