Writing a Teaching Philosophy Statement

Whenever faculty members who are part of the faculty search committee are tasked to look for new members, it can seriously take its toll on them. Aside from the fact that they need to meticulously filter hundreds of applications, it won’t be that much of a help that they need to seriously read through bland teaching statements.

Teaching statements are a necessity for every faculty member applicant as search committees consider it to be an essential part of absolutely any application to the academia. The section is especially important if you seriously want to be considered.

This is the part wherein the applicant’s teaching philosophies as well as their expected approaches to teaching are laid out. However, a dilemma is born because even though applicants may be more than willing to submit their teaching statements, most applicants who are applying for their first faculty position may not know what to put exactly in the teaching statement.

As a result, the teaching statements that are made are either not suited for the institution or it could turn out as bland and boring. Faculty members of the search committee are expected to read through so many applications and more specifically, teaching statements in order for them to get the right applicant.

The blame does not fall on the applicant though because they are not expected to have had that much teaching experience when they apply for their very first teaching position so they will most likely be forgiven for being inexperienced in this area of their application document. 

However, it is understood that teaching statements that include teaching philosophies are for people who teach. An applicant’s challenge is even made worse by the fact that when academic institutions or universities, these universities never really specifically identify what they need from the applicant.

Teaching statements are essentially filters that the screening committee uses in order to separate those casually-submitted ones from the serious ones. This gives the committee the heads up on who personally takes their time to screen out potential people who use the "bulk mail" approach to a job search as opposed to that person who has thought things through.

If the teaching statement is not tailored for the institution, then it means you are the former and that your application will most likely be seen at the bottom of the trash bin. So make sure to tailor-fit it to your institution. You’ll be on your way towards a good application for the teaching position that you desire.

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