The Teaching Statement
How to write an effective teaching statement

  • What a Teaching Statement is, and Why You’re Being Asked to Write One
  • The Materials You’ll Need to Gather Before You Write
  • What to Do if You Have Not Taught Much (or at All)
  • How to Use Your Materials to Reflect on Your Teaching Practice
  • Writing: Basics of a Teaching Statement, and Do’s/Don’ts
  • Writing Tip: Be Specific
  • Example Paragraphs From a Teaching Statement
  • Possible Structures to Organize a Teaching Statement

About this lesson

The Teaching Statement is a tough assignment. It’s almost like search committees are asking, “Hey, can you, in just 1 to 2 pages, sum up everything you believe about teaching and learning?”. For experienced teachers, this can feel daunting – how do you sum it all up? For those without teaching experience, it can feel the opposite – how can you write about something you don’t know much about?

This lesson demystifies the Teaching Statement for you, explaining what one is, how to prep for writing one, and giving you some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind as you write. This lesson is for all teachers – from the experienced to those who have never taught a course. Remember, a Teaching Statement is also foundational for constructing a Teaching Portfolio and your on-campus Teaching Demonstration.

Workbook Activities

This lesson covers pages 15 to 18 in the Apply Stage Workbook. You can also use the Take Notes widget to complete these activities.  

  1. Make a list of teaching materials you want to gather as you write your teaching statement. For each item on your list, consider where/how you can access that item. Is it in your possession? If so, where? If not, whom do you need to talk to in order to get a copy?
  2. Take a moment to reflect, in writing, on the following questions: How do you teach? Why do you teach that way?
  3. Practice reflecting on your teaching practice. Start by writing a value statement, something you believe about teaching. Then back that statement up by telling a story from your teaching practice that illustrates WHY you believe what you believe. Make sure to include as many concrete details as possible in your story.
  4. Writing is a process, so make sure to take some time to space out your work on your Teaching Statement, breaking it up into smaller, more manageable tasks. Set SMART goals, with appropriate deadlines to help you with this process.

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The Teaching Statement

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