Teaching Porfolios: Date Based Portfolio

One way in which you can build your teaching portfolio is to use each of the years for your registration as a structure for folders and dividers for your portfolio. This can be done easily in both hard copy portfolios as well as online or computer based portfolios. 

Whichever way you decide to go in setting up your portfolio, you should consider each of the steps in this guide.

Hard Copy Portfolio

Essentially you just need a divider, or section, or entire folder for each year. You could choose to group your years together for the three years of your registration, though this is not necessary. 

Then its just a matter of putting each piece of evidence into the relevant year as you teach. I would keep each one dated and keep them in the order they happened in. Then at the end of the year, close it off, and open up the next section ready for the new year.

Computer Portfolio

In Google Drive / Drop Box / Windows Explorer / Finder create three folders inside your portfolio. Label these as the years of your registration. Obviously, you could just continue, or keep your registrations together in a folder themselves. 

One big melting pot

Obviously if you just add each piece of evidence into a folder for each year it will begin to resemble a dumping ground of teaching stuff or one big melting pot of evidence rather than a well organised portfolio.

One could merge the standards based approach outlined here into each of the year folders in order to add another layer of structure to your portfolio in an effort to keep it more organised. But this would require six folders, all named the same, created three times for each of the years. It would work, but it wouldn’t be very elegant. But, if this is how your brain works, then its a viable option. However, a better way would be by using tags.

Tags for each teaching standard

You can create a set of six tags, each one relating to a standard.

Tags can be used throughout most file systems, but in particular if you use OneNote I would highly recommend this. If you set up a blog for your portfolio, categories or tags can be used for this purpose. I believe both Windows and MacOS have the ability to tag files. I’m not sure this is possible in Google Drive or Drop Box, but I could be wrong.

If you’re building a hard copy portfolio, then stickers are your friends! Choose six coloured stickers to use, make a key of which standard each colour relates to, and then in the corner of the piece of evidence, place a sticker for the standard or standards that it relates to.

Multiple Standards

The biggest benefit to using tags is that it becomes very easy to attribute multiple standards to one piece of evidence. This is something that happens more often than not. Using tags saves on the doubling up of evidence as you copy a piece into multiple standards folders of other systems. Instead, you merely add as many tags as is suitable for the evidence, and it is “added” to those standards straight away.

OneNote is free to use. Whilst the online and app version is very good, I find the OneNote 2016 software to be the best. 

For syncing, you will need an Office365 account, which costs. However, it is free for all schools thanks to the Government schools agreement with Microsoft.

The Best Method

The best software I’ve found for building a portfolio is Microsoft OneNote. In particular is the ability to use tags. These can then be searched for, and using different macros it can also build a contents / index page for each of these tags. 

I used to use a blog type approach, with each post being a different piece of evidence, but with some privacy issues being that it was online, as well as the fact I was having to create posts as a piece of evidence, rather than just using the file, it became cumbersome and extra work with the doubling up. I did however appreciate the use of tags and categories to be able to organise the evidence while still maintaining a date based approach.

I will write an in-depth article about setting up your teacher portfolio in OneNote soon.