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Teaching Statement

500-1000 words. Prospective employers will want to know that you are an effective, student-centered teacher and that your pedagogical style is well suited to their educational setting.

Your teaching statement should be in the narrative voice, drawing upon your own experience and aspirations. In it, you should describe the range of student learning outcomes that your courses produce – the areas of knowledge, intellectual skills, creative abilities, values and sensibilities you seek to inculcate. The statement also must articulate the general principles and practices of your pedagogy. How do you understand your own role in relation to students? What types of classroom atmosphere do you seek to create? What technologies do you use in your teaching, and how do they contribute to student learning? How do you make fruitful use of the diversity of experience, viewpoint, and skill level within your classrooms? How do your syllabi build towards the desired learning outcomes in a step-by-step fashion? What sorts of assignments and projects do you design, and how do they foster your stated learning outcomes? How do you vary the classroom experience to excite student interest? What opportunities do students have, whether singly or in groups, to shape what happens in the classroom? How do you assess each student’s work and enable him or her to improve over the course of the semester? How do you obtain students’ feedback over the course of the semester, so that you can tailor your teaching more closely to their particular needs?

In addition to the teaching statement, applicants may be asked to provide a teaching portfolio, including a list of the courses you’ve taught, a sample syllabus or two, a summary of student evaluations, a description of any teacher training you’ve undertaken, and any teaching awards you may have received.