You’ve prepared for your teaching interview. You’ve worked through all the most common interview questions and answers. And then it happens. The “What is your philosophy of education?” question. You pause, because what is a teaching philosophy? What do you even remotely say? To start, take a deep breath because we’ve got you covered. Check out these philosophy of education examples from real teachers and tips for drafting your own below.
What is a philosophy of education?
Before we dive into the examples, it’s important to understand the purpose of a philosophy of education. This statement will provide an explanation of your teaching values and beliefs. Your teaching philosophy is ultimately a combination of the methods you studied in college and any professional experiences you’ve learned from since. It may even incorporate your own experiences (negative or positive) in education. Many teachers include their teaching philosophy on their resumes and/or on their websites for parents to view.
There’s no right answer
Know that off the bat. Your teaching philosophy isn’t a yes/no answer. However, you do want to be prepared to answer the question if asked. Take time to really think about your teaching philosophy before you go into the interview.
Drafting your philosophy of education
Not sure where to start? First, take out a sheet of paper or open a document on your computer. Then begin to answer some of these questions:
- What do you believe about education?
- What purpose does education serve in bettering society?
- Do you believe all students can learn?
- What goals do you have for your students?
- What goals do you have for yourself?
- Do you abide by certain standards?
- What does it take to be a good teacher?
- How do you incorporate new techniques, activities, curriculum, and technology into your teaching?
Finally, work to combine your responses into one or two sentences that encapsulate your philosophy. Additionally, some teachers will expand on these sentences to include examples of how they plan to teach and implement the philosophy.
Philosophy of education examples
We’ve gathered some teaching philosophy examples from our WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group as a launch point to your process:
- I am always trying to turn my students into self-sufficient learners who use their resources to figure it out instead of resorting to just asking someone for the answers. —Amy J.
- While I like to see students enjoying themselves in class, I also insist on hard work and focus on the task at hand. —Helpful Professor
- My philosophy is that ALL students CAN learn. Good educators meet all students’ differentiated learning needs to help all students meet their maximum learning potential. —Lisa B.
- My classrooms are always focused on the specific needs of my students. I work hard to differentiate learning so that each student’s unique skills are emphasized. —Helpful Professor
- I believe that all students are unique and need a teacher that caters to their individual needs in a safe and stimulating environment. I want to create a classroom where students can flourish and explore to reach their full potential. My goal is also to create a warm, loving environment, so students feel safe to take risks and express themselves. —Valerie T.
- While I regularly use technology in the classroom, I first reflect on how to use technology to help extend learning. I see technology as a “cognitive tool” that shouldn’t be used just as a gimmick. Rather, I use technology when it can help students to extend their thinking and learn more than if they hadn’t had technology in the lessons. —Helpful Professor
- In my classroom, I like to focus on the student-teacher relationships/one-on-one interactions. Flexibility is a must, and I’ve learned that you do the best you can with the students you have for however long you have them in your class. —Elizabeth Y
- I use a play-based learning approach in my early years classroom. I follow Froebel’s approach that states “play is the highest form of learning.” Play helps students learn through trial-and-error, discovery, and exploration. —Helpful Professor
- I want to prepare my students to be able to get along without me and take ownership of their learning. I have implemented a growth mindset. —Kirk H.
- I believe motivated students are engaged, spend more time on tasks, and cause less disruption to their peers. I, therefore, work hard to motivate students by modeling an inspired, positive outlook to education every day. —Helpful Professor
- My teaching philosophy is centered around seeing the whole student and allowing the student to use their whole self to direct their own learning. As a secondary teacher, I also believe strongly in exposing all students to the same core content of my subject so that they have equal opportunities for careers and other experiences dependent upon that content in the future. —Jacky B.
- I believe students learn best when they are intrinsically motivated. I therefore focus on creating lessons that are engaging, relevant to my students’ real lives, and encourage active discovery. —Helpful Professor
- All children learn best when learning is hands on! This works for the high students and the low students too, even the ones in between. I teach by creating experiences, not giving information. —Jessica R.
- I have a strong focus on formative assessment so that I have a finger on the pulse of my students’ progress. I do not shy away from altering my teaching following formative assessments to ensure my students do not fall through the gaps. —Helpful Professor
- As teachers, it’s our job to foster creativity. In order to do that, it’s important for me to embrace the mistakes of my students, create a learning environment that allows them to feel comfortable enough to take chances, and try new methods. —Chelsie L.
- I embrace an inquiry-based learning approach whereby I start with a question and students come up with hypotheses for answering the questions. Through this approach, students exercise skills like “predicting” and “testing” to seek knowledge. —Helpful Professor
- I believe that every child can learn and deserves the best, well-trained teacher possible who has high expectations for them. I differentiate all my lessons and include all learning modalities. —Amy S.
- Students need to become clear and confident communicators of their knowledge. I often create assessments that require students to express themselves in written and verbal formats to help them develop their communication capacities. —Helpful Professor
- All students can learn and want to learn. It is my job to meet them where they are and move them forward. —Holli A.
- I believe learning comes from making sense of chaos. My job is to design work that will allow students to process, explore, and discuss concepts to own the learning. I need to be part of the process to guide and challenge perceptions. —Shelly G.
- I encourage students to learn in groups because I believe conversation with others helps students to express, challenge, and refine their thought processes. By listening to peers, students can also hear new perspectives that may broaden their horizons and deepen their own knowledge. —Helpful Professor
- I want my students to know that they are valued members of our classroom community, and I want to teach each of them what they need to continue to grow in my classroom. —Doreen G.
- I believe students learn best when they learn in authentic contexts. By learning through real-world problem-solving, they discover the value in knowledge. —Helpful Professor
- Creating a classroom culture of learning through mistakes and overcoming obstacles through teamwork! —Jenn B.
- I employ an authoritative approach to classroom management. This authoritative style focuses on gaining respect and rapport from students by being firm but fair at all times and ensuring all students know I have their best interests at heart. —Helpful Professor
- Teach to every child’s passion and encourage a joy for and love of education and school. —Iris B.
- I always expect my students to come to class ready to focus and engage. I often ask my students to set their own goals and take steps toward achieving their goals every day. —Helpful Professor
- It’s our job to introduce our kids to many, many different things and help them find what they excel in and what they don’t! Then nurture their excellence and help them figure out how to compensate for their problem areas. That way, they will become HAPPY, successful adults. —Haley T.
- For me, the ideal classroom environment is student-centered. I strive to create learning scenarios where the students are undertaking group projects while I move between groups facilitating discussions. —Helpful Professor
Do you have any philosophy of education examples? We’d love to hear them. Share in the comments below.
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