Have you considered writing a teaching philosophy? We often teach without ever really thinking about long-term goals, but the process of writing a teaching philosophy encourages the kind of consideration and reflection that can ultimately improve our effectiveness in the classroom. Teachers find the process of writing such a philosophy instrumental in making their own teaching goals more deliberate and intentional. A teaching philosophy can also be useful in job applications for faculty positions and in the tenure and promotion review process.
An effective teaching philosophy should answer these questions:
- Why do I teach?
- What does good teaching mean to me?
- What does effective learning mean to me?
- Do I have a particular teaching style or approach? If so, how would I describe it?
- What makes me unique as a teacher?
- What do I expect from my students?
- What can my students expect from me?
- What do I do to continue to improve?
The suggestions above come directly from the Faculty Focus Special Report: “Philosophy of Teaching Statements: Examples and Tips on How to Write a Teaching Philosophy Statement” (May 2009). To access this report, as well as sample teaching philosophies from faculty members in various disciplines, and to learn more about writing a teaching philosophy, visit http://cetl.uconn.edu/teaching-philosophy/.
If you would like help writing a teaching philosophy of your own, contact the Institute for Teaching and Learning.