Some people have a big one and a little one. University professors submit a year-specific one but also keep a larger one. The teaching dossier is one component of their annual reports (that outlines research, scholarship, service, and other activities). For me, it is useful for accreditation and applying for opportunities like the open education fellowship and innovation champion positions I have been successful in obtaining.

It needs to be cohesive. The presenters indicate that a teaching philosophy is the foundation.

What else goes in it?

  • Updated CV
  • Syllabus
  • Teaching Evaluations
  • Workshops / contribution to pedagogy
  • Guest lectures
  • Evidence of student learning in your course
  • Sample lecture and why you picked it (reflect on positive and negative)

This document from Queens was used to help us think about creating a working table of contents. I think I need a better website design. Here is a draft of what I need to do:

  • Biographical Information (needs an update).
  • Teaching philosophy (has been recently updated. Could use some evidence integrated). Diversity statement.
  • Teaching responsibilities / activities (needed).
  • Evidence of teaching effectiveness (needed).
  • Scholarship.
  • Professional Development.

How do we weave a story?

The Teaching Philosophy

What you do and why you do it. It is a foundation for the rest of the dossier. A reflection on your personal beliefs and values. What is consistent? How do we help students get the best possible experience out of their course? What are the learning objectives and how do we get students to the outcomes? Reading my philosophy I think it is well developed already. The presenters shared these four considerations for integration into the dossier:

  • Beliefs – What I think
  • Strategies – What I do
  • Impact – On self, students, and others
  • Future Goals

The narrative describes and justifies why you teach the way you do. It is always a work in progress because our approaches are constantly evolving. As you get experiences (like co-teaching) it shapes how you view teaching. My philosophy could use some depth in terms of future goals and the impact on key stakeholders. Some shared that theory informs their philosophy. Knowles was mentioned as a guiding framework. I didn’t use it specifically but it fits with my current philosophy. It is something I can look at integrating.

More emphasis on being accepting of failure is needed in my philosophy. Over the past year, I have been reflecting a lot on the need to support and accept failure. Failure is an essential part of learning. In real life we fail and we learn from it so – how can I better integrate that into my philosophy? My experiences and views on open and negotiated grading also need to be reflected on and integrated.


Laura Killam is an experienced nursing educator from Northern Ontario with a keen interest in improving student learning through innovation. For more information please visit


Leave a Reply

Avatar placeholder

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.