Letters Of Recommendationms. Schrader's Teaching Portfolio

What Is a Teaching Portfolio?

More information is available in the class syllabus that is attached to this letter. Please read through the letter carefully and sign at the end where it says parent or guardian signature. Remembrance day. This will let me know that you and your child has read the syllabus and understand what is expected in my classroom. Your teacher portfolio should be considered a work-in-progress. You can customize it for the specific job opportunity by adding and removing documents according to the teaching responsibilities of the position. A good tip is to show your portfolio to colleagues whose opinions you value and ask for feedback.

  • Portfolios provide documented evidence of teaching from a variety of sources—not just student ratings—and provide context for that evidence.
  • The process of selecting and organizing material for a portfolio can help one reflect on and improve one’s teaching.
  • Portfolios are a step toward a more public, professional view of teaching as a scholarly activity.
  • Portfolios can offer a look at development over time, helping one see teaching as on ongoing process of inquiry, experimentation, and reflection.
  • Teaching portfolios capture evidence of one’s entire teaching career, in contrast to what are called course portfolios that capture evidence related to a single course.

Why Assemble a Teaching Portfolio?

Portfolios can serve any of the following purposes.

  • Job applicants for faculty positions can use teaching portfolios to document their teaching effectiveness.
  • Faculty members up for promotion or tenure can also use teaching portfolios to document their teaching effectiveness.
  • Faculty members and teaching assistants can use teaching portfolios to reflect on and refine their teaching skills and philosophies.
  • Faculty members and teaching assistants can use teaching portfolios, particularly ones shared online, to “go public” with their teaching to invite comments from their peers and to share teaching successes so that their peers can build on them. For more on going public with one’s teaching, see the CFT’s Teaching Guide on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.

General Guidelines

  • Start now! Many of the possible components of a teaching portfolio (see list below) are difficult, if not impossible, to obtain after you have finished teaching a course. Collecting these components as you go will make assembling your final portfolio much easier.
  • Give a fair and accurate presentation of yourself. Don’t try to present yourself as the absolutely perfect teacher. Highlight the positive, of course, but don’t completely omit the negative.
  • Be selective in which materials you choose to include, though be sure to represent a cross-section of your teaching and not just one aspect of it. A relatively small set of well-chosen documents is more effective than a large, unfiltered collection of all your teaching documents.
  • Make your organization explicit to the reader. Use a table of contents at the beginning and tabs to separate the various components of your portfolio.
  • Make sure every piece of evidence in your portfolio is accompanied by some sort of context and explanation. For instance, if you include a sample lesson plan, make sure to describe the course, the students, and, if you have actually used the lesson plan, a reflection on how well it worked.

Components of a Teaching Portfolio

  1. Your Thoughts About Teaching
    • A reflective “teaching statement” describing your personal teaching philosophy, strategies, and objectives (see Teaching Philosophy).
    • A personal statement describing your teaching goals for the next few years
  2. Documentation of Your Teaching
    • A list of courses taught and/or TAed, with enrollments and a description of your responsibilities
    • Number of advisees, graduate and undergraduate
    • Syllabi
    • Course descriptions with details of content, objectives, methods, and procedures for evaluating student learning
    • Reading lists
    • Assignments
    • Exams and quizzes, graded and ungraded
    • Handouts, problem sets, lecture outlines
    • Descriptions and examples of visual materials used
    • Descriptions of uses of computers and other technology in teaching
    • Videotapes of your teaching
  3. Teaching Effectiveness
    • Summarized student evaluations of teaching, including response rate and relationship to departmental average
    • Written comments from students on class evaluations
    • Comments from a peer observer or a colleague teaching the same course
    • Statements from colleagues in the department or elsewhere, regarding the preparation of students for advanced work
    • Letters from students, preferably unsolicited
    • Letters from course head, division head or chairperson
    • Statements from alumni
  4. Materials Demonstrating Student Learning
    • Scores on standardized or other tests, before and after instruction
    • Students’ lab books or other workbooks
    • Students’ papers, essays, or creative works
    • Graded work from the best and poorest students, with teacher’s feedback to students
    • Instructor’s written feedback on student work
  5. Activities to Improve Instruction
    • Participation in seminars or professional meetings on teaching
    • Design of new courses
    • Design of interdisciplinary or collaborative courses or teaching projects
    • Use of new methods of teaching, assessing learning, grading
    • Preparation of a textbook, lab manual, courseware, etc.
    • Description of instructional improvement projects developed or carried out
  6. Contributions to the Teaching Profession and/or Your Institution
    • Publications in teaching journals
    • Papers delivered on teaching
    • Reviews of forthcoming textbooks
    • Service on teaching committees
    • Assistance to colleagues on teaching matters
    • Work on curriculum revision or development
  7. Honors, Awards, or Recognitions
    • Teaching awards from department, college, or university
    • Teaching awards from profession
    • Invitations based on teaching reputation to consult, give workshops, write articles, etc.
    • Requests for advice on teaching by committees or other organized groups

