Teaching Philosophy

Teaching philosophies are a forever changing narrative for faculty members at a university.  According to Mary Bowne’s article “Developing a Teaching Philosophy” in the Journal of Effective Teaching, the philosophy is constructed to be both a reflective reminder; as well as a mantra to get them through the good and bad days as a teacher.  A teaching philosophy is a chance for faculty members to find ways to grow and make note of their specific ideologies used in the classroom.  For example, Mary Bowne makes note of the self-reflective process with a teaching philosophy, “This self-reflective process provides opportunities for faculty to continually self-examine their teaching and the learning take place within and outside the classroom”(60).  With this reflective process, several groups may participate in the teaching philosophy with the faculty member.  Some of these members could include students, supervisors, or even fellow educators.  This teaching philosophy is a tool for future educators wanting to teach someday because they look at the teacher’s philosophy so they can find their own narrative in the classroom.

As a first-time graduate student, reading this article really opened my eyes to teaching philosophies because I have only understood parts of the philosophy.  From my understanding, I have been under the impression that teaching philosophies reflect on the faculty instructor’s theories and lessons inside the classroom.  However, it astonishes me to read that a teaching philosophy encompasses a larger audience group.  It not only broadens my scope on what to expect when writing a teaching philosophy.  At the same time, I assure myself to not go into this process blindly and really seek out a second pair of eyes when I develop my own philosophy.  As Mary Bowne points out in the article, “Educators need to show humility, acknowledging that they don’t know everything about teaching and are willing to learn more, thus reflecting on past processes and experiences and adapting to new ones, showcasing a self-reflective, developmental process of one’s teaching”(62).  Mary Bowne shares the truth behind treating a teaching philosophy as a learning because the philosophy will always be a revision process.  As a writer and a student, I have learned that my work is going to be improving throughout my life.