Teaching: October 2004 Archives

Teaching Statement

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I wanted to write something more personal for my 700th post, but this is a really heavy grading week, so I had to find something I wrote a while ago. Syracuse University has an Outstanding TA award every year, and I was awarded it in the spring of 2003 during my last semester as a teaching associate (basically a TA in terms of pay and benefits who teaches a class, which means they consider me faculty at TA pay with no benefits). I've since moved down the lowerarchy into adjunct status. I had to write a statement about my teaching, and this is it. I haven't edited what I submitted very much except to paste together aspects from different parts of the overall portfolio and to remove references to items in other parts of the portfolio.

What follows is my reflection on why I teach, why I teach philosophy, why I do it the way I do it, and what I've learned in the process. I've also added a few items of what I've done since then in brackets. In other words, it's a window into my thoughts about one of the top two or three things I put my energy into, and I've therefore got a lot to say about it. Most academic jobs require a statement like this, which is one reason they require it for this TA award to save people work later. By the time I go on the market I think I'll have to revise it significantly.

If you make it to the end (it's not short), you'll notice that it starts to degrade into summaries of particular kinds of teaching not related to university teaching. Those come from summaries on later pages in my teaching portfolio. I wanted to include them here, but be warned that it seems to end quite suddenly. My conclusion of my main teaching statement ends before that stuff starts. So don't think anything got cut off.

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