Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Teaching Philosophy Meme

I freaking hate writing teaching philosophies! I hate them whether you call them philosophies, goals, statements, or declarations. Hate, hate, hate. And I hate writing different teaching philosophies for all my different types of teaching, whether different departments, disciplines, or interdisciplines. Gah. Do you know how many different types of teaching philosophies I have? And that they all suck? And that I still have no clue what order all this shit should go in or how to write an opening statement for it?

Therefore, I am here to spread the pain.

The Teaching Philosophy Meme: it's time to consider your goals and roles in teaching and meditate on your teaching philosophy. Post on your blog about your teaching statement, philosophy, motto, manifesto, or creed, whatever you may call it. What are your goals as a teacher? Your role in the classroom? What do you want students to leave your classroom knowing, or knowing how to do? Leave a link, so we can follow them all around in a little carnival-thingy.

Alternate assignment for the complainers:
What about this part of our job just really ignites your passion? Electrifies, revitalizes and energizes you? What has made you grin with pride or jump up and down with glee a little?

12 comments:

Rohan Maitzen said...

I hate these too--impossible not to make them boilerplate "love reading show enthusiasm support student learning engage students actively." I hate them even more now that I know search committees don't care about them AT ALL. Well, that may vary, I suppose, especially if it's a teaching-intensive position, but who's going to say anything surprising in one of these?

Sisyphus said...

Ah, but the university tt job season is over --- and for community colleges, permanent lecturers, and director of writing center positions, this thing is actually a huge important part of the app. In a totally different way for each one, so you can't really recycle stuff.

But at a moment when everybody's blogs are about being buried in grading, it might be nice to remind yourself of the upsides to the job.

Earnest English said...

I think some search c'tees do care about the STP -- or at least I do. If someone talks generally about their goals and practices for teaching without mentioning specific practices, experiences, and students, I don't think very highly of that candidate.

I'll do this soon, your Royal Cogness, because I need to get write a new STP anyway and I think it might be interesting to see what others write. But my first act outside of grading jail probably really does need to be changing Tot's diaper. I'll get to it in a few days.

Fie upon this quiet life! said...

I'm not a big fan of the teaching philosophy. Because of that, I did not tailor my philosophy statement to the different jobs I applied for. I just wrote a general philosophy and sent it to every school that wanted one. I think it's a fairly decent statement, but who knows? To me, these things feel, I don't know, contrived. Gushy. Just think if all other professions wanted you to give a philosophical statement that represented your feelings/thoughts about the job. I can just see what my computer majors would say: "My philosophy about computer programming is to just do what needs to be done -- my own way, of course -- and then let other people deal with the consequences in the form of bugs and breakdowns. Not My Problem." Maybe that's what we should say about teaching composition. ;)

P said...

LOL: "Your Royal Cogness."

Love.

heu mihi said...

I've put a statement up, but it's not very...true to the spirit of your meme. I'll try to do better later in the week when I'm less deeply aggravated by a handful of deeply aggravating students who've decided to become real jerks this week. GAH.

reassignedtime said...

This is a sideways answer to your "for the complainers" prompt, but here it is:
http://reassignedtime.wordpress.com/2011/04/06/on-hostility-to-research/

Susan said...

I think the best statements have the general stuff, but then say, "For instance, when we read Superman, I have the students...." But often they are unbearably vacuous, and I read almost 200 this winter, so I should know.

What thrills me: a. Having an idea and pulling evidence together that changes it. I've been known to do happy dances in the archives. b. Having a student where you suddenly see the light bulb go on. Both are incredible highs.

Bardiac said...

When I think about how my department reads STPs, I cringe. One segment of us reads for "seems to be a good, responsible teacher," another segment reads for enthusiasm, and another segment reads for assessment awareness.

So, if you don't mention assessment, the assessment awareness folks will be cranky. But if you do, the folks who hate assessment will be cranky. Bleargh!

Dame Eleanor Hull said...

I was going to comment, but rather than hijack the thread, I'll put it chez moi.

mcconeghy said...

Entirely by accident I happened to post on this topic on the same day you did. I fell behind on my g-reader or I may have said something earlier! Thanks for stimulating an interesting discussion among so many different folks. Here's my meager serendipitous contribution

feMOMhist said...

tremendously more fun than slaving over the actual one years ago !

http://femomhist.blogspot.com/2011/04/bandwagon-jumping.html