Personal educational philosophy statements are frequently required when submitting student teaching, staff, and instructor applications. Writing a personal educational philosophy statement is far easier than many of your other college papers, as it describes your views, values, and beliefs about education, and how you intend to implement those beliefs. There is no set format for writing these statements and it is important to update your educational philosophy statement as you gain experience and grow as a teacher.
The best way to start writing your personal educational philosophy statement is to ask yourself the following questions:
• Why do I want to teach?
• What do I believe about the way people learn?
• Which teaching styles and educational theorists most appeal to me and why?
• How will I handle classroom management issues?
• Which instructional strategies will I use and why?
• How will I address special needs students?
• How will I handle a diverse group of learners?
• How will I balance a fixed curriculum with my own style of teaching?
• What are my goals for students?
• How will I know that my students are succeeding?
• How will I contribute to the school and other grade level teachers?
• How will I continue to grow and learn as a teacher?
Make it concrete
While a philosophy is an abstraction, it is important to convey concrete ways in which you will get results for your students. Specify useful details without making your paper longer than it needs to be. Be sure to include the use of cooperative learning, independent work, and small and large group work, specific management techniques, technology in the classroom, student diversity, and parental involvement in describing your educational philosophy.
Customize to the audience
It may be necessary to write different versions of your educational philosophy, depending upon who will be reading it and for what purpose. Obviously, applying to teach kindergarten is far different from teaching high school or college students. There are many online examples of well written educational philosophies. Looking at a variety of styles can help you write the best statement possible.
As with any well written paper, start with a succinct thesis statement that tells the reader why you want to teach and how you will help your students succeed. From there, you can use the answers from the above questions to demonstrate how and why you will be an asset in the classroom, making sure to check for grammar, spelling, tense and verb agreements, and smooth transitions. The paper does not need a cover page, but your name and the title should be at the top of the first page. Educational philosophies should never be hand written. Strive for readability with a uniform font of a size that is at least 12 picas. Your educational philosophy should be between 400-800 words.
Keeping your educational philosophy succinct, concrete, and positive will help prospective employers see you as an asset to their organization and to the students in your classroom.