Do I Really Need a Teaching Portfolio?

If you’re in the thick of searching for a teaching job, you may be devoting a lot of time to interview preparation, and learning how to make a great impression on your interviewers. In your search for useful job interview resources, it’s possible you’re reading about teaching portfolios, and asking yourself, “Do I really need one?”

The answer is “maybe not” but you should give serious thought to creating one anyway. Though teacher shortages exist, the job market still has pockets of competitiveness. Or you get called to interview for the position of your dreams, and you’re willing to do whatever you can to land it. While a principal will always be more concerned with a strong résumé and concrete evidence of your degree and certification, having a teaching portfolio can provide a few advantages:

Pathways to Certification: Which One is Best for You?

There was a time when you could become a teacher on a whim. Requirements were minimal, the curriculum often undemanding. The ranks included farmers who needed something to occupy them in the off-season, and young women not much older than their pupils. A schoolhouse packed with sixty children of all ages and one teacher wasn’t unusual.

Fortunately, times have changed and conditions have improved, and with them, the steps you must take to become a teacher. Teaching is a profession which requires prospective educators to meet certain educational qualifications, which include a bachelor’s degree and passing scores on exams. While requirements and specifics vary widely from state to state, these regulations exist for the same reason: to ensure that all students are receiving instruction from a highly trained teacher.

If your goal is a position in a public school, you need a certificate from your state. However, you may have more than one option for earning your qualifications. You’re the best person to identity your ideal path to certification by looking at your current education, location, and what you wish to teach. Considering this information will help you find your best route to certification. Here’s some information to consider when making your decision. 

Supporting Your Students During Standardized Test Season

Every parent and teacher knows that students’ motivation levels plummet after spring break. Summer break is soooooo close. Even teachers begin running on fumes, and day dream for that moment when the final bell of the year rings.

Yes, April and May are two months that just about everyone at school would rather just dim the lights, lean back, and take a well-deserved nap. This would be a great idea but for one thing:

Standardized test season.

Alas, April and May are two months chocked to the gills full of standardized tests: ACT, SAT, AP, and every state’s 3-8th grade student growth exams. For these two months, public schools turn into test-prep factories.

The debate about the need for all this testing is another article. For now, teachers like you should have the skills to support your students academically and emotionally during this stressful time. In this article we’ll discuss how to support both younger and older students during standardized test season.

6 Unique Study Tips (For You or Your Students)

Whether you’re getting ready for the Praxis, the GRE, a state licensing test, or any other exam, there are usually plenty of resources to help you study. But getting into the study groove isn’t always about books and apps. Sometimes you need to make changes in your process and behaviors to really get the most out of studying. Trying out new study tips helps your mind get into a different way of thinking about the materials for the upcoming test. And this is true for your students, too. With so little time in class to teach all of the standards required, we often fail to teach students study habits and behaviors that will help them find the best way to learn material. The following list of unique study habits can work for you or your students!


Creative Ways to Get More Out of a Three-Ring Binder

Teachers are known for being hard-working individuals for a reason. Due to low school budgets, time restrictions, and simply being out of energy by the end of the day, you’re often forced to “make do” with what you have on hand. That makes staying organized and creating engaging moments with your students a real challenge.

Getting creative with what you already have on hand (or can get cheaply and easily) is a skill experienced educators have mastered quite well. Veterans also know that at the end of the day, your creative juices are often zapped and need refreshing.

Luckily, great resources for staying organized, creative, and on-budget already exist so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time you need an innovative solution. This article and printable infographic, for example, is one of them. It walks you through some clever uses for the omnipresent binder so you can turn them into projects for students, organizational tools, and more.

Improve Your Teaching Practice with These Great Podcasts

Whether you are looking to land your first teaching job or have been in the classroom for years, there is always something new to learn in the world of education.

Even if you have already talked the ear off of every teaching veteran you know, attended all the district professional development opportunities you could stand, and completed all the expensive college courses you could afford, there is still so much to learn.

Thanks to the plethora of quality, education-focused podcasts, a pair of earbuds may be the most impactful professional development tool in your arsenal. Whether you listen while cooking dinner, mowing the lawn, or driving to work, these great podcasts can help improve your teaching practice a little bit each day.

In no particular order, here are some of the best podcasts for educators to dive into!