Statement of Teaching Philosophy

Often committees request a statement of your teaching philosophy. Certainly, the subject of your teaching will be discussed in an interview, so preparing to talk about it will be a helpful exercise.

Showcase Your Approach

With increased emphasis on undergraduate teaching at universities and colleges, selection committees are interested in your teaching experience, values and philosophies. Your statement should be a concise description (no more than one page) of the central ideas behind what — and especially how — you teach.

  • Be specific. Committees want concrete examples of how you have impacted students’ learning and enhanced their understanding or exploration of ideas.
  • Share student success. If you were told by students that the way in which you taught them helped them to understand the information, mention it.
  • Offer insight gained in the classroom. Give a context for your ideas about how students learn.
  • Show problem-solving skills. If you encountered problems, and addressed them, identify the issues and successes. 

Look forward.

As a teacher you will be looked upon to tackle and successfully solve problems. The committee will look to your statement and interview to evaluate your awareness of classroom situations. Their issues may be yours, and they are looking to your experience at Princeton to see how transferable your ideas and skills are. 


Submit additional materials.

Sometimes the committee will request additional materials:

  • Syllabi: These may include samples for courses you will teach, or those created at Princeton. They are looking for your approach to structure.
  • Evals: Keep copies of all evaluations and summaries. You can report students' comments about your teaching. 

  • Teaching videos: You could prepare one just in case, or have short segments of several classes combined in one presentation.