CHICANO/A 495 Week 11: How to Write a Statement of Teaching Philosophy


We had our FINAL round of micro-teaching lessons (woo-woo). One of my favorite takeaways was from Jessea’s presentation. She introduced a radial timer. You can find it on YouTube and embed it into your slideshow!

In addition, we worked on making our Statement of Teaching Philosophy.

Statement of Teaching Philosophy

The following outline is adapted from Prof. Mares-Tamayo’s lecture.


  • A common component of job and fellowship applications
  • An opportunity for self-reflection
  • An introduction to a teaching portfolio (a collection of evidence that backs up your philosophy, e.g. lesson plans, syllabi, student sample papers)

Brainstorming Prompts

  • †How do YOU define the phrase to learn? A time I really learned something… or Learning is like… [insert metaphor here]
  • How do you define the phrase to teach? Think of a time when you were effectively teaching something… Helping someone learn is like…
  • Reflect on Your Teaching Identity What 3 adjectives best describe you as a teacher and/or the way you share knowledge with others?

Tips and “Guidelines”

  • Write about *YOUR* classroom (Do not say, ‘As a TA for Prof X…’ Instead write, ‘In my classroom I…’
  • Aim for parsimony in 2 pages (elegant simplicity that is brief)
  • Use a narrative, 1st person approach
  • Make it reflective and personal
  • Explain your specific disciplinary content
  • Explain specific examples of your practice
  • Showcase your strengths
  • Showcase your accomplishments

Heart of the Statement

  • Your GOALS for your students
  • The METHODS you use to achieve those goals
  • The ASSESSMENTS you use to find out if students have met your expectations
  • Don’t say something generic like “I’m a great lecturer!” Rather, you could write, “In class formative assessments include non-graded quick writes that help my students succeed on their summative assessments such as midterms.”

Additional Questions for Reflection

  • Why is teaching important to you?
  • What are the teaching beliefs and values that inform your teaching?
  • How do you put your beliefs and values into practice?
  • How would people describe your teaching?
  • How do you utilize multiple pedagogical approaches in your teaching?
  • How do you assess your teaching effectiveness?
  • What should the person(s) you have taught know or be able to do?
  • How is your teaching affected by your identity and background?
  • How is your teaching affected by the identities and backgrounds of the people you teach?
  • How do your research and disciplinary context influence your teaching?

Concluding Thoughts

You are creating a LIVING DOCUMENT that will evolve as you gain more experience as a teacher and as your beliefs about effective teaching and learning develop over time.

Returning to your teaching philosophy throughout your career can help make your current teaching practice more explicit and deliberate.

Teaching Moment

A very cool teaching moment this week took place during my education class on Critical race theory (CRT). This week, we were having our final presentations. One of my peers used his I-pad to guide us through a visual outline of his notes. The colorful document had flow charts and outlines on how he organized his paper and he explained so many concepts in such a short time. I’ll definitely have to do this at some point!

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