After the resume, the second thing a potential employer will see when they open your job portfolio is your teaching statement. Your teaching statement is a one page summary of what you offer students -- why do you teach? What informs your pedagogy? How do you deliver information? This is different than an extended teaching "philosophy." In the end, this statement gives a hiring committee a sense of what you offer and it can help you stand out from the crowd if it is thoughtful and well written.
General Formatting Suggestions
There is no required content or set format. There is no right or wrong way to write a philosophy statement, which is why it is so challenging for most people to write one. You may decide to write in prose, use famous quotes, create visuals, use a question/answer format, etc. Some tips include:
Say what you have to say in one page.
Use present tense, in most cases. Writing in first–person is most common and is the easiest for your audience to read.
Most statements avoid technical terms and favor language and concepts that can be broadly appreciated. A general rule is that the statement should be written with the audience in mind. It may be helpful to have someone from your field read your statement and give you some guidance on any discipline–specific jargon and issues to include or exclude.
Include teaching strategies and methods to help people “see” you in the classroom. It is not possible in many cases for your reader to come to your class to actually watch you teach. By including very specific examples of teaching strategies, assignments, discussions, etc., you are able to let your reader take a mental “peek” into your classroom. Help them to visualize what you do in the classroom and the exchange between you and your students. For example, can your readers picture in their minds the learning environment you create for your students?
Make it memorable and unique. If you are submitting this document as part of a job application, remember that your readers on the search committee are seeing many of these documents. What is going to set you apart? What about you are they going to remember? What brings a teaching philosophy to life is the extent to which it creates a vivid portrait of a person who is intentional about teaching practices and committed to his/her career.
“Own” your philosophy. The use of declarative statements (such as, “students don’t learn through lecture,” or “the only way to teach is to use class discussion”) could be potentially detrimental if you are submitting this document to a search committee. You do not want to appear negative or as if you have all of the answers, and you don’t want to offend your readers. By writing about your experiences and your beliefs, you “own” those statements and appear more open to new and different ideas about teaching.
1. WHY teach ART? What are the unique ways in which visual arts learning and instruction contributes to cognitive, emotional, and social growth? (Think "Habits of Mind," Emotional Intelligence, neuroscience, Eisner's "ten", advocacy sites on previous page, +)
2. From ART391, what philosophies and social foundations for visual arts education influence you?
3. What are your thoughts regarding diversity, practices of equity and fairness, and the use of multicultural content of visual arts to promote opportunities of the acceptance of others?
4. How will you decide what to teach?
5. How will you utilize reflection? (For teacher and student)
6. How will you maintain professional growth?
7. How do you deliver instruction?