How to Make Your Teaching Portfolio Outstanding

One of the easiest ways to stand out from the crowd during the tutoring job interview is to create a great teaching portfolio. Here are some ideas which could help you put together some great examples of your previous work.

Different types of portfolio

Many candidates may take a portfolio along to the interview and in the majority of cases; this is likely to be simply an album showcasing some of their best work. But there are some ways to compile a portfolio that presents your experience in a far more memorable way.

Rather than simply having a page-by-page summary of your teaching career, think about five different adjectives you want to project to your potential employers. It could be anything from fun to innovative, successful to experienced.  Then you simply organize your portfolio into five sections, each one designed to demonstrate how well each adjective describes you. This is a much more imaginative way to get your interviewers thinking about just how valuable your past experiences and achievements are, and what you could bring to their school.  If you know there will be the possibility of using PowerPoint during the interview, why not create an electronic portfolio rather than lugging around the traditional paper heavyweight? This could include everything from video clips to sample lessons and will allow all the interviewers to view it at the same time.

Another way to use PowerPoint is to show how your portfolio highlights the high standards you have achieved, and relate this to the current national curriculum requirements, or your potential employer’s standards. Again, this puts your experience into practical terms and helps interviewers envisage the quality of teaching you would provide.

What to include

If you have had quite a varied career it is tempting to cram as much as possible into your portfolio to demonstrate the length and breadth of your experience.  However, while it is good to show diversity, including too much information will simply make your audience tune out as they are overloaded.  It is a far better approach to select some choice snippets which are an accurate reflection of the points you want to bring to your interviewers’ attention, making sure you include a variety of different types of items.

Your CV, including teaching qualifications, is always a good base for any portfolio; this is probably one of the least interesting parts…but an essential! Any further training, modules, or courses you have attended should also be documented.

Moving on to classroom experience, you should attempt to show your interviewers what you have achieved in practical terms. Photographs of you in action are always a nice touch and make the portfolio much more personal and less clinical. This can be offset with more technical information such as sample lesson plans, assessment tools, and special needs adaptations plus details of any grants you have submitted and received approval for.

Showing that you have a fun side too is important as your interviewers will want to be certain that pupils will be able to relate to you. Extra-curricular activities that you may have supervised are the perfect example to show this, together with any innovative student projects you have created anecdotal evidence regarding parental collaboration.

A portfolio is an ideal opportunity to brag about what you have done in the past without sounding boastful. The story of your life in pictures, words and examples, a portfolio can show an interviewer far more effectively just how much you have achieved and what value you would potentially add to their school, without having to sacrifice your modesty.