A good teaching philosophy has a single focus or organizing theme and communicates this purpose to your audience (be sure you select one). It is clear, organized and persuasive. Most importantly, it gives specific, concrete evidence of teaching effectiveness. In fact, for every assertion, there is an example or two. (Giving specific examples is not as easy as it sounds. Read this on specific examples.) It explains the teaching goals that are common to all your classes and demonstrates how the pedagogy and assessments you use support those goals. It addresses self-improvement strategies, i.e., “what’s next?” for you as a teacher.
A memorable teaching philosophy communicates your passion for teaching (again, with examples) and paints a picture of your classroom. It is a living document that helps you define yourself as a teacher and provides a touchstone to guide you in making decisions about teaching and learning.
For a tutorial on how to get started and a rubric on how to assess your teaching philosophy, see the University of Minnesota Center for Teaching and Learning Writing Your Teaching Philosophy page.
“Good teaching comes from the identity and integrity of the teacher.” • Parker Palmer, The Courage to Teach
Teaching Philosophy Examples
Elizabeth Alderman, Art
Peter Brooks, English
Michael Collier, Psychology
Jean Conway, Teaching Academy
Ruth Crispell, English & Communication, Doña Ana Community College
Dede Dunlavy, Chemistry & Biochemistry
Brad Gavle, Military Science
Tara Gray, Teaching Academy
M. Catherine Jonet, Women’s Studies
Rossio Kersey, Molecular Biology
Shakir Manshad, Mathematics & Physical Sciences, Doña Ana Community College
Robert Paz, Electrical & Computer Engineering
Naomi Schmidt, Economics & International Business