There is no need to panic, however, as many have faced the daunting task of applying for a job while lacking any actual job experience. This is where creativity comes into play. Think about these specific questions and how they relate to your experiences teaching and learning.
- What did you admire most about one of your favorite teachers?
- How did that teacher inspire you?
- What are your core values in regard to teaching and learning?
- What do you enjoy about teaching and learning?
- Why do you feel you could be an effective teacher?
- Have you trained or taught a specific group of people before?
- What makes your teaching methodology unique?
- What other life experiences have you had that could be useful in a teaching environment?
- What are your long-term instructional goals?
The questions provided will give you food for thought and help you understand why you desire to teach. You may not currently have any academic teaching experience, but that does not mean you lack the passion or skill to be an effective instructor. Use these questions to begin documenting key points of your teaching strategy and the values you feel you can bring to an educational institution.
Avoid repeating information already displayed on your resume or cover letter. Create a brief one- or two-page document describing your teaching philosophy, and use experience that you may have acquired at work—such as software training, team facilitation, project management, leadership, or experience developing a curriculum for corporate eLearning training modules. Any skills that have been useful in helping others learn are applicable to teaching, even if you did not acquire them in an academic environment. Think about the processes and strategies you used to help your audience better understand certain learning objectives. Ultimately, your teaching philosophy will begin to take shape and reflect your personal beliefs. This is only a starting point, but it is one that will continue to change and grow as you progress in your journey as an academic instructor.