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dear sara: teaching portfolio

Discussion in 'New teachers' started by meda103, May 20, 2006.

  1. Dear Sara, I qualified as a primary teacher last year and have had a couple of interviews but no luck getting a job yet! I have been supply teaching for the last year and had an interview yesterday for a ks1 post.

    However, the Head said that my portfolio was rather 'lack lustre' and that the work it included was quite bland - I am very creative but the schools I did my training in had quite an emphasis on worksheets so that's all I have as examples of work which is very frustrating and I admit, boring. I also, rather stupidly, did not take pictures of the creative displays I made during my traing.

    This school I had an interview for is very creative in it's curriculum and the Head said I should use examples of work I have taught as a supply teacher - can I do this? If not, what child's work could I use? Also do you have any tips about making my portfolio more interesting/creative?

    Many thanks!
     
  2. Dear Sara, I qualified as a primary teacher last year and have had a couple of interviews but no luck getting a job yet! I have been supply teaching for the last year and had an interview yesterday for a ks1 post.

    However, the Head said that my portfolio was rather 'lack lustre' and that the work it included was quite bland - I am very creative but the schools I did my training in had quite an emphasis on worksheets so that's all I have as examples of work which is very frustrating and I admit, boring. I also, rather stupidly, did not take pictures of the creative displays I made during my traing.

    This school I had an interview for is very creative in it's curriculum and the Head said I should use examples of work I have taught as a supply teacher - can I do this? If not, what child's work could I use? Also do you have any tips about making my portfolio more interesting/creative?

    Many thanks!
     
  3. when you say qualified does that mean you have done your NQT year or you are applying to do your NQT year? Take photos and add them, if you do something cool with the children photocopy it, photgraph it, ge the children to write about it
     
  4. tafkam

    tafkam Occasional commenter

  5. I am still to do my NQT Induction Year - so it's ok to use work done as a supply even if I haven't planned it? Many thanks :eek:)
     
  6. There's no point in having a portfolio with you if it isn't impressive. Here's something I wrote about portfolios for a TES article:

    No interview outfit is complete nowadays without a smart little portfolio. Or is it? You don?t have to have one and some people advise against them. A new teacher said, ?On my course we were told not to bother taking portfolios as they?re not considered important but I?m sure that I got my job on the strength of mine - and no one else had one?.

    Some interviewing panels will look at portfolios if they have previously decided to but if they haven?t they won?t look at any in the interests of being fair to all candidates. But even if no one looks at it, carrying a portfolio will give you that all-important injection of confidence. Like feeling right in the clothes you wear to interview, it will give you the extra inch that means you get the job rather than being the oh so frustrating close second.

    Which portfolio?
    One of the problems people face is that the same label ?portfolio? is used to describe considerably different objects that have completely different purposes. Some portfolios are intended for a certain audience and others intensely private; some are kept for a certain time and others are career long. There are the vast lever arch folders in which people collate evidence against standards ? for higher level teaching assistants, qualified teacher status, Threshold or advanced skills teacher status. Professional Development Portfolios contain a record of teachers? training and development, objectives, actions plans, and lesson observation feedback. Some portfolios are tools for reflection, containing learning journals or reflective diaries. Other portfolios are for putting all information relating to you as a teacher: job descriptions, qualifications, performance management, letters from grateful parents and pupils. And then there are different subjects - artists collect portfolios of their work.

    While diversity isn?t bad, this confusion does nothing for individuals? confidence because the portfolio used for interviews is another beast entirely. So, what should it contain?

    Contents
    Some people go for the kitchen sink approach: ?So far I?ve put in my qualification certificates, CV and a mixture of lesson plans in - mainly literacy and numeracy, but also science, history etc to show my planning skills across the curriculum. I?m also going to put in a few photos?.

    Look at things from the interviewer?s perspective. They haven?t got long to interview you ? and they won?t want to spend time leafing through a heavy folder. What do they want to know about you?

    You can make all the assertions under the sun about what a great teacher or leader you are but nothing speaks stronger than a concrete example. So, just choose one lesson or project that is illustrative of the best you can do ? for variety, ideally not the same as one you wrote about in your application. The plan should be detailed to hit all the right notes (clear learning objective, assessment criteria, IEPs, deployment of assistants, etc); examples of resources; photos; a range of work that came out of it that?s marked in an exemplary fashion; and an evaluation of the learning, your teaching and next steps.