Sample Teaching Portfolios

The website from University of Virginia provides sample teaching portfolios from a variety of disciplines. As you look at these portfolios, ask yourself,

Letters Of Recommendationms. Schrader's Teaching Portfolio Allocation

  • “What components did the author choose to include and which ones are most effective at describing their teaching?” and
  • “What structural and organizational decisions did the author make as they assembled their portfolio?”
Letters Of Recommendationms. Schrader

Electronic Teaching Portfolios

How do electronic portfolios differ from print portfolios?

  • Increased Accessibility: Teaching portfolios are intended, in part, to make teaching public. Distributing a portfolio on the web makes it even more accessible to peers and others.
  • Multimedia Documents: Technology allows for inclusion of more than just printed documents. For example, you can include video footage of yourself teaching, an audio voiceover providing context and reflection on the portfolio, or instructional computer programs or code you have written.
  • Nonlinear Thinking: The web facilitates nonlinear relationships between the components of your teaching portfolio. The process of creating a portfolio in this nonlinear environment can help you think about your teaching in new ways. For example, since readers can explore an e-portfolio in many different ways, constructing an e-portfolio gives you an opportunity to consider how different audiences might encounter and understand your work.
  • Copyright and Privacy Issues: While examples of student work can be compelling evidence of your teaching effectiveness, publishing these examples online presents legal copyright and privacy issues. Talk to someone at the VU Compliance Program before doing so.

What Role Do Teaching Portfolios Play on the Job Market?

  • According to an October 11, 2005, search on HigherEdJobs.com, of the 1,000 ads for faculty jobs…
    • 585 include the words “teaching philosophy,”
    • 27 include the words “teaching statement,” and
    • 28 include the words “teaching portfolio.”
  • According to an October 11, 2005, search on Chronicle.com, of the 2,978 ads for faculty/research jobs…
    • 388 include the words “teaching philosophy,”
    • 5 include the words “teaching statement,” and
    • 8 include the words “teaching portfolio.”
  • While these data indicate that teaching portfolios are not frequently requested of job applicants to faculty positions, it is not just the physical document that plays a role. The process of constructing a teaching portfolio—and reflecting on your teaching—will prepare you to…
    • write a meaningful teaching philosophy statement and
    • to discuss your teaching more effectively during interviews.

Other Resources

The following books on teaching portfolios are available for check-out in the Center for Teaching’s library.

Letters Of Recommendationms. Schrader's Teaching Portfolio Assessment

  • Seldin, Peter, The Teaching Portfolio: A Practical Guide to Improved Performance and Promotion/Tenure Decisions, 3rd edition, Anker, 2004.
  • Cambridge, Barbara, Electronic Portfolios: Emerging Practices in Student, Faculty, and Institutional Learning, American Association for Higher Education, 2001.
  • Hutchings, Pat, ed., The Course Portfolio: How Faculty Can Examine Their Teaching to Advance Practice and Improve Student Learning, American Association for Higher Education, 1998.
  • Murray, John P., Successful Faculty Development and Evaluation: The Complete Teaching Portfolio, ERIC Clearinghouse on Higher Education, 1997.
  • Anderson, Erin, ed., Campus Use of the Teaching Portfolio: Twenty-Five Profiles, American Association for Higher Education, 1993.

