Cactus Teacher Portfolio: Stand Out in Your Teacher Interview

teacher portfolio for interviews

A few years ago, I applied for a first grade position in a neighboring district.  The employment in that district was highly competitive.  I, fortunately, landed an interview at a school there and knew I needed something to take with me to showcase my talents and passion for teaching.  I had read that teaching portfolios had helped many others in this situation.  I have always kept a portfolio each year to meet our state's professionalism rubric, but I needed something a little more tailored to the needs of an interview.  I decided to create my own that highlighted some important areas of teaching and that would serve as evidence to questions asked during the interview.

teacher portfolio for interviews

You can find my actual portfolio HERE on a previous blog post.  I have received lots of interest in other designs, so I decided to create this Cactus Style Portfolio.   I think it's also important to put your contact information on the cover, as well as your picture.  They might want to keep your portfolio to look over while making their decision.  Your picture will help remind them of you and your interview.  

The first thing they will see when they open your portfolio should be a quick paragraph highlighting your teaching philosophy, as well as your credentials.  


I also wanted to take them on a tour of my classroom.  They should be able to envision me in their building.  Since I am a blogger, I have lots of photos of my classroom.  I included a blog post after this page in the portfolio that took them through my learning space.  You could even add a layout of your classroom from a website that allows you to create those.  That would show them that you value classroom layout and like to plan ahead.


Lesson plans should definitely be included.  I have taught kindergarten, first, and second grade, so I included examples from each grade level.  If you do visual plans, definitely incorporate those!  They are attention grabbers and look great in your portfolio.  I also added a couple of photos of my best lessons that I created myself.


I put a copy of my class schedule in there, as well.  Keeping a schedule each day is key to classroom management.  Classroom management is an area they will definitely want to know about.  What is your system?  How do you ensure a smoothly run classroom?  How do promote positive behavior and desired expectations in your classroom?  I included information along with photos of these areas.  Not only did I incorporate my latest strategies, I also added strategies of the past that I had tried with my students.


One section in my notebook was all about creative activities I had incorporated in my classroom.  I divided that section up into some effective best practices.  In each section, I included the strategy, brain research to support the practice, and photos of them being incorporated into my classroom.  I also included some units I had created along with photos of students engaged in activities from those units.  


Finally, I had sections for professional development and important documents.  You should include any professional development you have attended, as well as any you have led.  Be sure to also include documents such as a copy of your teacher license, praxis scores, and a college transcript.


Of course, there was much more in my portfolio that I added.  You can see a snapshot below of all the sections you will find in this Teacher Portfolio.  Below are some testimonials from actual teachers who have used my portfolios in interviews:

"This was great! I took it with me to my interview and the Principal was so impressed, she offered me the job on the spot! :)"

"This portfolio template is AMAZING! It helped me highlight my experience as a teacher. I used it at a job fair in May, and I think it made a world of difference! Thanks!"

"I used this resource for my last interview. The interviewers loved it and i got my dream job!"

"This template was a huge reason I just got my new job! It was so easy to use and having the guide to follow was the best! This template is the best! Thank you for creating it!"

"Adorable and purposeful. It's SO clean, easy to read, and effective. I owe you in helping me get my new job for the upcoming school year...!!!"

I hope this portfolio is beneficial to you and lands you that perfect job!  Happy teaching and best wishes!




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