Used widely as a method to assess teaching experience and style – a teaching statement is one of the most important documents that pedagogues are required to write. To put it in simple terms, a teaching statement is a short description of a teacher’s pedagogical methods, goals, and beliefs about learning.
A teaching statement differs in content and length according to the purpose it is written for. For example, if a teaching statement is written for tenure, will be very detailed and may be up to four or five pages long. On the other hand, a teaching statement written as a part of a bio data or job application should be short and crisp.
Whatever may be the purpose of the statement, its core purpose does not change. There are some general components that all teachers must include when drafting their statement. Here they are:
The Process of Learning
A teaching statement must demonstrate the author’s understanding of the learning process. A teacher’s ability to perceive the subject from the student’s perspective and how that perspective changes as the student learns is an important subject to be touched upon in a teaching statement.
A teaching statement is supposed to describe the teaching methods used by the author of the statement. This may include their approach to the subject, reading materials used and quiz models.
Rationale for choosing their Teaching Method
A teaching statement should describe and justify the rationale behind choosing the said teaching methods versus others. The author must explain how the chosen methods facilitate the process of learning described above. This could be best explained by stating examples, citing experiences and elaborating upon the nature of the subject being taught.
Goals as a Teacher
Describing long term and short-term goals as a teacher demonstrate a sense of purpose and clarity of thought. A teacher who uses the teaching profession as a means to further the subject and research on the subject will be able to define measurable and actionable goals for themselves and their students.
Evidence of Learning
An important component of every teaching statement is the teacher’s scale of learning. Of course, most systems prefer to go with conventional scoring and grading techniques, but it always helps to mention an innovative way of judging a student’s level of understanding.
Inclusive Learning Environment
A teaching statement should provide the conclusive explanation about the environment of learning created by a teacher. The learning environment should come across as inclusive which encourages students to participate actively in the learning process.
New Techniques / Teaching Methods/ Activities
Whether written for personal or professional purposes, a teaching statement must describe the teacher’s knowledge and inclination for new methods, activities, and techniques of teaching. This shows open-mindedness and adaptability.
And last but not the least, the statement should be written in a simple and reflective tone. Mostly written in the first person to explain personal beliefs and thoughts about their work, it should not contain jargons or philosophy. Instead, it must demonstrate purpose and professionalism on the part of the teacher to the reader.