Why do I need a portfolio?
Most schools and districts do not require you to submit a teaching portfolio, but if you want to stand out, it’s best if you have something to showcase your skills. Your portfolio should give potential employers and outline of your teaching philosophy, as well as examples of lessons you’ve taught. Ideally, you’ll use tangible examples like pictures and videos (with parental permission of course) to show yourself and your students in action.
How do I make a portfolio?
There are a number of free portfolio sites out there, but I like to keep things simple, so I recommend Google Sites, or Prezi. The great thing about Prezi is you can create a nice visual highlighting your philosophy of teaching, and easily embed photos and videos. Here is a Prezi I created (which helped me land my current job!). Another reason I like Prezi is that you can create multiple versions, depending on what the school you are applying to is looking for. Just as in teaching, it is always best to differentiate.
Document, update, stay relevant
Your teaching portfolio should be a living document, always evolving as you grow as an educator. In order to keep it fresh, you should be constantly documenting student learning experiences, even if you are happy in your position. Documenting your work is not only important for being a reflective educator, it keeps you on top of your game. You are not likely to photograph or film your students doing boring worksheets, and if you’re thinking about portfolio opportunities, you’re much less likely to assign these boring tasks. You never know when opportunity will come knocking, so update your philosophy and portfolio often!