What is your teaching philosophy

Interview question: "What is your teaching philosophy?"

When applying for a profession as a teacher, you may be asked about your teaching philosophy. This isn't the kind of question that should be fiddled with or improvised in the blink of an eye. You'll look unprepared for the job if you don't have an answer. Teachers will be expected to be able to talk about their philosophy.

On the other hand, if you have a concise and clear philosophy, the hiring manager will be impressed with your ability to reflect on the methods and goals of your teaching practice.

Before the interview, make sure you have a philosophy that you can articulate properly.

What the interviewer really wants to know

The interviewer wants to know that you have a teaching philosophy, that you can articulate it, and that your beliefs about teaching and learning go well with the school.

What is a teaching philosophy? This is a statement of your values ​​and beliefs about teaching. Your philosophy is often a combination of methods you studied in a college or graduate school and lessons you have learned in some work experience since then. It can also draw on your own experiences in raising children as parents or as a child yourself.

If you are unsure what your teaching philosophy is, write down some key statements that you think apply to education and then move on.

Think about the methods you use in the classroom and your goals for your students. Also, consider how you will put your vision of education into practice and what principles your work will demonstrate in the classroom.

  • What makes you proud to be a teacher?
  • What lets you know you did a good job?
  • What standards do you set for yourself and why?

A personal teaching philosophy is different from an educational theory, although both are related. Waldorf or Montessori education, for example, involves very different approaches to teaching pedagogy than the current American public school system, and yet teachers from each system could articulate very similar philosophies.

Teaching styles and methods often change over the course of a person's career. review your philosophy, update it from time to time and make changes as needed.

How do I reply to "What is your teaching philosophy?"

If you've never put your teaching philosophy into words, this three-step process can help you articulate your beliefs.

  • Just start with a sentence or two that neatly summarize your thinking.
  • Then work out what your philosophy means in practice.
  • Then add an example how to apply your teaching philosophy in the classroom. This will help make your philosophy even more concrete.

However, do not share an example unless you have enough time. If you've already spoken for a few minutes, or if you feel like the interviewer wants to move on, you can skip this part.

Examples of best answers

Now let's apply the three-tier system and look at some sample answers.

I believe that the classroom is a vibrant community and that everyone from the school principal to the students to the parents has a role to play in maintaining a positive atmosphere.

Why it works: This statement is simple, straightforward, and easy to understand. She occupies a position, the classroom is a living community, and everyone contributes and communicates it well. You don't have to put everything you believe about teaching into one sentence, it is important to be able to express the most central part of your ideas and priorities as a teacher. Let the rest be implied.

All students are individuals and everyone learns in their own way. I use different teaching methods linguistically, visually, auditory, kinesthetic to reach the students so that no one is left behind.

Why it works: This explanation makes it clear that this teacher believes that effective teaching brings everyone together. You can also briefly mention educational theories or scientific studies that support your philosophy, or you can refer to other educators who illustrate your philosophy. You try to make it clear to your interviewers that you think carefully about how you teach and are well informed about educational practices.

Everyone in the classroom contributes as a student, teacher, and thinker. I learn as much from students as I do from myself. One way to emphasize this philosophy in my classes is to include regular feedback from students. For example, I ask students are required to complete a class assessment during the course where they reflect on the course objectives and provide feedback on whether the course will help them achieve those objectives. The students were so insightful and provided useful information for me about what works in class and what I can improve. I think we never stop learning and I want my students to know that we can learn from each other.

Why it works: This answer gives details of how the teacher sees his role. It also shows that the candidate is receptive to feedback and can incorporate it into their approach. This is a great answer when you have time to work out. If you sense this the interviewer wants to move on, fail to provide details.

Tips for the best answer

Determine your teaching philosophy before the interview. Think about your teaching methods and goals. How did you put your ideas into practice? What principles does your work show? Remember that a teaching philosophy is different from an educational theory.

To get to the point. Make sure you can express your beliefs succinctly. Ideally, you could summarize your teaching philosophy in one sentence if you had to. However, you should have details to provide, if you have time, speak at length.

What is not to be said

Avoid using words. A poorly organized or less succinct statement is difficult for others to understand and can hurt you. The interviewer wants to see that you understand your teaching philosophy and can describe it well.

Skip the stereotypes. Avoid generic and self-evident statements like "Everyone deserves a chance to learn". Sure, it is broad and applicable to many classroom situations, but the universality and obviousness make expression a problem. Simply put, if your philosophy is a truism or a cliché, it is obvious that you haven't thought about it much.

If your educational philosophy is indeed that everyone deserves a chance or something like that, make sure your statement is unique by explaining how you view the principle of equality as educational, you cannot imagine anyone disagreeing with your philosophy ie if you intelligently disagree for thoughtful reasons, then you have probably come across an obvious truism.

Possible follow-up questions

  • Why did you choose to become a teacher? - Best answers
  • What is your teaching style? - Best answers
  • How do you deal with stress? - Best answers
  • Tell me about a time when you were dealing with a challenging situation. - Best answers
  • What strategies do you use to motivate your students? - Best answers
  • How did you use technology in the classroom? - Best answers

Key takeaways

Prepare your answer before the interview: Practice describing your beliefs, goals, and methods.

Be concise: Summarize your philosophy in a sentence or two. Provide further details if necessary.

Avoid clichés: They can show how your statement relates to your unique point of view.