Writing a Teaching Philosophy

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Author: Kelly Jo Fulkerson Dikuua, PhD March 30, 2022
 

Teaching Philosophies, sometimes called Teaching Statements, are documents that are helpful in informing students of your priorities, applying to teaching positions, and reflecting on teaching practices. Teaching Philosophies articulate your central goals as an educator, provide concrete examples of your teaching, and share how you evaluate your teaching effectiveness. Teaching Philosophies can vary in length from a few paragraphs to a few pages. 

 
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  • This classic essay describes how teaching philosophies help educators reflect and refine teaching practices to become more effective faculty. Sometimes these philosophies can map areas for future growth. 
  • An educator may begin the drafting of their teaching philosophy by asking reflective questions such as the following: I) Why do I teach? II) How do I teach? And iii) How do I measure my teaching?.

  1. Begin by identifying your two to three main goals as an educator. Once you have these goals, you can use these to shape your Teaching Philosophy.  
  2. Use concrete examples to show how you reach your goals. For example, incorporate an activity you complete in class or describe a unique assignment you developed to give your audience a picture of your teaching.  
  3. Write in first person narrative style. Using a reflective tone and even pointing out ways you have grown as an educator strengthen your teaching philosophy. 
  4. Share your victories. Include ways you have succeeded in meeting your goals and share the metrics you use to measure success. You can incorporate a range of evidence, including feedback from students, increases in examination scores or participation in professional development initiatives.