How to write a teaching philosophy

A set of beliefs you have about teaching and learning are together referred to as a teaching philosophy. It should also talk about how you put your beliefs into practice by putting forward concrete examples of what you do or anticipate doing in the classroom.

Purpose

There can be many purposes for writing a teaching philosophy.

•By citing examples of how you enact your philosophy, you basically allude to your professional dexterity and advancement so it is also a mean to leverage your professional growth.

•An introduction to your teaching portfolio, thus setting the stage for the reader of that portfolio.

•An exercise in concisely gathering together your beliefs about teaching and learning so that you can easily articulate them to your students, your peers, and search committees.

Expected Length

A Philosophy of Teaching Statement should not be more than four pages in length. While a philosophy should cover enough, the writing also needs to be succinct. A good drafting aim will be when you aim for two double-spaced pages.

Context

Ignoring context can bugger up everything. As far as academic discipline is concerned, each of them has its own culture and subcultures. What might be appropriate tone and emphasis for one discipline, might be inappropriate for another. Request one or more colleagues from your discipline review and comment on your teaching philosophy if you intend to use it as a part of a teaching portfolio.

This tutorial follows a three-part process.

•           Organize your ideas and create a working draft. You'll also check to make sure that you've illustrated your personal beliefs with specific examples of classroom practice that take into account disciplinary contexts and constants.

•           Embark on generating new ideas for your teaching philosophy based on your values, attitudes and beliefs about teaching and learning.

•           Examine your first draft, comparing it to a rubric for effective teaching philosophies.

Your assessment should suggest ways toward gaps in the areas or essay that need to be redone during subsequent revisions. The teaching philosophy is a document in progress. As your professional identity grows and teaching changes, your teaching philosophy will also grow and change. It’s time to revisit and rewrite your teaching philosophy as your beliefs and experiences change and progress. Your teaching philosophy tells a lot about you and plays an instrumental role in predicting your teaching career. Experts’ belief that a good teacher may also rattle off his teaching philosophy in short which means he has an agile mind and keeps no stone unturned to improve his teaching every day.