Portfolio Requirements

This page details the requirements for both the preliminary and final portfolios and describes the types of artifacts that can be used as evidence. 

The UTeach Portfolio is an assignment through which UTeach students demonstrate that they meet specific teaching proficiencies and exhibit mastery in subject matter knowledge. In building a portfolio, students reflect on their experiences and select specific artifacts to support the conclusions reached in the reflection, which articulates important concepts in secondary math, science and engineering education.

A passing score on the preliminary version of the portfolio is one of the pre-requisites for admission to Apprentice Teaching (EDC 650S and UTS 170). While UTeach students have access to the web-based portfolio system and build the portfolio throughout all courses in the program, the preliminary portfolio must be submitted by the due in the semester prior to Apprentice Teaching.  Students will be given permission to register for EDC 650S and UTS 170 before the scores are finalized. These courses are audited after the due date and students without a passing score will be dropped.  This means that students must delay their student teaching by at least one semester. There are no exceptions to this requirement and no extensions will be given either for the portfolio itself or for revisions.

The final portfolio, produced during the Apprentice Teaching semester, further develops the skills of the preliminary portfolio. Requirements for the final portfolio are more extensive than for the preliminary portfolio and there is an expectation of greater depth, maturity, and competence at this level, as students are preparing to launch their careers as professionals.

Many kinds of material can be used as evidence for the preliminary portfolio: lesson plans, reflection assignments, observation feedback forms, video of your teaching, copies or photographs of student work (with any identifying information redacted), exams, papers, homework assignments, lab reports. You may also find that experiences from outside the university are helpful in addressing certain proficiencies: work you have done through an internship, a tutoring job, or a coaching position.

A single piece of evidence may be used in more than one proficiency. For example, a single lesson plan may provide evidence of technology and collaborative learning. For maximum clarity, save the document with a new title each time you use it. Highlight the parts of the lesson plan that are relevant to each proficiency, e.g. technology and collaborative learning. This helps you be sure you’re matching the correct document to the right proficiency.

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Artifacts from UTeach courses can include specific assignments, like a generative lesson plan from Knowing and Learning or responses to a forum prompt from Classroom Interactions.  Think about drafts of assignments, too.  For example, proficiency 4.a asks you to describe the process of developing a learning experience that promotes student learning through inquiry.  A lesson plan from Step 2 in draft form with instructor comments, then in final form can be a solid example of that process. Courses with material relevant to specific proficiencies are identified at the end of each Section, but other coursework may also apply.  Artifacts from course work, like drafts, papers, and exams, that include instructor comments and grades make especially good evidence.

Artifacts from Apprentice Teaching are used in the final portfolio, which is generated in UTS 170, the student teaching seminar. While Apprentice Teaching is not identified in the proficiencies below, it should be understood that documents from this experience will contribute significantly to the final portfolio.

Material from content courses can also be used.  In particular, think about lab courses, both lower- and upper-division and any research methods course (UTeach, Dean’s Scholars, Freshman Research Initiative, etc.).  Or think about a particularly challenging proof or the kind of problem solving you did in any Moore Method course.  Save documents that seem to fit into proficiencies, especially ones with instructor comments and grades.

UTeach faculty, content faculty, and mentor teachers are all resources to help you develop your portfolio.  Talk to them about the proficiencies, about writing reflections and possibilities for evidence.  The College of Natural Sciences Career Design Center is also available to help you with your cover letter and résumé. The Undergraduate Writing Center can help with the reflections.

Proficiencies that are grayed out are NOT required for the preliminary portfolio.  You will complete these sections for the final portfolio, submitted during the Apprentice Teaching semester. Keep these sections in mind as you build the preliminary portfolio and be sure to keep any items that you think might be useful later.

To meet the requirements of the preliminary portfolio, you must earn a score of at least 1 (out of 4) on each of the required sections, except section 1.d (which simply requires you to include an academic summary). Click here for a complete description of the rubric.


In this section, you will provide the portfolio evaluator with a context for you as a student and pre-service teacher.

In this section of your portfolio, you will include…

a)      Teaching Philosophy

State the major concepts and guiding principles that shape your views on being a successful teacher. You might choose to address such questions as: What led you to become a teacher? What do you hope to accomplish as a teacher? What educational experiences (either as a student or pre-service teacher) have had the greatest impact on you, and why?

Your teaching philosophy must be at least 350 words, in clear, expository prose. Please be sure to proof-read this document (and all other portfolio submissions). Misspellings and grammar or punctuation errors show a lack of professionalism.

