Monday, April 4, 2011

Teaching Philosophy

Once again, I find myself applying for jobs around the country in hopes of landing that first full time position.  As I prepare for a new round of applications and interviews, I am reviewing my materials and have found that my philosophy of teaching needs a serious overhaul. 

Of all the supporting documents that are requested, this one causes me the most difficulty.  In my current situation, I am constantly changing hats.  My morning begins as a lecturer before morphing into the role of private instructor and collaborative artist.  The difficulty that I am having is developing a statement that reflects the principles I strive to adhere to in my teaching that are not exclusive to my role as either a classroom lecturer or private instructor. 

Further, I am finding that my teaching philosophy is a work in progress.  Each day brings new insights and revelations into the art of teaching students about music.  The document, therefore, can be little more than a snapshot into my educational philosophy at that moment in time.  A reflective instructor is constantly reviewing and evaluating their approach and making necessary modifications to their instructional methods.  While I do find that my basic philosophy of education is established, it is my hope that my philosophy remains flexible and malleable -- constantly subject to revision as I have new insights and experiences.

What do you find to be the most important aspect of your teaching philosophy?  What things do you wish you had considered early on that you overlooked?  I'd love to hear from you.