Writing a Teaching Philosophy, Sept 2015

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.