Consider work you may have done in: Knowing and Learning, Perspectives, Project Based Instruction.

b)      Cover letter for employment

State your future goals for employment in a letter that accompanies a résumé to a potential employer.

This letter should be tailored to the job you seek, demonstrating to a future employer that you are a good fit for the school. Your cover letter may be addressed to a school at which you have had a field experience or a school where you would like to seek future employment. Even if you are unsure about whether or not you want to teach, the cover letter should be as professional as possible.

As with other portfolio submissions, be sure to proof read this document for spelling, grammar, and punctuation.

c)       Résumé

This documents presents your work and educational background. The audience is a principal or other professional who hires teachers.

Your résumé should be up-to-date and include your UTeach field experiences at all levels (with an indication that these were short term, not full-time employment), UTeach internship experience, and team-work experiences.

As with other portfolio submissions, be sure to proof read this document for spelling, grammar, and punctuation.

d)      Academic Summary

Your academic record should include all UT coursework, all transfer course work, and all grades. Do not include an advising audit in this section; a free copy of your entire record, called an academic summary, is available from Registrar’s Office.

This proficiency is scored as "included or not included". Your portfolio will not be evaluated based on your academic record.


In this section, you demonstrate your knowledge in the subject matter you will be teaching.  Your reflections should describe broad and current knowledge which is used to develop appropriate learning goals with students.  Include how you create opportunities for students to examine a variety of contexts of the subject matter, including its history, relationship with technology, ties to other disciplines, and impacts on society.

IMPORTANT: Students certifying in more than one area must respond to all sections, including a) and b) in each area in which they are certifying.  For example, students certifying in math and science must submit reflections for a) and b) in mathematics and a) and b) in science, for a total of 7 reflections.


a)  SCIENCE: State a question about the natural world and outline how to develop it into a specific inquiry that answers the question in whole or in part.

a)  MATHEMATICS: State a mathematical theorem or conjecture and apply both informal and formal mathematical reasoning to the same conjecture.

a)  COMPUTER SCIENCE: State a computational problem and an algorithm for solving it. Apply both informal and formal techniques to evaluate the algorithm in terms of its clarity, efficiency, and correctness. Describe the benefit of being able to apply both formal and informal reasoning to the same problem.

a) ENGINEERING: State a design challenge you have undertaken and describe the steps you went through to address it, providing specifics of each step. For example, do not simply state that you considered the needs of the client. Describe how you did that.

If available, include evidence with instructor assessment or comments.

Consider work you have done in: Research Methods, Functions and Modeling, or content courses.


b) SCIENCE: Evaluate the strength of a scientific explanation or hypothesis using scientific evidence and methodology and articulate that evaluation in clear, expository prose.

b) MATHEMATICS: Describe a mathematical concept that can be represented in multiple ways and articulate the connections between its representations in clear, expository prose.

b) COMPUTER SCIENCE: Describe a scenario or problem that can be improved or solved by the creation of a software system, and formalize that system using multiple representations, including: descriptive prose, a graphical representation (UML, flowchart, etc.), code or pseudo-code.

b) ENGINEERING: Select one of the engineering grand challenges and describe in clear expository prose how it 1) relates to a human or societal need, 2) illustrates the global nature of engineering, and 3) might be addressed using engineering practices and habits of mind.

If available, include evidence with instructor assessment or comments.

Consider work you have done in: Research Methods, Functions and Modeling, Perspectives, Project Based Instruction, or content courses.


c)       ALL SUBJECT AREAS: Generate a model of a natural phenomenon, or an engineered product or process, or describe an already existing model and evaluate how well the model represents the situation.

Evidence should include instructor assessment where available.

Consider work you have done in: Research Methods, Functions and Modeling, Project Based Instruction, or content courses.


d)      ALL SUBJECT AREAS: Describe a topic in the subject area and describe the connections with prerequisite topics, future topics, and other subjects.

If available, include evidence with instructor assessment or comments.

Consider work you have done in: Classroom Interactions, Project Based Instruction, or content courses.


e)      ALL SUBJECT AREAS: Show how you bring out the historical importance of your subject material, its contribution to large ideas, and its significance in today's society. Refer to a specific lesson plan that incorporates the general history of modern science or technological development as called for in national standards.

If available, include evidence with instructor assessment or comments.

In your reflection, you should discuss the importance of helping your students understand the context of the information you present.

Consider work you have done in: Classroom Interactions or Perspectives.


In this section, describe the steps taken to ensure that all of the students you teach have engaging and meaningful learning opportunities. Demonstrate your awareness of the needs of diverse groups of learners and provide evidence that you consider these needs throughout the entire process of developing a learning experience.

