Teaching Philosophy


Developing a written teaching philosophy provides a wonderful opportunity to reflect on your teaching values, beliefs, and goals. A teaching philosophy is a vehicle to communicate your educational beliefs and standards to a wider audience in a compelling and concise manner.


There are many ways to complete a Teaching Philosophy, and there is no right way. We do require, however that there be a separate page called “Teaching Philosophy” or something similar in your portfolio, and that your completed philosophy be no fewer than 621 words. Use those words to create something you are willing, and able, to defend. While there are many ways to approach this task, people often try to answer, as best they can, these questions in their philosophy statement (which we’ve borrowed from http://www.people.iup.edu/pagnucci/courses/830/unit6-teachingphilosophies/assignment-philosophystatement.htm):

  • What are my central goals as a teacher?
  • Where do my goals come from? On whose theories, philosophies, and research are my goals based?
  • What methods do I employ with my students to achieve these goals?
  • What sorts of assignments do I use to achieve these goals?
  • How do I assess/evaluate my success in achieving my goals for my students?
  • Why does teaching matter to me?
  • Why am I a teacher?

Of course, this is your teaching philosophy. Write what you believe, not what you think your instructors want to hear.

You do not have to answer each (or any) of these questions—this list is simply a means to help you get started on expressing your teaching philosophy. Some examples of different formats that your Teaching Philosophy are a pedagogical creed or statement of a dream for education.

Relationship to Other Pieces of Flair

If you also do the “Gallery of Student Work” Piece of Flair or “About my Classroom” Piece of Flair, make sure the “Teaching Philosophy” Piece of Flair is sufficiently different.

If this doesn’t sound like a good fit for your portfolio, please see other Pieces of Flair for ideas that might work better for you.