Teaching Statement

Consider using a simple framework to prepare your response: 
What: What do I believe about teaching and why do I believe it?
Why: Why does it matter? How do these beliefs shape what I do and how I do it?
Now what: How do I see my pedagogy changing as the result of what I am learning about teaching and myself as a teacher? 

Provide evidence to support your points, including detailed descriptions, documents (syllabi, sample lesson plans, assignments, etc.), lists of activities, links to resources, and more. For a more in-depth reflection, use the following prompts to help you formulate a more comprehensive teaching philosophy. You need not answer every question; each is provided to help you discover and articulate personal beliefs that shape your pedagogy. (click here to access the Teaching Portfolio Reflection Process Guide in PDF)

Philosophy of Teaching and Learning 
Begin by reflecting on why you chose this profession: What motivated you to select a career path that includes teaching? Is there a particular event, person, or epiphany that prompted this decision? Did something or someone shape your personal definition of a "great teacher"? What synonyms for “teacher” would accurately describe what you believe yourself to be, or what you would like to be, for your students? Next, consider what you believe about learning and teaching:
  • Why do I teach the way I do?
  • Why do I choose the teaching strategies/methods that I use?
  • Why do I select particular assignments/experiences for my students?
  • How do I approach learning?
  • What does learning look like when it happens?
  • When learning does not happen – what has gone wrong?
  • What do I want my students to know and be able to do when they leave my course?
  • How do I hope that students are changed by experiencing my course?
  • What do I want students to wonder about as a result of taking my course?
Documentation
A description of materials that have helped to form your beliefs about teaching and learning. Materials that demonstrate growth and change in your thinking about teaching and learning.

Context and description of your courses
Briefly describe your courses and students.
  • What do I teach?
  • How long have I been teaching?
  • What are the learning objectives of the courses I teach?
  • What level(s) are the students (Undergraduate/Graduate)?
  • How many students?
  • Required/Elective?
  • Majors/Non-majors?
Documentation
List of course titles, numbers, credit hours and enrollments. Record of supervision of honors or graduate courses. Course goals and objectives. Course curriculum. Articulation with other courses.
Methodologies
Describe your course activities and rationale for delivery. How have you designed your course? How do you deliver content, engage students, and assess learning? What drives your methodologies?
  • What do I do in the classroom/outside the classroom?
  • What do I ask students to do in the classroom/outside the classroom?
  • What kind of feedback do I give my students?
  • What kind of course materials do I prepare?
  • What kind(s) of formative and summative assessments do I give?
Documentation
Course planning and teaching materials.
Course materials prepared for students.
Examples of student assignments, projects, etc. Examples of exams. Examples of feedback to students.

Supporting activities
Describe what you do outside of your actual classroom teaching that is related to improving instruction in your area of expertise.  Do you do any of the following:
  • Advise, supervise, or mentor graduate teaching assistants?
  • Review textbooks, teaching materials, or other resources related to my discipline?
  • Serve on curriculum committees?
  • Present of facilitate teaching workshops?
  • Mentor?
  • Participate in continuing education activities?
  • Chair or serve on graduate committees?
Documentation
Evidence of effectiveness working with students outside the classroom. Evidence of other teaching- related activities. 
Improving Effectiveness
Evaluate your course and teaching effectiveness from what you have learned and from whom you have learned it.
  • What do I know about my teaching effectiveness? What conclusions would I draw about what I do well and what I need to improve?
  •  How do I know it? How do gauge my teaching effectiveness? What do I look for?
  • What changes have I made based on what I have learned? Examples?
  • What do I know about how well my students are learning and how do I know it? 
  • What evidence outside of my classroom indicates that they are transferring learning from my class into new contexts?
  • How do I know that I am reaching all of my students, the ones who learn differently from most of the other students in the course? 
  • How am I sensitive to differences (ability, culture, ethnicity, gender, learning styles, race, etc.) that may have an impact on learning in my classroom?
  • Where have I updated my course to reflect current research on learning?
  • If I overheard my students talking about my class, what would I want them to be saying? 
  • What, specifically, do I want to improve about my teaching?
  • What are my short-term and long-term goals with regard to improvement of my teaching
  • What steps am I taking (or have I taken) to improve my teaching?
  • Where do I go from here?
  • What does it look like to model what you believe is most important about teaching or about practicing your discipline?
Documentation
Student evaluation results. Peer observation/evaluation reports. Mid-semester evaluation results. Periodic one-minute evaluation results. Course goals/objectives and student performance. Response to evaluation results. Participation in teaching improvement activities. Evidence of use of multiple teaching methods and strategies. Evidence of growth and change in teaching. Pre-post tests/attitude surveys. Unsolicited letters regarding your teaching.
Election/appointment to teaching committee.
Honors or awards received for teaching. Exit interviews/alumni testimonials regarding teaching.