Required stuff include my syllabus, class rules, seating chart, class roll, grading procedures and copy of gradebook, and daily procedures. I also added substitute lesson plans because even though I might change the assignment, I kept the format for the plans.
I liked to put in a sample lesson plan, photos of my class engaged in a lesson, photos of speakers who came to my class, and examples of student’s work. I also asked people to take a photo of me while I was teaching. These are great to show potential employers if you are going to a new school.
I also included emails to/from parents and to/from colleagues. This shows that you can collaborate with other people using technology. A phone log is also included to show that I communicated with parents by phone also. The log showed the dates, the name of the student, and a brief comment about what the phone conversation was about. This was also handy if there was a conflict with a student and I needed to have a conference. I could refer back to our conversations.
I also added items that I created like worksheets, overheads, PowerPoint presentations, photos of hands on visuals or anything that showed how creative I could be. If I used the Smart Board, I would take a photo of the lesson done on that also. I also wanted to show that I was able to use a variety of techniques and strategies to reach students who were on different levels and had different styles of learning.
Awards and certificates were included also. I was able to show that I was constantly trying to develop professionally and staying current in my field. I feel this is very important to be able to know what new ideas are out there so that I could try some of them. This is what helped me be a successful teacher. Being a teacher means you are always learning and growing because teaching is not a stagnant career.
I felt like my portfolio should show what kind of teacher I was and the things that I was proud of doing in my classroom. I could show it to any parent, colleague, or administrator as a way of showing that learning was taking place in my classroom. Keep in mind that my portfolio was always changing, and developing. Old things were replaced with current items and I was able to see how I was changing and developing too as a teacher.