So I've been looking for a new job which means some serious updates to my portfolio and résumé. The last time I was job hunting I was inexperienced, still working on my masters degree, and had all of 30 hours of observation/student teaching under my belt. So my portfolio was composed pretty much of hypotheticals and my résumé listed things like secretarial work.
Now, I've been teaching for a couple of years, I have projects to show, lesson plans to bring, and experience to add to a résumé (and résumé website).
Well first off, I have a portfolio. Like a real portfolio to carry student work in. The lady who interviewed before me had a three ring binder and I'm sure she could fit way more stuff in there than I could in my portfolio but I just think that a portfolio looks more artistic and professional. Like I take my kids' work seriously. That's just my opinion though. I suppose a binder works fine too. Any way, here's my portfolio. (please enjoy these many photos with my blue rug as the background...)
When you open the portfolio, there's a pocket and that's where I put my lesson plans and copies of my résumé.
Next I showed my fourth graders' sculptures from this year. On the left I showed four of my favorite sculptures and on the right I showed one student's planning for her animal and then the execution.
I like this spread because it gives me several talking points. First, the sculptures look really nice for fourth graders. The interview committee seemed impressed. Second, it gave me the chance to bring up that I had worked with an artist-in-residence, showing that I was motivated in looking outside my classroom for resources for my students and that I work well with others in the community. Third, the pictures on the right let me talk about how I like to let my students explore and find the medium that they work best in. This was a brand new student that I got in the middle of the year and up to this point, she never stood out to me as being particularly talented. Her drawing was okay but not one of my best for sure. But her sculpture blew me away as being the best one in the class.
After the photos, I added a spread of several different projects we'd done this year, just to show a range of teaching assignments. On the left is two reference sheets that my kids did the first semester that they keep in their portfolio. The top left was a fun, spur of the moment project I did with my third graders where they had to pick an adjective and illustrate it, using the letters of the word to show the meaning of the word. Below is a zentangle from one of my fourth graders.
|Close up of my reference sheets in case anyone wants to steal. Go for it. One of them I found on Pinterest and adapted for my kids and the other I made up.|
After showing all of those projects, I said that even though those were fun projects, I could have just pulled projects from my most talented kids and showed them off, whether I had much to do with that talent or not. So these next three spread are what I showed the committee next. These are self portraits from two second graders and one third grader, respectively. Each spread contains a self portrait from the student from the beginning of the year and one from a few weeks ago.
I think these show so much growth from my students! I love them. And I think it really shows a lot about me as an art teacher too. It shows that I can actually teach a student to improve their skills, not just do fun projects with them.
And I guess the committee thought so too! I will now be teaching junior high art starting in August! Fifteen minutes away from home! I'm so excited! I obviously had to create a whole new Pinterest account for the occasion so you can now follow me @MrsFortuneArt.
Do you have any tips for art teachers looking for new jobs? What's your "must have" for a portfolio? Do you prefer a binder or an art portfolio for interviews? My interviewers asked me not to bring my own work but do you like to bring your artwork to a job interview?