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CCTP Completion Worksheet & Tips for Writing Your Teaching Statement and Portfolio

I. CCTP Completion Worksheet

Click here for a worksheet that will guide you through the CCTP completion process.


II. Tips for Writing Your Teaching Statement and Portfolio, or How to Think about the CCTP


Things You Should Ponder When Writing a Teaching Statement

Does your teaching statement touch on:

  1. What gets you excited about teaching?
  2. How do you accomplish your goals?
  3. Statement of personal teaching philosophy: what do you do?
  4. Answer, for future interviewers
    1. “What is it like to be in class with this person?”
    2. “What do students who take a class with this person get out of it?”
  5. Show: “this is what I do, and this is the result” 
  6. Or show: “I notice that students often have problems with [insert issue here], and this is what I do to help them understand the concept.”
  7. Conceive of this as a “teaching statement” (about you, as a classroom teacher, i.e., concrete and explicit) rather than as a “statement of teaching philosophy (about the nature of knowledge or the discipline of teaching, i.e., abstract and implicit)


Tips for Composing Your Teaching Statement, Syllabi and Evaluations

Things to look for or consider including in your teaching statement

Things to consider for sample course syllabi

Things to consider when including your evaluations

  1. Have you opened the statement with goals and strategies for students and for yourself, and then moved on to how you do it (activities, techniques, etc. — even “style”)
    1. If you open the statement by saying “My teaching style is…,” can the paragraph order be revised to emphasize goals first and “style” as a technique to accomplish the goals?
  2. Can you provide there examples to back up and illustrate your “theory”?
    1. Do these examples mention what students were struggling with or the problem you were trying to address?
    2. Do those examples make explicit what you, as the teacher, were trying to achieve?
    3. Did you develop a pertinent activity and will you include it in your “handouts” section of your teaching portfolio?
      1. If so, at this point of your teaching statement, explicitly state that you have included a pertinent activity
  3. Have you referred to specific courses you taught?
  4. Have you mentioned specific outcomes of your activities or assignments, such as a problem students explored (sciences) or the title of a final paper (humanities)?
  5. If you mention that something in your teaching is “important,” have you elaborated on the “why”?
  6. Have you presented yourself as a teacher throughout, rather than as an aspiring teacher?
    1. Avoid referring to yourself as a graduate student, a teaching fellow, or a teaching assistant
    1. Keep in mind that yours are not actual syllabi to be used on a daily or weekly basis by students, but rather sample syllabi meant to be read (quickly!) by a search committee
      1. Consider formatting strategies to make your syllabus easily readable
      2. Consider eliminating sections that would appear on an actual syllabus
        1. Plagiarism or anti-cheating statements
        2. Elaborate descriptions of written work (papers, final projects)
        3. Attendance policy
      3. Do, however, include sections that would be of interest to a search committee or support the content of your syllabus
        1. Course description
        2. Learning goals
        3. Grading policy
        4. Texts and readings
        5. Daily/weekly work breakdown (though this section may be less elaborate than that of an actual syllabus)
    2. If including introductory and advanced-level syllabi, the introductory syllabus should usually be listed first
      1. Consider that undergraduate syllabi need to “reach” students in a way that content-focused graduate syllabi often do not
    3. Eliminate Yale-specific email addresses, course numbers, etc.
    4. Eliminate unclear abbreviations (EBE, MCDB, EPE, etc.)
    5. Does your syllabus include a description of the course goals?
    6. Does it include a description of the course format (e.g., “This class will be a series of lectures with weekly discussion sessions”)
      1. Will students be working in teams?
      2. Will they be completing regular writing assignments?
    7. If a “standard” course (“Intro to Biology,” for example), have you included something that makes your course stand out from the pack?
    8. Is the syllabus annotated for your readers at the top of the first page?
      1. For example, “I’ve designed this course specifically for non-physics majors…,” or “This is a junior-level course for physics majors”
    1. What type of evaluations is included (mid-semester, end-of-semester, anonymous, etc.)
      1. Is this information included in an annotation
    2. Is there header information in the evaluations themselves?  If it does not include the following information, add it in a top-of-page annotation:
      1. Semester & year
      2. Name of course
      3. Sample size of the evaluations
      4. How many students in course?
      5. How many students filled out evaluation?
    3. Have you included emails or other unofficial evaluation statements?
      1. if so, does an annotation indicate whether they are solicited or unsolicited?