Developing a professional portfolio


A professional portfolio is one of the best ways for a professional to showcase their knowledge, skills and experience in their field. Educators will learn the value of a portfolio for job acquisition and career development as they work through the content and format of their own personal and professional portfolio.

Developing a Professional Portfolio

What is a Professional Portfolio?

Organized collections of work compiled for a specific purpose related to the demonstration of one's learning, skills, and accomplishments.

They contain purposefully organized documentation that clearly demonstrates specific knowledge, skills, dispositions and accomplishments achieved over time.

The Process Involves 4 Steps

  1. Select personal or professional goal.
  2. Collect actual items and documents that could demonstrate what you are doing to reach your goal.
  3. Decide which items best illustrate your achievement of or progress toward the goal.
  4. Determine how to present the selected items.
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Purpose/Benefit of the Professional Portfolio

First, the portfolio process helps students to reframe how they see themselves as learners.

It encourages them to think about their learning, and the learning environment, in critical and meaningful ways - to become mindful, intentional, self-directed learners. For many learners, the portfolio process reignites their intellectual curiosity, the same quality we admire and seek to foster in children.

Second, the portfolio process provokes adult learners to look at education differently - as integrative and ongoing - reaching far beyond the confines of the classroom and continuing throughout life.

We have heard so often from students over the years that they have felt that their college classes were irrelevant and had no connection to “real life.” Many have experienced higher education as a series of hoops one jumps through to get the “piece of paper.” On the contrary, students who have experienced the portfolio process report a high degree of connectedness between what they do in the college classroom and what they experience beyond the classroom door. The real-world nature of portfolio work bridges the theory-to-practice gap in ways that result in meaningful learning and change. Course content ceases to be the stuff one crams for a test and soon forgets. It comes to be owned by the learner, and therefore it becomes part of the fabric of one's professional life and development.

Difference Between Personal & Professional Portfolio>

Retrieved on 17-May-2011

Contents of a Professional Portfolio

Design and Develop a Format and Building Your Portfolio

Step 1: Title Page

  • Course Name
  • Assignment Name
  • Student Name/Community

Step 2: Table of Contents

  • Outlines the order of your Portfolio
    • Introduction
    • Personal Philosophy
    • Current Resume
    • References & Reference Letter
    • Collection of Work
    • Professional Development
    • Closing Remarks

Step 3: Introduction of Self- characteristics, qualities, personal traits, values, beliefs

  • Introduce your self. - name, community and a little bit about yourself.
  • Include characteristics, qualities, personal traits, values and beliefs you have that will support your position as an EA or ECE.

Personal Qualities Skills Checklist

Review this list of personal qualities and skills and check those that you believe you exhibit

adaptable good natured
artistic honest
calm industrious
confident patient
considerate pleasant
dependable practical
discreet punctual
energetic reasonable
fair-minded reliable
flexible responsible
helpful self-confident
attentive stable
loyal accurate
meticulous ambitious
open-minded clear-thinking
organized competitive
persevering cooperative
realistic curious
resourceful eager
thorough enthusiastic
versatile intelligent
active logical
alert methodical
assertive outgoing
broad-minded precise
competent purposeful
conscientious productive
creative steady
determined tenacious
efficient trustworthy
enterprising understanding
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Transferable Skills Checklist

Review this list of transferable skills and check all the skills that you think you have.

adapt to situation advise people analyze data
arrange function assemble product audit records
budget money build buy products/service
calculate numbers check for accuracy collect money
communicate compare data construct buildings
coordinate activities cope with deadline create
delegate design detail
do precision work draft drive
edit establish estimate
evaluate examine expedite
explain file records find information
fix/repair follow direction follow through
gather information gather materials generate
handle equipment help people illustrate
implement improve inspect products
install instruct invent
investigate learn quickly listen
locate information log information make decisions
make policy manage a business meet the public
move material obtain operate equipment
order goods/supplies organize data own/operate business
paint plan prepare material
print process material produce
promote record data reduce costs
replace report information research
restore retrieve information review
schedule sell review
service equipment set goals set-up equipment
set-up system solve problems supervise
support survey tend equipment
test track train
transfer translate troubleshoot
type update information upgrade
verify work quickly write procedures
write proposals write reports

Characteristics of a Good Educator\

Review this list of characteristics of a good educator and check those that you believe you exhibit

Characteristics Behaviors, attitudes, abilities, skills
Articulate Communicates so children and families understand
Available Interacts responsively with children and families
Caring Demonstrates compassion and empathy
Committed Devoted to caring for children
Creative Uses a variety of teaching strategies
Fair Responds to each child equitable
Flexible Demonstrates ability to adapt to situations
Fun Has a sense of humor
Individualizes Adapts program to individual child's needs and interests
Knowledgeable Knows current teaching strategies and materials and matches them to children's interests, needs and developmental levels
Motivating Promotes active involvement; makes learning fun
Open Sees things from other's perspectives
Organized Arranges environment, materials, time and curriculum plans
Patient and pleasant Even tempered, uses effective voice tone and gestures
Professional Conscientious about carrying out responsibilities; uses strategies to keep personal pressures from interfering
Reflective Reflects upon performance and accepts constructive feedback
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Identify Who are the Team Members in Child Care and Education

This is a Story about Four People ...

