Writing a Winning Teaching Philosophy


Teaching philosophy is one of the required documents by all the universities which seek to hire a new professor. Although there are general guidelines to write it down, it is really important to avoid buzzwords and cliches. To this end, here are 4 practical recommendations adopted from [1]:

  1. Discuss what students learn from your class after a semester. How is it beneficial to them? and the world? It is good to extend this discussion in terms of acquiring new knowledge and skills, separately.
  2. Most likely you will be teaching two types of courses: service courses offered by the department, and those courses related to your research expertise. It is a good idea to distinguish between the two which require different objectives and approaches.
  3. Tell a personal story. Walk the readers through your past teaching experience and show them that enlightening moment in the class, or a particular failure which led you to develop a novel teaching methodology.
  4. Acknowledge the inspiring teaching resources: your former beloved teacher, a great book, etc.

Finally, make sure to address these critical questions in your teaching statement: What do you want students to learn? What methods do you employ to help students achieve these objectives? How do you evaluate student learning? Why do you care about teaching?

Good luck!


1- 4 Steps to a Memorable Teaching Philosophy

2- How to Write a Teaching Statement That Stands Out


6 Replies to “Writing a Winning Teaching Philosophy”

  1. These guidelines are helpful and they didn’t come to my mind while writing my teaching philosophy but they does make sense now to be included in a teaching philosophy after reading them here . Such a guideline remind others about the necessity of including some points to your statement of any type. I always look at online guidelines when I want to draft a statement and I treat these guidelines as a starting point to brainstorm the main points to be added in my statement.

    1. Good idea! It is always helpful to look up online guidelines and assure that you are on the right track. As you mentioned, it is a good starting point to write down your own genuine teaching philosophy.

  2. This is great practical advice! I edited my teaching philosophy statement last month because I’m job hunting, and all of your points are very important! Writing a teaching philosophy is a great way to catch the attention of a hiring department by explaining your passion for educating and your knowledge about field-specific pedagogy that don’t fit on a resume!

    1. Thanks for your attention. Right, Teaching Statements is one of the most important documents which reflects what is not clear in the applicant’s CV in terms of teaching skills, methodologies and professional development.

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