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Top 5 Items Every Teacher Should Have in Their Professional Portfolio

Janelle Cox

Top 5 Items that Every Teacher Should Have in Their Professional PortfolioA professional teaching portfolio is essential for all educators. As you began your journey into education, and as you look to get a teaching job, you have gathered important artifacts along the way. These invaluable items you have collected are a great way to showcase your achievements and classroom experiences in a professional, organized manner.

Creating your professional portfolio is an ongoing process; as you gain more experience you will continually update the items to show your best qualities and achievements.  

Here are the top five must-have items to have in your teacher portfolio.

5 Must-Have Teacher Portfolio Items

Teaching Philosophy

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Your philosophy of education statement is your interpretation of what YOU think teaching and learning means. Included in your statement should be a brief description of how you teach and why you teach that way.

Example Excerpt:

Learning is also a means of assessment, assessment drives instruction. Assessment resembles good instruction when it occurs during typical learning activities. In order to facilitate learning I will involve students in the process of assessment by showing them rubrics of their work, giving them a self-check and self-evaluation exercise, and then have them learn self-appraisal. This will help the students develop the ability to judge their own accomplishments and to set goals for themselves.


Your resume (and a good cover letter) is the most important piece of your professional portfolio and an important step on the way to help you get a teaching job. This is the first glimpse prospective employers get of you, so you better make it stand out. All of the items you list on this document will serve as a catalyst for the rest of your portfolio. Focus on making it look professional and include certification, education, teaching experience, professional goals and related qualifications. Once you have written your resume then can expand and showcase the items you listed in your portfolio.


Although your resume may list your degree, awards and certificates, now is the chance for you to physically show off your accomplishments. In this section of your teaching portfolio, include a copy of your degree, teaching license, awards of honor and specialized training certificates.

Planning Materials

Prospective employers will want to see proof that you know how to prepare lesson plans and teach them. For this section of the portfolio, include a thematic unit along with curriculum standards for each activity.  It's a good idea to include photographs of the students participating in the activities, so the potential employer will be able have a visual of how you taught the lesson.

Additional Materials to Add:

  • Lesson plans
  • Field trips
  • Exam sheets
  • Syllabi
  • Interactive Bulletin Boards

Letters of Recommendation

You have put a lot of hard work and dedication into being a teacher, and now it's time to get credit for it. This section is essential to have in your portfolio because it gives potential employers the opportunity to learn about what kind of teacher you are. Include letters from past employers, college professors and supervisors.

In addition to the items listed above, your professional teacher portfolio should include examples of parent-teacher communication, students' work and professional development.

Portfolios are the best way teachers can document their professional growth. As you gain experience and knowledge as a teacher, you should review your portfolio to add and take away materials. This valuable tool just may be the best way to get a teaching job or advance your career.


What do you have in your teacher portfolio that can help others get a teaching job? Share with us in the comments section!

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