Many jobs in higher education that involve teaching will require candidates to submit a Statement of Teaching Philosophy or Teaching Statement. This statement gives you a chance to highlight and demonstrate your unique teaching style, goals, priorities, and approach.
A 1-2 page narrative, an effective teaching philosophy should focus on 1-3 topics or approaches you most highly value which, in turn, guide most aspects of your teaching. Outline your ideas in the introduction and then organize your statement to 3 main paragraphs, each with a clear topic and specific supporting examples .
Questions for Brainstorming:
Here are a list of questions to help you assess your teaching style and focuses. You do not need to answer all of these in a statement, but these can help guide you in understanding your priorities.
- Why do you teach?
- What is your role as a teacher?
- What are the goals of your class?
- What do you always ensure you cover in a lesson or class?
- Why do you use the materials that you do?
- How do you assess your students for progress?
- What are some of your best teaching experiences and why?
- By the end of your class or lessons, what do you want your students to walk away with?
Writing a solid résumé or CV will take time, but it is a crucial part of the application process. Plan ahead to ensure the best product is produced and remember these tips when preparing your own document:
- Read Teaching Statements – Find philosophy of teaching statements of successful teachers for ideas. These can often be found on individual websites.
- Describe Yourself – Talk about things that you actively do while teaching rather than describing an ideal teacher. Represent yourself genuinely.
- Student-Focused – Focus your statements on student-outcomes, what they will gain from studying with you. If you individualize your lessons, detail how you go about doing so.
- Limit Your Topics – Highlight a few concepts that guide your teaching style rather than providing a laundry list of musical topics and repertoire you cover.
- Concise Examples – Describe specific examples of your approach and demonstrate how it has been effective. Help the reader imagine you in an engaging teaching scenario.
- Present Tense – Verbs should be in the present tense, showing this is something you still currently and actively do.
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