Art Teacher Portfolio Ideas for an Interview

I got the idea to write this post based on a recent discussion about teaching portfolios in the Facebook Art Teachers group.  I thought sharing parts of mine might be helpful to a prospective teacher who is building their portfolio.  These are all my opinions and you might have a better way to show your teaching experience.  Another teacher suggested bringing an iPad to the interview with digital pictures.  I think that would be a fantastic way to show your knowledge of technology!

Art Teaching Portfolio Ideas

Why Keep a Teaching Portfolio

  • When going on an interview, it is a great way to show off your students’ artwork and give a visual example of what you can do.  In my opinion, having something visual to show administration is vital as a visual arts teacher.
  • During the interview, you can flip through to a relevant page that answers the question asked.  For example, let’s say the interviewers ask a question on collaboration.  That would be the perfect time for you to show pictures of a project where you collaborated with another teacher or school.  Make sticky tabs that mark important papers.
  • It’s professional.  I felt more organized, prepared and confident going into interviews.

But I already have a job, do I need to keep up my portfolio?

  • That’s awesome!  Yes, I would recommend still keeping up your portfolio or at least make sure to hang on to important papers that you collect as you teach.
  • Here’s my story:  I’ve been through the job hunt process three different times.  Once, when I graduated college, once when I moved to Wisconsin from Illinois and then again when I wanted to move to a full-time position from the part-time teaching position I had.  It is definitely stressful!  Anyways, I’ve been at my current school for 7 years now, so I have not thoroughly updated my portfolio since then.  However, every time I do something that would be a nice addition to my portfolio, I will add it.  Have an art show?  Save the flier.  Take a professional development course?  Save the certificate.  Honestly, my portfolio is a mess now, but that’s okay because I have all the papers I want if I ever need to look for a new job.  And let’s face it.  Even though I love my current school and I’m not planning on leaving, you never know what can happen in life.  Maybe your spouse/partner will get a dream job offer and you will move.  Maybe you’ll need to move for other reasons.
  • Also I would keep it up just because it is fun to look back on what you have done over the years.

Here are some pictures from my portfolio.  As I said before, many of these are older documents from about 7-10 years ago.

Cover of Portfolio

Cover of Portfolio

I put my maiden name in parenthesis because at the time I had just gotten married and my previous work experience was under my maiden name. I probably wouldn’t include that now.  Also, I would update the cover photos as well.

Resume

Writing a resume could be a whole other blog post or how-to book!  Make sure you have a friend review it for spelling or grammatical errors.

Resume

Resume with Objective, Education, Experience, Educational Committees and Activities (like Yearbook), Art Exhibitions and Recognitions, Professional Presentations I have conducted, Professional Memberships and Positions.

Letters of Recommendation

2013-07-10 21.31.25

Lesson Examples

Include a lesson plan you have written for a project you have taught.  I do not currently write these for every lesson I ever teach, but I do plan out the objectives and so forth.

Lesson Plan

Student Handouts or Worksheets

These should be ones that you have developed.

Student Work

Example Handout

Photos of Finished Projects

You can include photos of children working on their artwork as well as finished projects.

Assessment

Administrators want to know how you assess students.  When I taught at the junior high level, I used rubrics.  I use checklists and narratives now.

Finished Project and Rubric

Literacy Components

Be prepared to share how you incorporate reading and writing into your curriculum.  Here are some art history booklets that students made.  Including student work in your portfolio is a must!

Art History booklets

Communicating with Parents

How do you communicate with parents?  Art newsletters, screenshot of your website or Artsonia, program guides, etc.

Newsletter Good News Note Website Screenshot

Community and School Wide Events or Special Projects

Community

School Accomplishments

Include school newsletters you have appeared in, extra projects you have done for the school, art shows, community shows, etc.

Things you have designed

I designed this logo and pledge card for our fundraising.

Student Art Exhibits

Art show flyers and fundraiser brochure.

Personal Artwork

Opinions vary on how much personal artwork to include.  I’m sure administrators assume that you know the basics of art, but if you have any personal artwork or exhibits to share, a page or two can’t hurt.

Art Shows

Professional Development

Include certificates from workshops, conferences or conventions you have attended

Certificates

presentations

Picture and brochure from a presentation I did with two friends.

Evaluations

I don’t know if other people do this or not, but I include evaluations I have gotten from administrators at previous jobs.  I want to show them I have nothing to hide.

evaluation

2013-07-10 21.26.15

Phew!  That was a long blog post!  I hope this may have given you some ideas for your own portfolio.  What do you think?  Does your portfolio look similar?  Do I include too much in mine?

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About Marcia Beckett

Marcia is an elementary art teacher and loves painting, drawing, sculpture, art journaling and clay. Her blog, Art is Basic, features many exciting art projects for kids.
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10 Responses to Art Teacher Portfolio Ideas for an Interview

  1. Caris Maloney says:

    This may not be that strange of an idea, however, this just inspired me to make sure that my child does an art portfolio! something each year will show much progress and the different teaching that will be covered. Not to mention, making sure the child writes something about their art work.
    Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. That sounds like a fantastic idea. Its like scrapbook of art learning

  3. Can I use my website portfolio instead of a paper portfolio on interviews or do schools still want to see paper form portfolios?

    • That is a great question! I think I will write a blog post about it. My thought is that if you have a way to show it during an interview (like an iPad) then that would be great. The best use of a portfolio is to use it as a “talking point” and show pictures/lessons to illustrate your points. If you just leave them the link to your web portfolio, they may or may not actually ever look at. It’s been 9 years since I’ve been on an interview, and I’ve never even made a digital portfolio. I will ask my readers what their experiences are.

    • Colleen says:

      I would suggest having both. I recently went on an interview where I had a book and a webpage ready to show. When I went to show my digital portfolio- they informed me the wifi for the school was down *eek* Thank goodness I had a binder to show! Cover all the bases :)

  4. Pingback: Digital Portfolio vs. Paper Portfolio Art is Basic

  5. cheryl prairie-steber says:

    marcia, i think it is a wonderful idea to keep up with the teaching portfolio. it is nice to see that you still do. i think a digital portfolio is a great idea but like you i think it is also good to have something in hand.

  6. Pingback: Interview Questions for Teaching Jobs Art is Basic

  7. Taylor Valandingham says:

    This is awesome! I am graduating in the next year and have been thinking about how I want to make my art education teaching portfolio. This is going to help out so much!!

I'd love to hear your thoughts!