Letters Of Recommendationms. Schrader's Teaching Portfolios

Letters of recommendationms. schrader

The following web sites offer additional resources and strategies for creating effective teaching portfolios:

  • Developing a Teaching Portfolio, from the Center for Instructional Development and Research at the University of Washington
  • Developing a Teaching Portfolio, from the Office of Faculty and TA Development, The Ohio State University
  • The Teaching Portfolio, an Occasional Paper from the University of Michigan’s Center for Research on Learning and Teaching
  • What is a Teaching Portfolio?, from the Office of Instructional Consultation, UCSB.
  • Curating A Teaching Portfolio, from the Center for Teaching Effectiveness at the University of Texas-Austin
  • The Teaching Portfolio, from the Center for Teaching Excellence at Duquesne University
  • Teaching Portfolio Handbook, from Brown University
  • “The Teaching Portfolio,” an article published by the Professional and Organizational Development (POD) Network in Higher Education

Letters Of Recommendationms. Schrader's Teaching Portfolio Organizer

This teaching guide is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

A teaching portfolio is an important tool for a teacher to have in the education field. A teacher can outline his or her accomplishments within their portfolio in order to gain a higher-level position in the work force. Most portfolios include a range of evidence from different sources to back up the teacher’s work ethic. Sources include samples of student work, self-reflections, syllabi outlining course material, and reports on classroom research.
There are numerous materials that every teacher should place into their portfolio. A teaching philosophy statement and a statement concerning responsibilities (i.e., course titles, numbers, student demographics, how courses were taught, and how these fit into the overall goals of the department) are vital components of any portfolio. Moreover, it is best to describe steps taken to improve teaching, and how non-traditional education settings, such as special help sessions, played a role in the teacher’s work.
Educators should also include material from other individuals when constructing their teaching portfolio. Examples include student course evaluation data, statements from colleagues and other faculty team members, student feedback on the instructor, or other honors and accolades, which reflect a positive overview of the educator.
Teachers should also compile materials relating to how their student’s performed in the classroom and how the educator contributed to their growth. Samples of student’s work with feedback from the teacher show how the pupils have performed over a given period of time and how the instructor dealt with individual situations. A teacher should also include any student journal submissions that have been compiled over the school year. Scores on tests, department exams, and national exams should also be included to reflect the success of the educator’s classroom methods. In addition, any classroom tapes or videos showing how the teacher went about his or her methods are always a good way to build rapport with others who are looking over a teaching portfolio.
One of the most important components of this material is the personal statement from the educator, which outlines the instructor’s mission and how they will adapt or modify their methods when changes arise in the field. This statement should include thoughts on the teacher’s role in different environments; how the educator’s methods fit within the overall teaching role; and how these methods have been modified in response to student attitude, course materials, or curriculum alterations.
A teaching portfolio as mentioned should take student feedback into account. A student evaluation on how the course was taught and what they learned from the course is an important part of the material. An instructor should analyze these comments to see who enjoyed the course and who did not. These comments can also be sorted by a student’s GPA or the expected grade a student intends to receive for the course. This process of analyzing student feedback may help to explain or balance out any negative comments a teacher may have received.
There is a lot of information and data an educator has to assemble when putting together their teaching portfolio. This important tool helps others get a better view of how the teacher has performed in the past across a wide spectrum of educational settings. A teaching portfolio is a step toward a more open, professional view of teaching and reflects the practice as an academic activity. When it comes to deciding how a portfolio should be put together, institutions should focus on what exactly is effective teaching, and what kinds of standards factor into the practice of teaching. A portfolio should only include the things, which document the teacher’s practice, and not an exhaustive overview of every detail in the educator’s career.