Creating a Teaching Portfolio

Two windows at Stanford. Linda A. Cicero / Stanford News Service

About Teaching Portfolios

Teaching portfolios are a tool for both self-improvement and hiring/promotion processes. A portfolio documents your experience, growth, strengths, and accomplishments as a teacher.

What to Include

Typically, portfolios include:

  • A brief table of contents
  • A personal statement
  • Syllabi and/or other course materials
  • Evidence of your teaching effectiveness, such as student evaluations, student papers, or a videotape of you in action

Personal Statement

While most of the documents in a portfolio may sound familiar, the personal statement is probably new to many instructors. Generally about 2-3 pages long, it may include the following items:

  • Reflective statement of your pedagogical philosophy, strategies, and objectives
  • A short list of your main teaching interests
  • Summary of your past and present teaching responsibilities
  • Description of steps taken to evaluate and improve your teaching, including changes resulting from attending teaching workshops, being videotaped, or talking to a teaching consultant
  • Explanation of appended supporting material such as syllabi, exams, or handouts

Teaching portfolios are best prepared in consultation with others. As you put your portfolio together, seek the advice of colleagues and your academic advisor (if you are a TA). Attend a workshop on teaching portfolios (VPTL generally offers one per quarter on teaching statements and portfolios).

For a teaching portfolio consultation, visit Cardinal Careers and make an appointment with one of the PhD career counselors at the Career Development Center.

Some students also include their teaching statement in their e-portfolio. For more information about e-portfolios, see E-Portfolios: Creating Your Professional Identity.

One great benefit of building a teaching portfolio is that it helps you clarify your pedagogical aims and teaching strategies. By reviewing your course materials and evaluations, and by reflecting on your approach to teaching, you will recognize important trends and progress in your teaching. This process will allow you to be more intentional in your teaching and will also likely be useful for the academic job market or the tenure review/promotion process.


Peter Seldin, J. Elizabeth Miller, Clement A. Seldin, The Teaching Portfolio: A Practical Guide to Improved Performance and Promotion/Tenure Decisions, 4th ed. (Wiley, 2010)

See also

Preparing for Faculty Careers (takes you to VPGE site)