For today's Job-Hunting Teacher post, we will be exploring the interview portfolio I mentioned in last week's post. I think it makes sense to break down this process in pictures…
First: Buy a Portfolio!
Want to make your interview stand out above the rest? Invest in some inexpensive portfolio-style folders, and present your hard work to your interviewer (future boss?). Instead of handing your boss a stack of papers and work samples, or emailing a few documents (which is also an alternative), considering making something you can physically hand during your interview, so they may look at your organization, awe at your preparedness, and revel in all your hard work!
First thing's first - decide which style of portfolio you would like to purchase. I am partial to the Report Cover style portfolios. Everything is easily accessible (no fumbling with looking through papers - just flip the pages like a book!). Make sure you purchase a portfolio that will fit all your work (or will allow you to add pages as necessary). I prefer the Report Cover styles that consist of page protectors, instead of the simple plastic cover, with no plastic feel in between. I think it looks sleeker and more professional when everything is covered in smooth, clear plastic :) Sometimes this type of portfolio is called a Presentation Book or Presentation Portfolio, so don't overlook these products! I happen to have one that is a bit thinner that I will use in the pictures below, but often these styles come in a small binder form. Both will work well, so choose whichever you prefer.
I wouldn't recommend using a pocket folder, as it defeats the purpose of having your work samples and images available for a quick view. I have seen (and, in bind, have done myself) people use pocket folders with the 3-prong fasteners in the middle. I place my documents and work samples in page protectors, and put them into the fasteners for a cheap, easy alternative. I still prefer the Report Cover method, but this can be utilized if you prefer as well.
Next: Decide what you want to put in the portfolio. And create a Table of Contents
This will depend on what job you are pursuing. If you are interviewing for a special education behavior classroom, your contents may be similar to mine. If you are looking into a general education fifth-grade classroom, you may put more emphasis on test-taking strategies you've used, showing templates or photos of your supports. Showcase what will make you the ideal candidate!
|I save several packets of my portfolio contents|
so I can just insert them into the portfolio and go!
|After you decide what you want to include,|
decide on the order and type a simple Table of Contents
|I print my resume back to back so it fits on one page.|
I also make sure to fill each page of the portfolio, so there are no blank or empty pages.
| Your Philosophy of Education is optional,|
but can look great with your other "professional" documents
If you include subsections (like I did with my Behavioral Work Samples), consider adding an additional Table of Contents to break it down even further.
|I include sections I and II in my portfolio.|
I generally bring documents from section III in case they request them.
|If you choose to include a sample of an IEP you've written,|
make sure to cross out an identifiable information!
Side note: If you include an IEP, it is probably not necessary to include every section (do you think they care about the Transportation page, or the Service Delivery Grid? Probably not). Just include which portions you contributed to.
Last: Put It All Together
Gather all of your work samples, resumes, cover pages, etc. Order them based on your Table of Contents and insert them into your portfolio! Now, simply put this into your teacher bag, follow last week's tips, and you are ready for your interview!
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