The following examples were offered by ISU teachers in the English Dept. Both of these folks were nominated for the University Teaching Award, and this is the philosophy statement they turned in as part of the documentation for that award. Thank them — Carol Lind and Chris Breu — for allowing us to post and use them as examples!
In her philosophy, Lind examines attributes that she believes makes her a great teacher. Notice that it’s done in an analytical style, though, not in a self-aggrandizing way (of course not!) Carol’s humbleness as a person comes through in her teaching philosophy. Notice, too, that her framework — like I mentioned can happen in the other post about how to write a teaching philosophy — differs from the traditional set-up. Since Carol teaches a range of courses, her approach differs slightly from other examples, but it works well to help us see her range. Note, too, the stylization of the drop cap and the Beowulf references at the beginning, which personalize her philosophy by introducing to readers one of her main areas of interest.
Breu’s philosophy is more traditional (i.e., typical) in its format, and also works well. He immediately announces its intentions in the title: “The Democratic Classroom,” which he then defines and explains in the opening paragraph. In the second paragraph, he offers specific examples of how this philosophy plays out in his classrooms and includes a few theorists to support his approach. In the third paragraph, he moves into talking about course content, specifically (as opposed to the “organization” which he’d previously outlined), and provides concrete examples from his 560 and other (in the following paragraph) classes. These examples all point back to and support his democractic philosophy. The last two paragraphs (which may actually be one — I converted them from Word to PDF and may have goofed that up) offer summarizations that point back to the bigger picture and conclusions, as well as offer info about students reactions to his style (i.e., “consistently high student evaluations”).
So, both of these are great models, coming from two different types of scholar-teachers who cover a host of classes — Lind’s is more experimental in its style and Breu’s is more traditional — and both work to highlight the strengths of each teacher.