The Job Market

Thinking about how you will present your teaching experience and teaching persona on the academic job market can be useful not only as a way of preparing for a job interview, but also as a way of clarifying for yourself the kind of teacher that you want to be, and the kinds of things that you value in an educational setting—whether or not you are at the point of seeking, or even want to seek, a tenure-track position. While the Bok Center will always be less prepared than your academic supervisor to initiate you into the specific expectations around teaching portfolios, teaching statements, and diversity statements that reign in your discipline, we are happy to offer general advice about how to talk about the things that you do in your classroom.

Graduate students: Schedule a consultation on your teaching statement or portfolio
Faculty: Schedule a consultation on your teaching statement or portfolio
All: Schedule a consultation on your diversity statement

Teaching Portfolios

Although there are many examples of uninspiring teaching portfolios on the internet, teaching documents can be organized into a portfolio that demonstrates both serious thought and rigorous standards of scholarship. In The Teaching Portfolio, Peter Seldin estimates that a portfolio takes about 12–15 hours to create—a small time commitment considering its benefits, which include growth as a teacher and increasing your chances of success on the job market. As Seldin notes, the teaching portfolio "is to teaching what lists of publications, grants, and honors are to research and scholarship. The Bok Center and the Office of Career Services advise TFs and other instructors to begin developing a teaching portfolio early in their teaching careers. Starting early and continuing to collect material during your ongoing development as a teacher is the best way to craft a portfolio that both captures your educational philosophy and documents your teaching efforts.

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Teaching and Diversity Statements

Teaching Statements have long been the most consistent, and one of the most important, components of teaching portfolios. Search committees (and internal review committees) often now ask for a Diversity Statement, as well. While these two documents inevitably overlap to some degree, insofar as teaching in an equitable and inclusive way will be a key element of any scholar's commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, they are by no means redundant. Read our more detailed advice on teaching and diversity statements to learn how they are distinct and for practical guidance on how to compose each kind of document.

Read more about Teaching Statements
Read more about Diversity Statements

Teaching's Place in Academic Interviews

Academic departments generally look for evidence of teaching ability in their interview candidates in some combination of four ways: (1) by asking the candidates to discuss a set of teaching materials, like sample syllabi, which they have submitted; (2) by asking them to parachute in and "guest-teach" one session in a live undergraduate course; (3) by running them past a student interview panel, whether formal or informal (e.g. over coffee); and/or (4) by deducing classroom communication skills from the quality and clarity of the candidate's research presentation.