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All in order

A professional portfolio is for life, says Sara Bubb

What evidence do you need to keep during your induction year? Not as much as during your training. As the people you're working with, rather than anyone external, will assess you, reams of evidence are not necessary. Setting targets, planning, teaching, assessing, managing, using individual education plans, talking to parents, implementing school policies and taking an active part in your professional development provide it as you go along. Phew!

However, you need somewhere for the paperwork. A professional portfolio for certificates and objectives, action plans, reflections and assessments for your whole career. If you start during induction, you can use it for performance management, promotion, threshold and job applications.

Some people keep electronic portfolios. Your school may have software such as Sims, Blue or Ascon, or there's a free one at www.teachernet.gov.ukdevelopment. Your local authority or school may give you a folder, but if not, just start one yourself.

You could have a career history section where you keep graduation and qualified teacher certificates. Job descriptions, references and your CV can go in too. You could organise things chronologically or thematically. So, a section on "what and how I'm trying to improve" could be where you keep your career entry and development profile transition points, your objectives and action plans. List not only what you've done, such as people you've observed, books you've read and courses, but the impact.

Lastly, a section on "how am I doing?" could contain assessment forms, performance management reviews, data about pupils' progress and thank you cards.

Maybe your induction tutor would like to look at it, but really it's for you not for anyone to check up on. It shouldn't be a bind to keep and it's lovely to look back ***

Sara Bubb is an educational consultant specialising in induction. Her Successful Induction for New Teachers: A Guide for NQTs Induction Tutors, Coordinators and Mentors has just been published by SagePaul Chapman, (Pounds 18.99)

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