Portfolio Proficiencies

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Portfolio Proficiencies

IMPORTANT: A passing score on the preliminary portfolio is a prerequisite for Apprentice Teaching. Students without a passing score will not be cleared to register for EDC 651S or UTS 170. This prerequisite is firm and there is no appeal. All sections of all proficiencies are required.



This page details the requirements for the preliminary portfolio. The final portfolio, produced during the Apprentice Teaching semester, further develops the skills demonstrated in 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. You will receive separate instructions in your Apprentice Teaching semester. 

For a passing score on the preliminary portfolio, you must earn a score of at least 1 (out of 4) on each of the required sections. See the portfolio rubric for more details. 

Profile Information

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

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.


This document 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) and any UTeach internship experience.

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

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.

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 proofread this document for spelling, grammar, and punctuation.

Ethics & Professionalism

In this section you will reflect on the important of ethics in teaching.  Submit the “Code of Ethics and Standard Practices for Texas Educators” as evidence and refer to and reflect on a specific standard.  Describe the ways in which this standard might apply in your future classroom. 


Equity and Inclusive Design

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

Include a discussion of how you create an inclusive and accessible 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.


Classroom Environment & Management

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.

Participation and Connection

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.



State explicitly how you consistently maintain a safe learning environment for students, both emotionally and physically. Include a lesson plan in which you specifically discuss safety with your students.


Lesson Design

Inquiry is an approach to teaching that involves students exploring concepts or ideas in order to create new understandings.  The purpose of this section is for 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 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.


Inquiry Design & Assessment

Document your process for planning and developing a learning experience designed to promote student learning through inquiry. Explain how you develop assessments to evaluate and demonstrate the student's grasp of the lesson material in relation to state or national standards. Also explain how you assessed the validity of the resources and student activities for this lesson.



Discuss how you have used or plan to use technology to create and enhance the learning environment. Include an assessment of the appropriateness of that technology for reaching your instructional goals.

Lesson Implementation

In this section, you will demonstrate how you stimulate interest in your content and elicit students' sustained participation in learning activities through inquiry and the use of technology.


Questioning and Assessment

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


Meaningful Learning Experience

Describe an inquiry based lesson that you have actually implemented.  Provide evidence showing that 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.


Content Knowledge

In this section, you demonstrate YOUR knowledge in the subject matter you will be teaching. Your reflections should describe broad and current knowledge.  Include work you have completed in your university courses.  Be sure to thoroughly describe the work and how it demonstrates your proficiency.


Based on your certification area, you will need to complete the indicated proficiencies:


























Computer Science







ALL – Historical Importance

Show how you bring out the historical importance of your subject material, its contribution to large ideas, and its significance in today’s society.  Include a brief discussion in your reflection/analysis of the importance of helping your students understand the context of the information you present.  


ALL - Model

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.


ALL – Topic Connections

Describe a topic in the subject area and describe the connections with prerequisite topics, future topics, and other subjects.


SCI – Question Inquiry

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. 

SCI – Science Explanation

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

MATH – Formal/Informal Reasoning

State a mathematical theorem or conjecture and apply informal mathematical reasoning and a formal proof of the theorem or conjecture. 

Evidence must include a statement about the particular type of proof chosen for the theorem or conjecture (i.e., direct proof, proof by contradiction, existence proof, uniqueness proof, contrapositive and equivalent forms, proof by mathematical induction, et.) and why that method of proof is most appropriate.


MATH – Multiple Representations

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


ENG – Design Challenge

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.


ENG – Grand Challenge

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.


CS – Computational Problem

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.


CS – Software System

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.