I remember first learning what a philosophy statement was in my teacher training program. The education professor explained that the philosophy statement was my guiding framework of ideals and beliefs regarding learning and teaching. Then, as a class we reviewed some sample statements. To be honest, I was a little intimidated. These example statements must have been written by student teacher gods. They were about 2 pages long each and nailed every education buzz word. Wow!
My advice for any pre-service teachers is not to freak out when your education professor gives you this assignment. Rather, use it as an opportunity to really reflect on what motivated you to go into teaching and what you want to accomplish, and how you are going to do it. State your beliefs, but be honest and avoid an overkill on the educational buzz words. Hiring principals and veteran teachers can see through this in a heart beat. Also, keep in mind that this is a process. More than likely you won’t knock out a finished philosophy statement in one sitting.
A great resource that I used in writing my own teacher philosophy statement and that I referenced in my book is a website from Oregon State University. I like this website because it provides simple suggestions in how to create a philosophy statement and it provides two, great (realistic) philosophy statement examples. I will add this link under the link category “Thinking of Teaching?” for future reference.
For additional guidance, relating to writing a philosophy statement and student teaching, in general, then check out Road to Teaching: A Guide to Teacher Training, Student Teaching, and Finding a Job. You can purchase a print version or the e-book version.