When building a resume it is extremely difficult to stand out among other teachers applying for the same position. Every teacher has the same, if not extremely similar responsibilities across all schools. Most teachers are not offered measurable metrics in order to advance their position. If/when their performances are evaluated, it is done by one other person watching them in a classroom for a small amount of time. So, how can you, the teacher, showcase that you go above and beyond in your classroom? How can you stand out when applying to a school that typically requires an AMS or AMI credential if you do not have one? What can you offer to a future employer to showcase how you teach Montessori? Simple – build a teacher portfolio!
Take as many pictures as possible
Every material you create, every shelf you set up, every time you rearrange something – take photos! Every group art project, every large group lesson, every celebration event – take photos of the set up and the students’ completed work. Documenting everything and later organizing them digitally in folders will allow you to easily update in the future. If you get in this habit, you will have an entire library of personal work that you have done in the classroom to show a Director when interviewing. You can also create a small guide on how your classroom is set up, with photos, for substitute teachers. (Leave students out of these photos so you do not intrude on privacy permissions, etc. in the future!)
Gather Documents from School
Wherever you work, start collecting a few of the forms that potential and current parents receive. (I.e school calendars, flyers for upcoming events like curriculum night, lunch menus) As this library builds, so does your portfolio. Showing that you were involved in parent-education events, school functions, and have served food and managed children with allergies is important to note when applying to a position.
Keep Track of Your Trainings
Collect a clean copy of any diploma, transcripts, training certificates, first aid and CPR training card, background check, and additional training hours you may have completed in past years. Most schools require 10+ hours of additional training every year. Having all of your education and training documents readily available save the hiring manager a lot of time and creates less room for error later. Staying compliant is key!
Organizing your photos, professional experiences, and training information alongside your resume is a sure way to stand out above other applicants. Be creative – use a binder or make a personal website and be sure to highlight your view of the child and your authenticity to the Montessori method.