Lesson 2: State your teaching philosophy

What is a teaching philosophy statement?

Now that you know what a teaching dossier is and have explored some examples, you can begin the process of stating your teaching philosophy statement.

A teaching philosophy statement is:

  • a reflective narrative of how your experiences have informed your values, goals and beliefs regarding both teaching and learning
  • a thesis around which the dossier is built
  • a framework that is aligned to the presentation of evidence and exemplary materials
  • the foundation of a teaching dossier
  • one to two pages long
  • written as a first-person narrative

How is a teaching philosophy statement structured?

It is useful to structure your teaching philosophy statement around 4 key components:

  • Beliefs (what do you think?)
  • Strategies (what do you do?)
  • Impact (what has been the impact?)
  • Goals (how will you improve?)
Teaching philosophy statement structure

Activity

Review sample teaching philosophy statements

While each teaching philosophy statement is unique and may vary in purpose and length, it is helpful to review samples before writing your own.

View samples

Reflect:

  • What resonates with you - what inspires you about the format or content?
  • What do you notice about the philosophy statement structure? (e.g., length, format, alignment, tense, person)
  • What components of the dossier are included? What do you notice about the length, format, etc?
  • How is the stated philosophy aligned throughout the document?
  • Find the reflective comments
  • What surprises you?
  • What are you curious about?

Lesson checklist

  • Recognize the role of the philosophy statement in the teaching dossier
  • Identify your beliefs about how students learn and how these beliefs inform how you teach
  • Complete the first draft of your philosophy statement

More lessons

People standing in front of books

Lesson 3: Situate your teaching context

Man holding a book

Lesson 4: Identify the components of your dossier

Woman holding a book

Lesson 5: Exhibit evidence of teaching effectiveness