Retrieved on 17-May-2011

What Is A Team?

A team consists of a collection of people who interact with each other, usually face to face, over time in order to reach goals.

A Child Care/Classroom Team Consists Of

  • children
  • staff
  • parents
  • administrators
  • support services
(The list varies depending on the needs of children, program, and members involved)

Characteristics and Skills of Team Members

Building Cohesiveness

- Cohesiveness is what takes place that causes members to feel apart of a team and make them want to remain on that team.

- Highly cohesive team members spend more time interacting, and there are more expressions of positive feelings for one another as well as report more satisfaction with the team and its work.

- Cohesive teams have greater control over the behavior of other members.

- Highly cohesive teams have the potential to be productive.

The goal of the team is to boost cohesiveness in a way that also helps get the job done. There are eight factors that can enhance cohesion in a professional team.

  1. Shared or Compatible Goals: People draw closer when they share a similar aim or when their goals can be mutually satisfied.
  2. Progress Toward These Goals: While a team is making progress, members feel highly cohesive: when progress stops, cohesiveness decreases.
  3. Shared Norms and Values: Although successful teams will tolerate and even thrive on some differences in member's attitudes and behavior, wide variation in the team's definition of what actions or beliefs are proper will reduce cohesiveness.
  4. ack of Perceived Threat Between Members: Cohesive team members see no threat to their status, dignity, and material or emotional well-being. Often competition arises with teams, and as a result members feel threatened.
  5. Interdependence of Members: Teams become cohesive when their needs can be satisfied only with the help of other members.
  6. Threats from Outside the Team: When members perceive a threat to the team's existence or image (teams have self-concepts, just as individuals do), they grow closer together.
  7. Mutual Perceived Attractiveness and Friendship: Teams often become close simply because members like each other.
  8. Shared Team Experiences: When members have been through some unusual or trying experiences, they draw together.

Nature of Conflict


-Conflict is an expressed struggle between at least two interdependent parties who perceive incompatible goals, scarce resources, and interference from other party in achieving their goals.

-Conflict can only exist if both parties are aware of the disagreement.

-Conflict is natural. So are the associated feelings.

-Hurt, Anger, Frustration, etc. can make conflict intense

-Every relationship of any depth has conflict

-No matter how close, how understanding, how compatible you are with each other your ideas, actions, and needs won't always match.

Example of Conflict

Conflict: Neighbors Music Keeps You Awake All Night

Incompatible Goals: Neighbor wants to enjoy to loud music at night and you want get a good night sleep.

Scarce Resources: Your neighbor or you will loose out.

Interference From Other Party In Achieving Their Goals: Does the neighbor achieve their goal of enjoying loud music at night and you loose sleep? Or will you achieve your goal of a good night sleep and the neighbor does not get to achieve their goal of listening to loud music at night?

Impossible to Avoid Conflict

Since it is impossible to avoid conflicts, the challenge is to develop effective communication and constructive conflict resolution skills.

  • listening carefully
  • empathy
  • relating to the other persons side
  • effective communication

Remember. ..conflict can actually keep good relationships strong and may help to clear the air.

Personal Conflict Styles

Nonassertive Behavior

inability or unwillingness to express thoughts or feelings of conflict

Direct Aggression

communicator expresses a criticism or demand face to face that threatens the person at whom it is directed

Passive Aggression

the communicator expresses hostility in an obscure way

Indirect Communication

conveys a message in a roundabout manner


a message expresses the speaker's needs, thoughts, and feelings clearly and directly without judging or dictating to others

Conflict Style Approach to Others Decision Making Self-Sufficiency Behavior in Problem Situations Response of Others Success Pattern
Non Assertive I'm not OK; you're OK Let others choose Low Flees; gives in Disrespect, guilt, anger, frustration Succeeds by luck or charity of others
Directly Aggressive I'm OK, you're not OK Choose for others. They know it. High or Low Outright attack Hurt, defensiveness, humiliation Feels compelled to beat out others
Passive Aggressive I'm OK, you're not OK. (But I'll let you think you are.) Chooses for others. They don't know it. Looks high, but usually low Concealed Attack Confusion, frustration, feelings of manipulation Wins by manipulation
Indirect I'm OK, your not OK or I'm not OK, your 're Ok. Chooses for others. They don't know it. High or low Strategic Unknowing compliance or resistance Unwitting compliance of others
Assertive I'm Ok you're OK Chooses for self. Usually high Direct Confrontation Mutual Respect Attempts "win-win" solutions

Which Style is Best?

