Completing a portfolio is a difficult, time-consuming, and a very rewarding task. The following are some tips that may be helpful in your endeavor to create a terrific teaching portfolio.

  1. Some of the most time consuming things are doing the index tabs, the clip art, table of contents, and the organization. Don't put these things off to the last minute (e.g., day before an interview, etc.).
  2. Figure out how to type on index tabs before doing the ones for your portfolio. Buy some extra tabs and see how they work on your word processor.
  3. Dedicate a filing cabinet or a box to just your portfolio. This is where you will gather and store portfolio related stuff. Have each section identified and put things in there when you do them at your school.
  4. Start taking pictures early on in the school year. It usually takes several rolls of film to get a few good pictures. Of course, make sure you have permission to photograph your students in your school.
  5. Don't go overboard on colors or clip art. Content should take precedence over the artwork. Do the content first, then add the clip art and pictures. The pictures should complement your content.
  6. Along those same lines use fairly thick card stock to mount pictures and sample work on. Use colors that are complimentary to the pictures or work. Best to use the same or similar background colors in each of your sections. Avoid using colors like loud pink or dark on dark.
  7. Use card stock to print your 3-ring spine title on, as regular paper typically won't go down the side protective sleeve very easily.
  8. For the section title divider pages of your portfolio it is best to buy the protective covers with the tabs already built on them. The tabs that you buy to stick on to protective covers don't work very well. Then you can print out your section title with clip art and just slide it in the protective cover.
  9. Do not hand write your index tabs. Those need to be typed and should be on both sides of the tab. This will make it easier to navigate to the sections during an interview.
  10. Make sure all your protective cover sheets are of the same type and it is best to get the ones that don't show a glare.
  11. It is best to number the sections of the Table of Contents and then put the corresponding number on the index tabs. (Ex. 1. Introduction)
  12. May be best to do a Table of Contents last after you have checked everything and it is in the order it needs to be in.
  13. Purchase a 3 ring binder that has a plastic protector mechanism at the back and front of the 3 ring binder. This really helps when opening and closing the 3 ring.
  14. The Title page on the very front of the 3 ring (in the protective cover) and the title on the inside front should be close to identical.
  15. Show your portfolio to several other people before taking to an interview or showing to a principal.

Submitted by Mark Manross who is the Executive Editor of PE Central. Thanks for contributing to PE Central! Posted on PEC: 10/171999.

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