Take Your Teaching Portfolio to the Next Level a guest post by Hannah Duranko
Updated: Oct 24, 2022
“How do I make employers recognize me before even interviewing?”
“I’ve spent countless hours doing lesson plans and math projects, but what is the best way to display them?”
“It’s just another portfolio. Everyone has one, so how do I make mine stand out?”
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These are just some of the questions I had going through as I prepared to enter the last semester of my undergraduate adventure: student teaching. Reality hit me as if I had run into a brick wall. It is my last semester before I need to stand apart from other applicants to get the job of my dreams. While I was brainstorming, I thought, “Anyone can take a binder and put some paper in it. But how many people can create a user-friendly, professional website yet displays who I am?” That is when I decided to make a website to display my hard work over the last four years. Not only does it showcase the same things as a standard binder portfolio, but it allows for interaction.
As educators, you have probably heard this quote by Edgar Dale:
By creating a website, employers are not just reading anymore. They are EXPERIENCING and INTERACTING with all the time and effort you put into your portfolio, making them more likely to remember you!
WHERE TO START
1. Choose Your Website Builder
I had two classes where we discussed using websites to keep in touch with students and parents while teaching. My advisor and professor, Dr. Marcia Hoover, also emphasized that we could use websites to show our work in an organized space. She even has her current students do this for a final project. Here are the ones that she recommended that I also find user-friendly. These website builders offer templates that make navigating and editing sections easy. However, there is an option to build from scratch to customize it EXACTLY how you want it. Ultimately, I decided to use Wix. I had previously used it to create an online resource file for another class and was familiar with it.
2. Brainstorm What You Want to Include
When deciding what to display, I wrote down some general ideas on paper. I skimmed all my files on my computer or in my class binders, then categorized them. This might look a little messy, but it’s supposed to! This is the part where you want to get your thoughts on paper. Also, keep in mind that this is NOT set in stone. You can add or remove it as you feel necessary while building the website.
START BUILDING YOUR WEBSITE
I am not going to sugarcoat it; this is very time-consuming! However, this is the fun part! You get to tailor your website to showcase your work and your personality. Here are some tips that I discovered while building this portfolio.
1. Keep it Professional but Fun
Of course, you want your portfolio to be professional, but don’t make it boring to