What's Your Philosophy? Tips for Writing An Effective Teaching Statement

Dr. Shelley Howell

What should a teaching statement include?

Why do you teach the way you do?

How does your teaching leads to student success?

How do you know your students are learning?

  • Your conception of how learning occurs.
  • A description of how your teaching facilitates student learning.
  • A reflection of why you teach the way you do.
  • The goals you have for yourself and for your students.
  • How your teaching enacts your beliefs and goals.
  • What, for you, constitutes evidence of student learning.
  • The ways in which you create an inclusive learning environment.
  • Your interests in new techniques, activities, and types of learning.

Source: https://wp0.vanderbilt.edu/cft/guides-sub-pages/teaching-statements/

Some guiding questions to get you started...

  1. What do you believe about teaching and learning? Why?
  2. What do you expect students to know and be able to do? Why?
  3. How does student identity and background make a difference in how you teach?
  4. How do your own identity and background make a difference in how you teach?
  5. What do you still struggle with in terms of teaching and student learning?
  6. What were your good teachers like?
  7. What were your bad teachers like?
  8. How do you measure effective teaching?
  9. How do you measure learning in your classroom?
  10. Who influenced you? How?
  11. What examples do you have that back up your statements?
  12. Why do you teach the way you do?
  13. What should students expect of you as a teacher?
  14. What is a method of teaching you rely on frequently? Why do you use it?
  15. How do you know your goals for students are being met?
  16. How does your teaching facilitate student learning?
  17. How do you as a teacher create an engaging or enriching learning environment?
  18. What specific activities or exercises do you use to engage your students? Why?
  19. How has your thinking about teaching changed over time? Why?
  20. How does your teaching advance your field?

A few tips...

Do your research.

Tailor your statement to the institution, content, student population, and other unique attributes of the situation.

Keep it short and well-written.

The best teaching statements are 1-2 pages, free of jargon, and well-edited.

Make it personal.

Use first-person, be sincere and humble, and share personal insights.

Be specific.

Provide examples, share data results, and describe how what you do positively affects students.

Remember, it's not about you.

It's about the students, their learning and their success.

Created By
Shelley Howell


Created with images by Monica Melton - "LGBTQ Activist Mentors Trans Woman" • Kelly Sikkema - "Ideas waiting to be had" • Sophieja23 - "woman question mark person" • athree23 - "board chalk business" • NeONBRAND - "check dis out" • andrew_t8 - "library la trobe study" • Mikael Kristenson - "auditorium" • nikolayhg - "university lecture campus" • Caleb Woods - "untitled image"