Read teaching philosophy statements in your discipline
While effective teaching philosophy statements across all disciplines have many features in common, it can be useful to read statements from instructors in your discipline to understand how they write about teaching. As you read, you can also think about what aspects of those statements you might want to emulate and what, instead, you would like to do differently.
Here are a number of websites that provide sample statements:
- University of Michigan
- Ohio State University
- Yale University
- Notre Dame University
- University of Minnesota (click on “rubrics and samples” tab)
Here are some questions you can ask as you read:
- Do the statements include any memorable moments?
- What learning goals are included?
- What teaching methods are focused on? Are there any particularly interesting teaching methods?
- What forms of assessment are mentioned?
- Are the learning goals, teaching methods, and assessments aligned?
- Do the statements include examples of how the instructor works to create an inclusive learning environment?
- Are the statements well-organized and clear, with an appropriate style and tone?
It can be challenging to know how to begin writing a teaching philosophy statement. Here are two prompts to get you started:
- List your most memorable moments as a teacher or a student. Are there any themes that emerge? What do these moments say about you as a teacher, or about what you value in teaching?
- In 5 years, you run into a former student who majored in your discipline. What do you hope they would remember from their courses in the discipline? How can you use this information to draft some student learning goals?
The CTE periodically offers online workshops to graduate students and postdoctoral fellows who want support drafting and revising their teaching philosophy statement as well as gathering materials for their teaching portfolio. CTE Staff also provide individual consultations on teaching philosophy statements. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.