Last month I offered some advice about how to write a terrible teaching statement – or, more usefully, how not to. The post was inspired by many years of serving on search committees (not, I will point out again, by any particular applicant’s example). But in researching an upcoming blog post, I stumbled across a copy of my own teaching statement, from the last time I was on the job market. And guess what? It was terrible in many of the very ways I mentioned. Continue reading
Over the last 20 years I’ve served on at least a dozen faculty search committees, and that means I’ve seen approximately six wheelbarrowloads of job applications. I’ve seen some terrific applications and some terrible ones (and I now understand that my own applications, at least early in my career, shared some features with the terrible ones). But one standard piece of the faculty job application almost always makes me roll my eyes: the teaching statement.
Most faculty job ads request a “statement of teaching philosophy”; some search committees even pay attention to it*. I’ve seen them anywhere from a couple of sentences to several pages long. And actually, there’s no need for a post titled “How to write a terrible teaching statement”, because believe me, this skill is already widespread. So instead, let me suggest an important way in which you can write one that isn’t terrible. Continue reading