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Your teaching philosophy represents your philosophical orientation to teaching and learning. It states your beliefs on how learning takes place and expresses the principles you use to guide your teaching in order to bring that learning to fruition.
Developing a teaching philosophy is a reflective process. By identifying your personal philosophy of teaching, and continuously examining it, you grow as a teacher, and become cognizant of how your teaching impacts your students.
Start by brainstorming about content. Think about your experiences as a student. What were some characteristics of good teachers you have had? Think about your teaching experiences. What are your strengths? What makes you a good teacher? What are your personal goals as a teacher? What activities do you do in the classroom? How do they support your beliefs about effective teaching? The answers to these questions will lead to the language you use in your statement. Be aware, however, that there is no required or prescribed content to include. Your teaching philosophy is very personal – it reflects you, not a predetermined set of principles.
The teaching philosophy statement is generally one to two pages in length. Most philosophies are written in the present tense. Try to avoid clichés and common popular phrases unless you personalize them. When possible, describe methods or strategies you use that achieve your goals and reflect the principles that are important to you. Use examples to help readers visualize you as a teacher. Make your statement unique; your readers do not want to see a “textbook” philosophy statement. They want to see you, what drives your teaching and how you bring that to life.
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