Teaching Statement: Teaching-focused Institutions

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Teaching statements for teaching-focused institutions ask you to reflect on your prior teaching experience and articulate the ways in which your past experiences in research and teaching have prepared you to effectively teach students at the university to which you are applying. If you are applying to a teaching-focused institution, search committees will expect that you will have taught your own self-contained course (or courses) prior to applying for a faculty position within their department. Be sure to also to describe your experiences as a Teaching Assistant or mentor to undergraduate or graduate students, where relevant.

Your teaching statement should take a student-centered approach and focus on strategies you have used to successfully facilitate student learning. This will encourage you to consider the ways your students engage with and comprehend new material and concepts.

  • First, outline your central teaching objectives. What do you want your students to take away from the courses that you teach? What kinds of scientific concepts or skills do you want your students to master after taking your courses?
  • Second, what specific pedagogical methods and strategies have you used in the classroom to achieve your teaching objectives?
  • Third, how do you assess student success and your own success as an instructor? Do you have any specific examples of student success that indicate the effectiveness of your teaching approach?
  • Finally, what does teaching mean to you? What kind of future impact do you hope to have on your students?

Tailor your teaching statement to the department and university you are applying to.

Consider the following questions: ►
Will you primarily be working with undergraduate students?
Do your teaching goals and strategies align with the university and department’s mission?
What types of classes will you be expected to teach?
For more questions to consider, see the detailed PDF.

General Tips

  • Teaching Statements should be no longer than two pages.
  • Don’t make the teaching statement entirely about your ability to teach. Show that you are thinking about student learning and indicate the key skills and concepts you want your future students to learn.
  • Refrain from using contrived phrases about your “love” of teaching or how you would be “thrilled” to teach courses at their institution. Your teaching statement will read as overly emotional and lacking in depth. Provide specific examples that demonstrate your commitment to teaching.

For more information about what to include in a teaching statement, see the PDF.

Additional Resources

‘Writing the Teaching Statement’ - Science
‘Six Tips for Writing an Effective Teaching Statement’
Teaching Toolkit- Center for Education Resources, Johns Hopkins University
‘Samples for Academic Positions’- University of California, San Francisco