Writing a Winning Teaching Philosophy

 

Teaching philosophy is one of the required documents by all the universities which seek to hire a new professor. Although there are general guidelines to write it down, it is really important to avoid buzzwords and cliches. To this end, here are 4 practical recommendations adopted from [1]:

  1. Discuss what students learn from your class after a semester. How is it beneficial to them? and the world? It is good to extend this discussion in terms of acquiring new knowledge and skills, separately.
  2. Most likely you will be teaching two types of courses: service courses offered by the department, and those courses related to your research expertise. It is a good idea to distinguish between the two which require different objectives and approaches.
  3. Tell a personal story. Walk the readers through your past teaching experience and show them that enlightening moment in the class, or a particular failure which led you to develop a novel teaching methodology.
  4. Acknowledge the inspiring teaching resources: your former beloved teacher, a great book, etc.

Finally, make sure to address these critical questions in your teaching statement: What do you want students to learn? What methods do you employ to help students achieve these objectives? How do you evaluate student learning? Why do you care about teaching?

Good luck!

References:

1- 4 Steps to a Memorable Teaching Philosophy

2- How to Write a Teaching Statement That Stands Out