Teaching Statements & Portfolios
Many academic job applications require a one to two-page "Teaching Statement," also sometimes referred to as a Statement of Teaching Philosophy. Some institutions continue to include updated versions in faculty dossiers throughout their review, reappointment, and promotion processes. In addition to their practical role in the job search process, teaching statements can serve as living documents that help university faculty clarify, reflect on, and advance teaching practices throughout their careers.
A Teaching Portfolio is a curated collection of sample teaching materials, selected by the instructor to showcase aspects of their teaching philosophy and approach, strengths, and ongoing development. An effective teaching portfolio ideally presents a coherent argument about how the individual instructor approaches and enacts educational work, with component materials serving as salient evidence. Institutions may request teaching portfolios during the hiring, review, and/or promotion processes.
Caltech Resources (for current Caltech affiliates):
- Workshops: CTLO offers workshops on teaching statements approximately twice per year, usually once in the spring or summer, and again in the early fall. Please check our upcoming events for details.
- Consultations on Content/Ideas: CTLO may be available to consult on the content and ideas in your teaching statements and portfolios, pending staff availability and with priority given to graduate students and postdocs enrolled in our quarter-long class, certificates, or a short course program. Those programs offer opportunities to develop and reflect on aspects of teaching that are articulated in statements and portfolios. Contact CTLO@caltech.edu to find out more.
- Consultations on Writing/Structure: The Hixon Writing Center may be available to consult on the writing quality and structure of teaching-related documents such as statements and portfolios, pending staff availability. Find out more about scheduling a writing consultation here.
Here are several key resources, which CTLO often refers to in our workshops and consultations. They are available for your self-study and use at any time:
Teaching Statements - Articles and Pages:
- Writing a Statement of Teaching Philosophy for the Academic Job Market, C. O'Neal, D. Meizlish, and M. Kaplan, University of Michigan.
- Writing Teaching Statements and Philosophies, McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning, Princeton University.
- Six Tips for Writing an Effective Teaching Statement, M. Cooper, American Chemical Society.
- How to Write a Statement of Teaching Philosophy, G. Montell, Chronicle of Higher Education.
- Everything but the teaching statement, J. Clay, Chronicle of Higher Education
- A Teaching Statement, J. Marcus, Chronicle of Higher Education.
Teaching Statements - Collection of Examples:
Teaching Portfolios - Articles and Pages:
- Teaching Portfolios, Center for Teaching, Vanderbilt University.
- Teaching Portfolios, Eberly Center, Carnegie Mellon University.
- Teaching Portfolios, The Teaching Center, Washington University in St. Louis.
Teaching Portfolios - Collections of Examples and Prompts:
- Washington State University (samples)
- Duquesne University (prompts, reflections, and writing exercises)