How to Get Started with a Portfolio

  1. Start Soon! – it is all about getting started – somewhere. Put a plan into place so you have time each month to work on components and demonstrate your learning. A bi-weekly or monthly time also serves as a focused point of reflection on your practice.
  2. Review other teaching portfolios. Look at the teaching portfolios of friends, colleagues, or advisors. This is a great opportunity to see how others have presented their professional experiences.
  3. Write a statement of teaching philosophy. Articulating your values about teaching helps you choose the best pieces of evidence to support those values. For example, if your teaching philosophy highlights the importance of collaborative learning, find an assignment or project that showcases how you use this approach.
  4. Begin to organize student evaluations. Find and read over past student evaluations. See if you notice any trends. In what areas have you improved and how?
  5. Find sample materials. Review syllabi, assignments, lesson plans, and classroom materials, and choose those which represent your best work.  Draft short reflective essays on each of these.
  6. Schedule a classroom observation by a faculty member.  Have the faculty member share some thoughts about the observation.