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HITESOL Workshop


Developing a Teaching Portfolio





In today's brownbag workshop session, we'll talk about developing our personal teaching portfolios. After briefly exploring reasons for developing a teaching portfolio, we'll discuss some of the necessary elements of a complete teaching portfolio. Next, we'll take a stab at perhaps the most personally challenging part of the portfolio, your Personal Philosophy of Teaching Statement. Finally, we'll look at several different ways to present and distribute our portfolios.




What exactly is a teaching portfolio?


"A purposeful collection of any aspects of a teacher's work that tells the story of the teacher's efforts, skills, abilities, achievements, and contributions to his/her students, colleagues, institution, academic discipline, or community" (Brown & Wolfe-Quintero, 1997).


Q: What does this mean to you personally? Is there anything that you would add or subtract from this definition?



Why are teaching portfolios useful?


          Creating and maintaining a portfolio may motivate teachers to improve and develop themselves professionally.


          Portfolios can assist administrators, as current and prospective employers, in evaluating the teacher's qualifications.


Q: Can you think of additional reasons for needing or wanting a teaching portfolio?



What should we include in a teaching portfolio?


1. cover letter (perhaps reflecting on the purposes and organization of the portfolio)


2. updated resume (briefly presenting all pertinent facts relevant to teaching background and qualifications), including lists of




3. statement of your teaching philosophy, including discussions of




4. samples of your work, including


                       a videotaped class (including supporting documents)







5. selected comments from evaluations or observations of your teaching (along with an explanation of how you interpret these evaluations), including





6. other items


          letters of recommendation


          thank-you letters from students or colleagues


          awards or certificates


          pictures of classroom activities


          whatever else best represents your professional abilities and accomplishments


 (from Wolfe-Quintero, K. & Brown, JD. 1998. Teacher Portfolios. TESOL Journal, winter. 24-27)


Q: Why are each of these items useful in a teaching portfolio?


Q: Would you choose NOT to include any of these items in your own teaching portfolio?


Q: Can you think of additional items to include in your own teaching portfolio?



Personal Philosophy of Teaching Statement


Why is a personal philosophy of teaching statement an important element of the teaching portfolio?


"It is important for ES/FL teachers, like any other teachers or indeed professionals, to be able to articulate their basic views and values concerning their practice, that is, their philosophy of teaching. As with all aspects of professional activity, unless one can state what one is trying to do, it is hard to critique or develop one's practice" (Crookes, unpublished SLS 690 class notes)


What philosophical views might be included in a teaching statement?



Q: Can you think of personal philosophies that you would include in your own teaching statement?



Portfolio Types


  1. Paper-based with videotape

Pluses: easiest to produce, most accessible

Minuses: costly to mail, bulky, timing, may be difficult to read through material


  1. Floppy-based with videotape

Pluses: easy to produce, cheaper to mail, accessible

Minuses: can store only 1.44 kb on a disk


  1. CD-based

Pluses: cheap to mail, somewhat easy to produce, inexpensive

Minuses: requires cd burner, storage limitations, requires cd reader, less



  1. DVD-based

Pluses: cheap to mail, somewhat easy to produce, large storage capacity

Minuses: requires dvd burner, more expensive to produce, requires dvd reader, more inaccessible


  1. Web-based

Pluses: cheapest (free?) to produce, free to send, most user-friendly, fully integrated, technologically advanced, anyone can see it

Minuses: requires more time to produce, requires web connection on both ends



Electronic Possibilities

  1. Disc-based portfolio


  1. Web-based portfolio

Conventional web technology

-           Dreamweaver/ Front Page

-           Audio and video players

Advanced web technology

-           Flash




Making your own Electronic Portfolio


1.      Develop the elements of your portfolio

2.      Check out different web site designs to get ideas for your site

3.      Secure free web space: University, Roadrunner, Apple, etc.

  1. For site development, plan 10-30 hours from start to finish, depending on goals
  2. Download trial versions of software, depending on your design, or
  3. Use computer lab computers with software already installed
  4. Take tutorials for downloaded software
  5. Build your pages
  6. Upload your material to your web site



Example of an Electronic Portfolio


Q: What are some personal and practical considerations you may have in the near future that would influence the form of your teaching portfolio?



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contents (c) 2002 Shawn Ford/ Webb-Ed Press