The UTeach Teacher will…

a)      Demonstrate an awareness of student diversity while preparing lessons, presenting lessons, and assessing students.

Include a discussion of how you create an inclusive and assessable learning environment for students: from various backgrounds, who have different interests, ability levels, genders, students for whom English is not a first language, or students who legally require accommodations and/or modifications.

Consider work you have done in: Knowing and Learning, Classroom Interactions, or Project Based Instruction

b)      Include an Individualized Learning Plan (ILP) from your teaching experience.

Evidence should include associated work sheets, assessments, samples of student work, an explanation of the development of the plan and a description of how the students responded to the experience.


Inquiry is an approach to teaching that involves students exploring concepts or ideas in order to create new understandings. This section asks you to describe and document your process for developing lessons that promote student learning through inquiry. Your reflections should explain how your inquiry lesson is connected to the state and national standards. You should also discuss the ways in which your lesson design uses the experiences and perspectives of the learner to support students taking an active role in the construction of their own knowledge.         

a)      Document your process for planning and developing a learning experience designed to promote student learning through inquiry. (You will discuss the implementation of this plan in the Instruction and Delivery section of the portfolio.)    

In your reflection, explain how you develop assessments to evaluate and demonstrate the student’s grasp of the lesson material in relation to state or national standards.

Explain how you assessed the validity of the selected resources and student activities for this lesson.

Consider the work you have done in: Classroom Interactions.

b)      Explain how you design lessons that encourage all students to participate, that connect the content to the interests and experiences of your students, and that make learning assessable and meaningful for students of all ability levels.

Consider work you have done in: Knowing and Learning, Classroom Interactions, and Project Based Instruction.


In this section, you will demonstrate how you create a safe and supportive learning environment that fosters high expectations for the success of all students.

The UTeach Teacher will…

a)      Present your overall classroom management plan.

Evidence may include rules, policies, procedures, time management strategies, rewards, and consequences.

Consider strategies that you have implemented or observed, including getting students’ attention, grouping students effectively, redirecting behavior.

In your reflection, describe the experiences that have contributed to this plan.

b)      Describe how you create rapport with and among your students to maintain an effective and respectful culture of learning in your classroom.

Consider work you have done in: Step 2, Classroom Interactions.

c)       State explicitly how you consistently maintain a safe learning environment for students, both emotionally and physically.

Evidence should include a lesson plan in which you specifically discuss safety with your students.

Consider work you have done in: Step 2 or Classroom Interactions.


In this section, you will demonstrate how you stimulate interest in science, math, computer science, or engineering and elicit students' sustained participation in learning activities, through inquiry and the use of technology.

The UTeach Teacher will…

a)      Describe an inquiry based lesson that you have implemented. Provide evidence showing all students engaged in meaningful learning experiences, such as: making predictions, gathering data, creating their own explanations or models from data, and communicating those explanations.

Consider work you have done in: Step 1, Step 2, Classroom Interactions, Project Based Instruction.

b)      Describe and provide evidence of your questioning and assessment techniques. Include evidence of how you use assessment to respond flexibly to students during instruction.

In your reflection, include a discussion of how your assessment strategy or instrument effectively measured the learning objectives and how you used assessment data to revise and improve the lesson.

Consider work you have done in: Step 2, Classroom Interactions or Project Based Instruction.

c)       Discuss how you have used or plan to use technology to create and enhance the learning environment.

Include in your reflection an assessment of the appropriateness of that technology in reaching your instructional goals.

Consider work you have done in: Step 2, Knowing and Learning, Project Based Instruction


In this section, you will demonstrate your participation in the larger educational community that extends well beyond the boundaries of the classroom. You will describe your proactive work with families, communities, and colleagues to serve the best interests of your students.

The UTeach Teacher will…

a)      Describe your professional development plan for remaining current in your subject and best teaching practices.  Explain and give evidence about how you will continually grow professionally and how you will use your expertise to contribute to your school, your district, and your community.

b)      Include evaluation feedback you received from an observer (mid-semester evaluation/final evaluation), from your students or both. Explain what you learned about your teaching from this feedback and how you adjusted and enhanced your teaching based on it.

c)       Present your overall plan for communicating with parents and caregivers of your students and describe your plan for including them in the education of their child.  Include a description and state the outcome of any interaction you have had with parents and caregivers of your students.

d)      Reflect on a specific ethical standard. Describe the ways in which this standard might apply in your future classroom.

Refer to a specific standard from the "Code of Ethics and Standard Practices for Texas Educators."

Consider work you have done in: Classroom Interactions.