Yale Center for Teaching and Learning

The CCTP Portfolio

The Teaching Portfolio requires graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to document the sum of their college teaching experience and articulate the unique perspective on teaching that they have acquired from it. It also allows graduate students to articulate their teaching experience and ability for presentation to prospective academic employers. The format we have chosen is consistent with portfolios that are increasingly part of an application for an academic position.

You should include the following materials, including an annotation for every item except the teaching statement.

Note: You may annotate according to your preferences, but we recommend a brief (100-200) word description composed with a hiring committee in mind. What would they need to know about this document in order to appreciate your strengths as a teacher? We do not require any particular format, but many people include an italicized statement at the beginning of each document (particularly syllabi, course materials, and evaluations) providing

  • context for the course,
  • insight into how the materials were or will be used, and
  • any additional information that would help the reader more fully understand the courses you made in designing this course.

Alternatively, you may include a separate page at the beginning of the portfolio describing each piece. Please view this brief video to learn more about the annotations – or read on! 

  • Teaching statement (no annotation required)
  • Sample course materials
    • e.g., policy sheet, syllabus used, test questions, handouts, rubrics, review materials, in-class activities, lesson plans
    • These should be materials that you have actually used in your teaching, and the annotation should describe how you used each one.
  • Two newly developed syllabi
    • We suggest providing one introductory level and/or one advanced level course in your discipline
    • If you have not actually taught these courses, which will often be the case, these syllabi should provide a course plan (title, level, description, objectives, readings, methods and approach for instruction and grading, assignments, what topics will be addressed in what order over the course of the semester, etc.).
    • Your annotation should include information about the level of student you expect, the prerequisites you’ll require, and the innovative or unusual practices you’d like to highlight.
    • For a description of how to create your syllabus, please watch:
    • Feel free to use our syllabus template as a model.
  • Student evaluations, if applicable
    • Most of you will be able to access your student evaluations online. We recommend that you sort your evaluations by question (rather than by respondent), and then click ”Print All Responses to Selected Question” to create a pdf of your evaluations.
    • We recommend annotating each set of evaluations separately, including a brief description of the course, and your role as an instructor or TF, and your reflections on what was most successful in your teaching.
    • You might also identify positive patterns and highlight any innovative or unusual practices your students have noticed about your teaching. You can also consider quoting directly from an evaluation if it is particularly insightful or representative.
    • You may format the evaluations for readability, but please include the complete set of evaluations about your teaching.
    • A sample annotation might read, “The following evaluations are from a first-year composition course I teach on consciousness. The course is aimed at first-year students making the transition to college writing. Students recognize my commitment to their learning and my skill at creating an inclusive space in which they feel comfortable sharing their writing. They praise my ability to meet them where they are as writers, including in one-on-one conferences, which they rate generally as ‘very effective.’ Students note that they learned to ‘think critically about the readings’ and that the seminar discussions I led were ‘awesome—I felt like I was truly in a college atmosphere.’ Finally, students noted that they felt better prepared to write papers in their other courses. ‘I feel much more confident that I know how to handle writing assignments in all my classes.’”
  • Optional: Letters of support or consultation reports from observers who may be faculty or students
    • While this portion of the portfolio is optional, it can be a great addition to job application packages.
    • This category may include letters that you solicit from faculty or students as well as informal emails from students (or others) who comment on your teaching.

You should also provide an account of the requirements you fulfilled as part of the CCTP, along with a reflective narrative. These items require no annotation – please see a complete list below. 

  • A list of your teaching experiences at Yale or otherwise, including the following information for each assignment:
    • Your role (teaching fellow, head TF, PTAI, etc.).
    • Course number, department, and title
    • The semester you taught
    • N.B. This requirement is only for graduate students. Postdoctoral fellows may skip this step.
  • A list of Poorvu Center workshops you attended (and, if you are a Postdoctoral Fellow, the CIRTL MOOC completion letter). 
  • A brief, one-line description of your Learning Communities (you will expand upon these in the exit interview, and should include them in your reflective narrative). 
  • Documentation from your observations
    • Two occasions of observing others. For each occasion, provide the following:
      • Course number, department, and title
      • Type of class (lecture, section, seminar, lab)
      • Instructor name
      • Instructor’s role at Yale (TF, professor, lector)
      • A write-up documenting your observations. You may use the forms (pre-classduring classafter class) we provide for peer observations or use them as a guideline to write a narrative reflection about the class.
    • Two occasions of being observed. For each occasion, provide the following:
      • Course number, department, & title
      • Type of class (lecture, section, seminar, lab)
      • Your role as the instructor (TF, lecturer, guest lecturer, etc.).
      • Write-up or letter from the person who observed you. Observers may use the forms (pre-classduring classafter class) we provide for peer observations or use it as a guideline to document their observation of the class. (Note that you will want to ask observers to provide this documentation to you in electronic form!)
      •  (N.B. This requirement is only for graduate students. Postdocotoral fellows may skip this step.)
  • A brief reflective narrative about your experiences.
    • Thoughtful reflection serves to enhance your preparation for college teaching and maximize the benefit you get from your experiences. It also helps the Poorvu Center understand the specific ways in which CCTP participants experience the program.
    • Compose a brief (1-2 pages, double-spaced) reflective narrative describing your experiences in each part of the program:
      • Your teaching experiences (if applicable)
      • Your experiences observing and being observed
      • Your learning communities
      • Your experience in workshops
      • Your experience putting together the portfolio.
    • While we are flexible about the form and shape of your reflection, you may wish to structure the narrative by responding to the following questions:
      • How did you benefit from this experience?
      • How would you improve this experience?

Exit Interview and Transcript Notation

Receiving feedback about your efforts is beneficial to your development as a teacher. At your exit interview, we will comment on your certificate materials, give you feedback on your portfolio, and discuss how you have benefited from the program. The exit interview also provides an opportunity for you to offer suggestions and critiques of the program, which we value as we continually evaluate this program.

Inform the Center for Teaching and Learning that you intend to complete your certificate at least one month before you would like to schedule an exit interview by emailing askpoorvucenter@yale.edu. We will schedule your exit interview according to mutual availability on a rolling basis. You will be asked to submit your materials by email at least two weeks prior to the interview for our review.

Please compile all of the materials, starting with the worksheet, into a single PDF named “last_name first_name CCTP month year” (e.g. “Smith John CCTP January 2020”).

At your exit interview, you can expect in-depth feedback about your teaching portfolio, which we hope will help you think more deeply about your teaching, develop your teaching statement for the job market, and improve your syllabi for your future courses. Exit interviews are scheduled to last one hour.

Your materials and comments are confidential and will not be shared beyond the CTL’s full-time staff without your express permission.

Roughly a month after completing the CCTP exit interview, a notation to that effect will appear at the top of your transcript.

If you have any questions, please contact us directly at askpoorvucenter@yale.edu. We are happy to help at any point!


David Johnson, Roger Johnson, and Karl Smith. (2006) Active Learning: Cooperation in the College Classroom. Interaction Book Co. Edina, MN.