Institutions hiring new faculty have been known to request statements that reflect your teaching philosophy, commitment to diversity, and understanding of the community college system. Your statement for this course should focus on one of these topics.
If you are not yet sure about your future career plans, you will still need to write a statement, but you may adapt the assignment to suit your circumstances. For example, you may opt to write a statement about how your graduate career has prepared you to work on a team and communicate with colleagues from different fields – two skills that are crucial to working in private and government sectors (hint: any TA experience that you have might also be helpful in showing your preparation for these types of non-academic positions).
The teaching philosophy statement provides readers with your perspective on learning and teaching. You do have ideas about how students learn and why you teach the way you do (or would like to). However, for most instructors these ideas remain implicit. This is an opportunity to unearth the assumptions that guide your teaching decisions and to share them with others. If you develop a full teaching portfolio, the philosophy statement is the focal point, articulating the underlying principles that are demonstrated throughout the rest of the portfolio.
At a minimum, your teaching philosophy articulates your intellectual expectations for students and how you help them achieve your learning goals. Your statement should include: (1) what you expect your students to accomplish intellectually, (2) ways that you help students to achieve the objectives you have identified, and (3) reference to specific examples of teaching and learning activities.
Individual Diversity Philosophy
As written documents, Diversity Statements are relatively rare in the academy. There is no widely accepted definition or description of a diversity statement is or its content. At the very least, a diversity statement demonstrates that you have given serious thought to the issue. You might choose to include your diversity statement in a job application, or you may never show it to anyone. The primary purpose of writing such a statement is to take the opportunity to think about diversity and articulate your thoughts before you are required to do so in a faculty interview or grant proposal.
It would not be possible to take a prescriptive approach to diversity statements by providing suggestions about what you should include as content. A Diversity Statement might describe the importance of a diverse scholarly community or its significance to your discipline. You might explain why you use particular teaching methods and their impact on a diverse student population. You might provide examples of your participation in campus diversity programs or how you have contributed to recruitment and retention efforts in your field. A Diversity Statement might also describe how you interact with students and colleagues who have different backgrounds and experiences.
Community College Statement
Community colleges are particularly interested in hiring candidates who are clear about the mission and philosophy of the CC system. These institutions need to be able to identify candidates that are deliberately choosing to join their academic community, rather than seeking a position at a two-year college as a second- or third-choice . Asking faculty candidates to provide a statement of their understanding of and commitment to the goals of this kind of institution can serve a filtering function for search committees.
Your statement should reflect that you know what it takes to teach at a two-year college. It would be worthwhile for you to review the institutional mission and diversity statements of a number of community colleges as preparation for writing this kind of statement.