You may say "assertive communication" is superior because it allows you to express yourself honestly, and seems to have the greatest chance of success but it is an oversimplification to say that any one style is best.

Factors it Depends on:

The Situation

The Receiver

Your Goals

Assertion in Conflict Resolution (Also know as the clear message format.."I statements")

A complete assertive message has five parts:

Behavioral Description - describing an event without interpreting it.

Interpretation - attaching meaning to the behavior.

Feeing - clarifying the impact. How do you feel about this ...angry ...frustrated ...confused?

Consequence - explaining the result

Intention - communicating where you stand; or, request of others; or, description of how you plan to act in the future.

Methods of Conflict Resolution Strategies

Method of Conflict Resolution Description
Win-Lose Problem Solving
  • one party gets what he/she wants
  • typical of an "either-or" situation
  • power is the distinguishing characteristic
Lose-Lose Problem Solving
  • neither side is satisfied
Compromise Problem Solving
  • gives both parties some of what they wanted, and both make sacrifices
  • success depends on the satisfaction of the parties
Win-Win Problem Solving
  • goal is to find a solution that satisfies everyone involved

Although a win-win approach sounds ideal, it is not always possible, or even appropriate.

Choosing the Most Appropriate Method of Conflict Resolution

Consider deferring to the other person

  • When you discover you are wrong
  • When the issue is more important to the other person that it is to you
  • To let others learn by making their own mistakes
  • When the long-term cost of winning may not be worth the short-term gains

Consider Compromise

  • When there is not enough time to seek a win-win outcome
  • When the issue is not important enough to negotiate at length
  • When the other person is not willing to seek a win-win outcome

Consider Competing

  • When the issue is important and the other person will take advantage of your noncompetitive approach

Consider Cooperating

  • When the issue is too important for a compromise
  • When a long-term relationship between you and the other person is important
  • When the other person is willing to cooperate

Win-Win Communication Skills and Steps

Win-Win process is difficult!!

  • people feel the need to compete
  • emotional reflexes prevent constructive solutions
  • require both party's cooperation

Step 1 - Identify your Problem and Unmet Needs

  • realize that the problem is yours - you are the one dissatisfied!
  • what are your unmet needs?
  • clearly describe each without judgment or evaluation (to yourself)

Step 2 - Make a Date

  • recognize that immediately may not be the best time
  • find a mutually convenient time

Step 3 - Describe your Problem and Needs

  • be as specific as possible (see step 1)
  • use the the assertive behavior-interpretation -feeling-consequence-intention format

Step 4 - Consider your Partner's Point of View

  • be fair
  • listen

Step 5 - Negotiate a Solution

  • identify and define the conflict
  • generate a number of solutions
  • evaluate the alternatives
  • decide the best solution

Step 6 - Follow Up the Solution

  • test it
  • alter it
  • retry

A Manner of Speaking/Tips for Team Work on 17-May-2011

For each scenario:

Identify the method of conflict resolution you feel is most appropriate for the following scenarios. (Win-Loose Problem Solving, Lose-Lose Problem Solving, Compromise Problem Solving, Win-Win Problem Solving)

Try to find a Win-Win solution. Work your way through the win-win communication skills and steps in lesson 5.

  1. Your supervisor has rearranged the schedule to accommodate another staff member's request to get off early next Friday. You were originally scheduled for the early shift which meant that you would be finished work around 3:00pm and now you need to work until 6:30pm. When you thought you would be off early, you had made plans with a group of friends for a dinner party at your place, starting with pizza at 5:30! Now What?
    1. Identify the method of conflict resolution you feel is most appropriate for the following situation.
    2. Try to find a Win-Win solution. Work your way through the Win-Win Communication Skills and Steps.
  2. You loaned a co-worker $100 until next pay day because she needed to do some immediate repairs on her vehicle. Pay day has come and gone. When you reminded her of the bank loan, she remarked, "Oh, right! I'm so sorry! As soon as I get to the bank for some cash, I'll have it for you." That was two weeks ago. So you remind her again. She's short on cash an needs to wait until next pay day. Tomorrow is pay day. Now What?
    1. Identify the method of conflict resolution you feel is most appropriate for the following situation.
    2. Try to find a Win-Win solution. Work your way through the Win-Win Communication Skills and Steps.