Teaching statement has become synonymous in my mind with the term, or perhaps the feeling of, pulling teeth. I???m trying to finish this so I can submit my application. So far I???ve been burning cycles rewriting the initial paragraph. Its not that I don???t know what I want to say.

That I have.

It???s a question of how do I say it.

This is what I want to say: If I have learned anything in my thirty-and-a-bit years on the planet, it???s this: the world is made up of complex, interrelated systems, and all of them will change. If you want to have a successful life, let alone a successful career, you need to acknowledge this and be capable of adapting to the changes that occur around you. More so, you need to be able to find opportunities for success within the challenges of change. Confining your knowledge to what???s expected of you today isn???t going to help you tomorrow. Tactical knowledge can only get you so far. Learning ???X??? isn???t enough. One must learn how to learn.

Accepting all of this, I see my challenge as a teacher to push my students beyond surface facts and tools. Instead they must be able to recognize the structure and rules from which those facts and tools proceed. And I must do this is such a way that students are capable of internalizing these lessons.

Benjamin Franklin presented a framework for this methodology when he wrote:

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”

Involvement, or rather engagement is key. Whether in the classroom, the field, or in the workplace, students must actively engage with (observing, interrogating, and analyzing) the information they receive through encounters with coworkers, media, software, and countless other interactions with their environment. And this is where the techniques of social analysis can used to assist someone in understanding and adapting to the world about them.


That’s it. Or rather the start of it. Now, we’ll see where I can take it. And how I polish it.