Alright, so it's part b of my "household binder", but I bring this everywhere with me along with my household binder when I'm doing anything important. Between the two binders I have everything I could need for an interview, applying for my NY driver's license, Dr's appointments, requesting copies of important documents, etc.
If you're interested in teaching as a profession, no matter what age, i'd recommend having a teaching portfolio put together. It's like a linked-in account on paper. We talked about these portfolios in my education college courses like they were the most important part of your interview. I've had two teaching interviews and neither director actually looked at the portfolio, but they were interested and impressed i'm sure that instead of being all over the place... I had every document they could need to look at. I'll tell you what documents I keep in here and in what order incase you want to create one for yourself. I went to college for early childhood education and right now I'm interested in teaching at the daycare/nursery level. I have young children and they learn so fast at this age. I want to be there at the beginning to help create a love for learning. It's amazing to build relationships with these children and their families and it's the perfect age to build a bond that they learn to truly trust you.
I got offered a job to be a teacher in the nursery (6weeks-18 months) classroom, but I would be happily willing to work in any classroom or in any grade if I decided later to teach elementary, middle or high school. I truly love to learn and I love to expand my knowledge in creative ways to the young children that will grow up to be the educators of our grandchildren!
Enough blabbing, here's what I have in my portfolio:
Very first page, the first thing you see is the picture up there. A simple cover picture explaining what this portfolio is and something that maybe stands out. This picture represents the artsy side of teaching and childcare that I love. They are melted crayons molded into a new shape to make new crayons. I love making and creating new things with children, and the colors are beautiful. Children love colors as much as we do as adults, it's creates more of an interest for them.
PAGE 1: Cover
PAGE 2: Table of Contents
PAGE 3: TAB: Background Information
PAGE 4: Cover letter/ Copy of Resume (even though you have most likely already sent them your resume)
PAGE 5: My teaching philosophy (I'll do another post later with my teaching philosophy and how I decided to write it.)
PAGE 6: TAB: Professional Development
PAGE 7: College Degree (Yes, the actual incase they need copies. Behind that I have my birth certificate and social security card in there temporarily incase copies are needed, as well.)
PAGE 8: Official Transcripts
PAGE 9: Work History/Experience: Work history that is related to your teaching job and any babysitting experience with names, ages of children, length of time, and responsibilities.
PAGE 10: TAB Community Involvement (This is where it feels like linked-in to me!)
PAGE 11: I have half of the page listed with all the volunteer experience I have (Related to the position I am applying for, which in my case is any child-related volunteer experience. I have much more than just that, but it's unnecessary.)
PAGE 12: TAB References
PAGE 13: List of References and their contact information (So you don't have to pull out your cell phone in an interview or ask the director for your resume. You will have a copy, plus a list in your portfolio incase you need them.)
PAGE 14-16: Letters of Recommendation from people other than the ones on your reference list! (When the director asked for the list of my references, I also mentioned that I had a couple letters of recommendation if she was interested in them. She took them! Make sure they have the contact information of the person writing they letter so they can follow up if need be.)
PAGE 17: TAB Artifacts
PAGE 18-20: Sample lesson plans that I have created or that I would like to use in a teaching setting. Make sure they are geared towards the age group you are interested in. If you are applying for a daycare, don't write a lesson plan for a second-grade level!
PAGE 20-?: If you have experience, even from babysitting, you could put samples of the children's artwork, maybe even if they match your lesson plans, or just drawings to show the director that you are really interested in the job you are applying for!
THE END- All done! It's got quite a bit, but if you are applying for a position in an elementary school this could be what makes you stand out from the rest! I used colored dividers and color coordinated each section to be a different color. I'm not applying to work in a law firm, I'm applying to work with children! Make it fun and interesting! Show that you won't be a boring teacher, but that you can't wait to have fun with the children as well as teach them through exciting lesson plans.
Just a heads up! Most directors will take you into the classroom they are looking to hire the teacher in and have you play with the children. Make sure you lighten up and just have fun. :-)
GOOD LUCK TO ALL YOU FUTURE TEACHERS.