What is a Biography By: Tom Des Lauriers
A Great Bio • Can make all the difference! A first impression always sticks with the reader. Be sure that your first impression is a good one! Whether you are a writer, journalist, or any professional in a business or school setting, you must have a good bio to present on web sites and other documents. A good bio allows potential employers or screening or promotion boards to have an idea about your strengths and achievements.
A Great Bio • The short one or two paragraphs in your Bio can make you very real to whoever reads them. It is very acceptable to include a certain amount of personal info about yourself. Of course, always keep in mind who your audience. Including a favorite quote can add a nice personal touch. Whether the quote is your own or someone else's, always include this info. You can include a Webster's Dictionary definition of a teacher / job title.
A Great Bio • Try to include the reason that you want to be in your particular profession. • As a teacher, tell us what inspired you to become one in your bio. • Be sure to reveal a few personal tidbits about who you are and just what motivates you.
A Great Bio • When you have multiple talents listed, you also show that you are a very diverse individual. • Use wit in your bio and show everyone that reads it that you can be funny and down-to-earth when you want or need to be. • By showing a breadth of your interests, you will enable the reader to see different aspects of your personality. • If you do this, people will be able to really understand your abilities and motivations.
A Great Bio • Start your bio with first person references and midway through change to the third person. Referring to yourself with your full name is acceptable or uses of the pronouns him and her is also acceptable. By using a delicate combination of first person and third person tenses, you can give a professional element to your bio. • If done in a professional manner, you can reach out and touch whoever reads your bio.
A Great Bio • The first line or two of your bio should include your name, profession, and marital status if you wish. • Subsequent lines can include other jobs or interests, published works, awards that you have received, quotes, beliefs about your chosen profession, jokes about your chosen profession, inspiring comments, and other personal items that make you stand out from the crowd. • Here is an example of a bio utilizing all of the aspects covered here:
Sample BIO • I am John Smith, both a loving husband and educator for over 25 years. I decided to become an educator so that I could inspire children to learn, just as my teachers fostered my love of knowledge. My favorite quote is "Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers." -Tennyson • John Smith received the Teaching Award for Excellence from the Bower Institute for Higher Learning. He is proudest of this award because his students bestowed it upon him. The students must take it upon themselves to write an essay and nominate their favorite teacher. Of all of his thirty different awards, this one is kept in a very special place- his heart.
Sample BIO • By using these smart strategies and creative ideas, you now have the tools to write an inspiring and effective bio for almost any need. Your professional bio will sell your strengths and benefits to present and or future employers and other business groups, and it will also make you shine in everyone's eyes. • http://www.bham.wednet.edu/bio/QUEST.HTM
What is a Philosophy of Teaching Statement By: Tom Des Lauriers
What is it - it is a narrative that includes: • your conception of teaching and learning • a description of how you teach • justification for why you teach that way • The statement can • demonstrate that you have been reflective and purposeful about your teaching • communicate your goals as an instructor and your corresponding actions in the classroom • provide an opportunity to point to and tie together the other sections of your portfolio
What is the purpose of developing a philosophy of teaching? • The purpose is normally in conjunction with the submission of a teaching portfolio for seeking academic positions, or as a regular component of the portfolio or dossier for promotion and tenure. Philosophy of teaching statements are also requested of candidates for teaching awards or grant applications.
Why do teachers need to articulate their philosophy of teaching? • It has been recognized by many teachers that the process of identifying a personal philosophy of teaching and continuously examining, testifying, and verifying this philosophy through teaching can lead to change of teaching behaviors and ultimately foster professional and personal growth.
In preparing a statement of teaching philosophy • “professors assess and examine themselves to articulate the goals they wish to achieve in teaching.... A clear vision of a teaching philosophy provides stability, continuity, and long-term guidance.... A well-defined philosophy can help them remain focused on their teaching goals and to appreciate the personal and professional rewards of teaching.” (Gail Goodyear and Douglas Allchin, in their study of the functions of a statement of teaching philosophy pp. 106-7)
General formatting suggestions • There is no required content or set format. There is no right or wrong way to write a philosophy statement, which is why it is so challenging for most people to write one. You may decide to write in prose, use famous quotes, create visuals, use a question/answer format, etc. • It is generally 1-2 pages in length. For some purposes, an extended description is appropriate, but length should suit the context. • Use present tense, in most cases. Writing in first-person is most common and is the easiest for your audience to read.
General formatting suggestions • Most statements avoid technical terms and favor language and concepts that can be broadly appreciated. A general rule is that the statement should be written with the audience in mind. It may be helpful to have someone from your field read your statement and give you some guidance on any discipline-specific jargon and issues to include or exclude.
General formatting suggestions • Include teaching strategies and methods to help people “see” you in the classroom. It is not possible in many cases for your reader to come to your class to actually watch you teach. By including very specific examples of teaching strategies, assignments, discussions, etc, you are able to let your reader take a mental “peek” into your classroom. Help them to visualize what you do in the classroom and the exchange between you and your students. For example, can your readers picture in their minds the learning environment you create for your students?
General formatting suggestions • Make it memorable and unique. If you are submitting this document as part of a job application, remember that your readers on the search committee are seeing many of these documents. What is going to set you apart? What about you are they going to remember? What brings a teaching philosophy to life is the extent to which it creates a vivid portrait of a person who is intentional about teaching practices and committed to his/her career.
General formatting suggestions • “Own” your philosophy. The use of declarative statements (such as “students don’t learn through lecture” or “the only way to teach is to use class discussion") could be potentially detrimental if you are submitting this document to a search committee. You do not want to appear as if you have all of the answers and you don’t want to offend your readers. By writing about your experiences and your beliefs, you “own” those statements and appear more open to new and different ideas about teaching. Even in your own experience, you make choices as to the best teaching methods for different courses and content: sometimes lecture is most appropriate; other times you may use service-learning, for example.
Major components of a philosophy of teaching statement • Each statement of teaching philosophy is very personal by nature. Therefore, it is up to each instructor to decide what components to include in their own statements. However, there are a number of excellent resources to get you started with the writing process at • Guidance for Writing a Philosophy of Teaching Statement. http://ftad.osu.edu/portfolio/philosophy/Phil_guidance.html See Example’s (Handouts)
Questions ??? • The End has arrived in our journey today.