a Professional Portfolio Judy Jones
are about to begin your first year of teaching and probably
the last thing on your mind is building your professional portfolio.
However, from the moment you walk into your school, documents
will start passing your way. You will attend staff development
meetings; you will get letters from parents and administrators;
and you will get involved in committees and other "outside of
the classroom" activities. You will create noteworthy classroom
lessons and projects. It is extremely easy to lose the evidence
of these activities in the great stack of papers and other items
that will end up in your "to-be-filed-someday" pile!
START A PORTFOLIO: Right now,
before you forget, create a folder. Call it "My Professional
Portfolio" or something like that and date it. Keep it in a
very obvious place. (I keep mine in a file box on my desk at
school.) Whenever you receive any documentation about your participation
in a course or a workshop, put it in the folder! Whenever you
receive a thank you letter from a parent or administrator, put
it in your folder! If you develop an original, successful lesson,
put some evidence of that lesson in your folder!
DATE EVERYTHING: Make sure that everything
you put in your portfolio has a date on it. Sometimes, I go
back to my portfolio and discover that a letter is undated and
I rack my brain to remember the date that I received it! You
won't be perfect, either, but you can pursue the goal!
TRANSFER BASIC DATA TO VITA: Once a year I
sit down and update the "long version" vita that is saved on
my computer AND on a disk. It becomes a simple task to take
my portfolio file for that year and simply enter the data into
my vita. Over the years, I have saved other versions of the
vita - the short forms! But I find the long form is a terrific
record for me of almost 20 years of teaching. I have recorded
my various jobs, workshops, courses, and honors as well as school-related
and community activities.
START A NEW PORTFOLIO EACH YEAR: I have found
that keeping a portfolio for each year filed away in a file
cabinet is an easy task. And it makes life very simple when
I need to seek out evidence for job applications or other involvements
that require my records.
This method is very sparing of your time. You may find some
other variation that works for you but the important thing is
to keep your records organized!