This whole trend toward obtaining “teaching philosophy” statements from candidates for jobs and promotion to tenure befuddles me, as I tend to think of them as empty exercises. But there must be people who think they are meaningful, else this would not have been a trend. I have never written one, having managed to get tenure long before such statements became required, and am not quite sure what to say to my students when they ask my advice about how to write a good one. So I’m asking scatterplotters. Do you ask for statements of teaching philosophy from job candidates at your insitution? Do you read them and take them seriously? And, if so, what are you looking for in them? What distinguishes a good statement from a bad one? What should a job candidate think about in preparing at teaching statement?