Writing a great teaching philosophy statement

This is an opportunity to really differentiate and sell yourself.  The idea is to give an overall description of why you have chosen to be in education, explain what your beliefs and values are, and describe how you teach and how you measure effectiveness.  It is likely that your statement will change and evolve as you gain experience, teach in different locations and situations.

boy-on-yellow-scooterOf the whole profile this section will most likely take the most time and a blank page can be fairly daunting.  So here are a few starting points.

  • Create a list of your positive traits and characteristics.
  • Brainstorm what you are proud of or what you think makes you unique  – what sets you apart as a teacher?
  • Mind map your experiences and think what skills you have developed from them.
  • Think about why you want to or went into teaching abroad and teaching itself.
  • Explore your educational values – in an ideal world what do you strive to achieve as an educator?

Thinking about your responses to some of the questions below may help you to guide your statement:

More general and overarching questions

  • Why did you choose to enter the teaching profession?
  • What do you think the main aim of schools should be and what role do you see yourself playing in fulfilling that aim?
  • What do you think excellent teaching comprises of?
  • What does it take to be a successful educator?
  • What is the value of an international education?

Questions about yourself

  • In your ideal world what would education provide all learners with?
  • What do you need to do in your role to ensure that you get the best out of yourself and the people around you?
  • How do you measure effectiveness in your role?
  • What values would you bring to any role?
  • What are your teaching approach, methods and expertise?

Do

  • Only include ideas/views you are prepared to talk about at an interview.
  • Give convincing reasons for why you work in education.
  • If you have long term career plans, make a link between these and what you are currently applying for.
  • Be reflective –  what areas do you want to develop further as a teacher?
  • Consider your audience.  International head teachers and recruiters around the world will be reading your statement – try to anticipate any questions they may have.

Do not

  • List your achievements, experiences or responsibilities – there is a separate area for this on the profile.
  • Create a CV or write a statement on pedagogy.

Lots of help can be found on the web but it is important that this statement comes from deep down and represents as closely as possible who you are and what values you represent.

Written by Nikki Macleod, Marketing Manager of Teacherhorizons and former International Baccalaureate Business Studies Teacher