    We?re talking about no more than ten pieces in all - go for quality not quantity, not loads of scrappy bits and bobs. Make sure it?s tip-top in terms of content but also presentation so that it sends messages about your personal high standards, organisation, and literacy and ICT skills. One teacher scanned pieces of pupils? work onto glossy A4 photographic paper. Go through your portfolio bit by bit and ask yourself, 'what does this show?'.

    The cover should be visually appealing, so that people will want to look inside - even if they don?t have time to, they?ll assume something stunning lies within. Make sure it?s properly secured in a folder or ring binder. One teacher admits, ?Mine slid out of the folder and all over the head?s office?. Well, she made an impression but not the one she?s intended!

    Showing it

    Some interviews will give you a slot for presenting a portfolio. This maybe five minutes or 20 but when you?re planning remember to allocate time for questions. Most of the time you?ll be left not knowing whether to thrust it in their faces or waiting to be asked. Certainly, don?t keep it hidden in a bag and then sulk afterwards because no one asked to see it ? interviewers don?t have x-ray eyes.

    Have the confidence to draw on sections of the portfolio when you?re answering questions. So, you?re asked about inclusion and hey presto you can talk about how you met the needs of the autistic boy with hearing problems, showing the plan, the resources, and his work. You can always leave it on the table and invite them to browse through it.


    Even if no one looks at it, like a security blanket you?ll feel better with a portfolio than without one. It takes time to create a good portfolio, but it?s worth it!


     
  7. Hiya,

    just come across this advice, and all sounds fantastic,

    I just have 1 question, when it comes to including photos, where do we stand on including photos of the children you have worked with? I have loads of really good photos that illustrate lessons I have carried out with the children, and as it was a foundation stage practice there wasn't often any actualy "work" that could be cited. I'm planing on teaching in Foundation Stage, and so these would highlight some of my more creative lessons and Child Initiated planning (if such a thing really exists! lol) anyway, a very longwinded request for advice, but would appriciate thoughts on this matter! ta.

    djb
     
  8. Ask your school. Often it's okay as long as the children's names are not identified.
     
  9. Thankyou for that. Will check with them.

     

  10. Hello sara, I don't have any photographs of my children's work or of classroom ebvironment - such as displays. Would this weaken my portfolio? A friend suggested including some work which I photocopied? But much of this has annotations on it? Would do you advise?

    Thank you in advance
     
  11. Portfolios are an optional extra. If you don't have a portfolio that will impress, don't show it.

    The key is only to show things that demonstrate the kind of (super, of course) teacher you are. Docs that tell the story of the impact of your teaching on children's learning are ideal.

     
  12. I'd say that photocoies of the children's work look especially good if they are annotated, as it shows what you have interpreted from their work and the next steps that you would use to move them on.

     
  13. I am currently a PGCE Student(Primary). In my previous job I created a newsletter which I'm quite proud of, it incorporates EAL and I had i professionally printed. Do you think its ok to put this in to show previous experience?
     
  14. I had lesson plans in mine. I annotate (scribble all over!) my lesson plans as evaluation of the lesson.

    When I went for interview they asked me about this and seemed impressed that I did this for all my lessons and made notes for the future. I got the job anyway!
     
  15. Hi,

    I am currently trying to put together a portfolio. I am a PGCE student and I have only as of yet done a KS1 placement (year1). So I only have photos/examples from that age group. However I am applying for KS2 jobs (I will be going into KS2 after Easter) should I include it anyway or will it just emphasise that I don't have any KS2 experience yet?

    Thanks
     
  16. I am obviously totally naive!! I am doing a maternity cover for a year, but will need to find spmething else this year. I don't have a portfolio at all!! Its not something we were recommended to have when I finished training last year, and no-one has mentioned it this year either!
    Oh heck!! Think I'd better start to think about one and start to collect evidence for it too! As if I haven't got enough on my plate already!! Oh well ...
     
  17. Hi

    I have never heard of this but have wondered whether it is something people do before.

    Is it something that teachers from primary and secondary should look into?

    Just checking as the people in this post who have said what age group they teach are primary so wondered whether it was something relevant to primary only.
     
  18. Slightly different perspective,

    On our P.G.C.E. (Primary) course we have been asked to create a Science Portfolio - so far we've had one school experience. Any thoughts as to what should be included.

    Any thoughts gratefully received

    Thanks
     
  19. Robfreeman

    Robfreeman New commenter

    Depends on what you want the portfolio to show do you want it to show your ability to plan and deliver science or is it to show how the scheme offers a science provision. Just thinking back to my degree I know that I was asked to design portfolios based on both.
     

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