Why Should I Write a Teaching Statement?
A teaching statement, or statement of teaching philosophy, is important to search committees and is often a required component of faculty applications. A teaching statement may also be used for applying for a teaching award or included in a dossier for tenure. Writing a teaching statement stimulates reflection, which improves your teaching by providing focus for your instructional strategies. This can help you articulate, prioritize, and synthesize your ideas about teaching and learning for job talks.
What Should I Include in My Teaching Statement?
A teaching statement will ideally address multiple facets of teaching, such as desired learning outcomes, instructional techniques, classroom climate, and assessment methods. It is customary to write the statement in first person, but depending on your audience, there may be room for creativity, including the use of metaphor to describe your teaching. Given the brief amount of time a search committee may have to look at your application, the statement should be a maximum of two-pages in length (single-spaced) and include an introductory paragraph, topic sentences that capture the main point of each paragraph, and a conclusion that ties the distinct facets of your statement together as a whole. Unless your statement is written explicitly for specialists, avoid technical terms. Refrain from using buzzwords, jargon, or vague statements like “I am passionate about students’ learning.”
To aid you in writing your teaching statement, below we provide brief descriptions of five different teaching and learning topics to consider addressing in your statement. It is not a strict requirement that the statement address all of these topics or be limited to them, but your statement should reflect the relative importance of these issues to your teaching.
In addition to the five aspects listed above, take a step back and consider your statement from a holistic perspective. Does your statement…
Meet With a Consultant to Review Your Teaching Statement
We offer one-on-one consultations for teaching statements and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) statements. We bridge our pedagogical expertise with evidence-based practices to help you convey your teaching values and the instructional choices you make to help students achieve learning goals.
In order to maximize our time together, we require you to upload a draft of your statement so we may review it ahead of time. We welcome drafts at various stages in your writing process and offer feedback and suggestions for continued improvement. Schedule your consultation here.
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Chism, N. V. N. (1998). Developing a philosophy of teaching statement. In Gillespie, K.H. (Ed.): Essays on Teaching Excellence 9 (3), 1-2. Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education.
Goodyear, G. E. & Allchin, D. (1998). Statement of teaching philosophy. To Improve the Academy 17, 103-22. Stillwater, OK: New Forums Press.
Kaplan, M., O’Neal, C., Meizlish, D., Carillo, R. & Kardia, D. (n.d.). Rubric for Statements of Teaching Philosophy.
Kearns, K. D. & Sullivan, C. S. (2011). Resources and practices to help graduate students and postdoctoral fellows write statements of teaching philosophy. Advances in Physiology Education 35, 136-145.
Landrum, R. E. & Clump, M. A. (2004). Departmental search committees and the evaluation of faculty applicants. Teaching of Psychology, 31(1), 12-17.
Meizlish, D. & Kaplan, M. (2008). Valuing and evaluating teaching in academic hiring: A multidisciplinary, cross-institutional study. J Higher Educ 79, 489-512.
Nilson, L. B. (2010). Teaching at its best: A research-based resource for college instructors. (3rd Ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey Boss
Teaching Statement Excerpts
Read a curated compilation of excerpts written by UT graduate students:
- Articulating Student-Centered Goals and Instructional Methods
- Discplinary Ways of Teaching
- Highlighting Mentorship Experiences
- How to Articulate Inclusive Teaching
- Using Storytelling Techniques and Vivid Examples
- Addressing and Incorporating Student Feedback
- Discussing Assessment and Evaluations
- Quick Guide for Crafting a Teaching Statement
- Writing a statement of teaching philosophy for the academic job search
- Writing a philosophy of teaching statement
- Sample Teaching Statements
- Rubric for Statements of Teaching Philosophy