I know I should put one together, but I really don't know exactly what goes into a portofolio to show at a job interview for a teaching position. (I'm going for reading or special ed). Could someone please letme know? Thanks.
Also, at an interview, what are good answers for the following questions?
Why do you want to work at this school/district?
What are your weaknesses?
Well you want sample lesson plans and student work samples incorporating your skills taught.
I did mine as a scrapbook type portfolio. I do not know if this was "correct" but my administrators were impressed.
I started out with my educational philosophy on first page and my resume on the second. Of course, I handed them a hard copy too. Next I had my teaching certificate. next pages are designated to work I did as a long-term sub, working with all grade levels. I showed typed up lesson plans and student work, including SOME pictures of kids working. I showed SOME pictures of bulletin boards I designed and classroom arrangement.
Next I had work I did as student teacher in 5th grade. This is where I included my one unit plan. I made sure to show all subject areas, focusing on literacy/numeracy. I included some photos of the excurricular activities I did.
I taught in China so I have two pages designated to that.
I then included a little personal section about me, interests, etc. I want the future employer to see they have a well-rounded individual.
I included a copy of the local newspaper that I made the front page, well for teaching kids. So yeah, that definitely went in the portfolio.
Finally I included all the paper work type stuff. This would be recommendation letters, cooperating teacher's review, observer's review, transcripts, degrees, etc.
For your questions....know your district so you can say something about it. For example, if they are just launching Everyday Math, I would say I am excited to be working in a district at this time and I really look forward to working with such an excellent math program. blah blah blah. Same with school, check their website and prepare your answer.
Weaknesses, I always use one that can be a positive too for the employer. For example, My weakness is I am a perfectionist. Now, this doesn't present itself as a weakness in my work as it encourages me to always go above and beyond, but it plays a wreck on my personal life. (here you share the laughter). Seriously, I just put a lot of pressure on myself to always do my best and I wish I could relax a little more.
So future employer is happy to know they will hire a type-A personality who will stay late and do above and beyond. Bonus for you is you DID answer their question.
In our portfolio, assembled in college and reviewed 3 times we needed the following: title page, table of contents, statement of teaching beliefs (classroom environment, philosophy of education, team work, and professional growth), a statement of practices for the core subjects (1 page each), resume, the INTASC principles or another set of principles to follow, a cover sheet and artifact for all ten intasc principles, a self reflective paper on what was learned through student teaching (maybe not needed if you haven't been in school for awhile), observations from student teaching and other field experience, licenses, and Praxis test scores.
This is a lot. Maybe ask around your district to see what other teachers use. This may be way more than you need, but it is what is needed in my district. You may be able to just take some of your teaching artifacts and write up why this was important to teaching.
Research the district to find what you like about it. In smaller districts it is harder, because it may not be posted on the website. Usually I try to find something, anything that shows I researched the school. If not a generic, "Many educators I have spoken to comment on the high quality of the education in this district as well as the energetic staff". Granted if this is a complete stretch of the truth, they'll know.
I was told to find a weakness that can be marketed as a strength. Then say your weakness, but turn it around to be a strength. NEVER mention classroom management or a core subject.
My portfolio is a power point presentation. I started it off with my Teaching Experiences (Grade Levels, Type of Teaching, urban/suburban). Then, I included my teaching philosophy. Next, I completed a section on primary and intermediate experiences. I put usually a picture or scanned student work with a caption. On the next slide, I explained and reflected upon the slide. I did this for every example. I also did slides for Technology, Professional Collaboration, and Special Education. Each slide included something different and showed my strengths.
My University was much like what GreenSub said it also required us to have an About me section, philosophy of education, certificates/ awards, clearances, transcripts, praxis scores, letter of recommendations. After that we had each of the INTASC standards with 2 supporting documents and a reflection for why the documents meet the standards.
However, until I read the post by GreenSub I was thinking of changing mine. Right now mine seems like a lot of reading so I'm trying to add more worksheets and pictures too.