Philosophy teachers introduce students to the theories and concepts of philosophical thought and encourage inquiry into such wide-ranging topics as ethics, logic, aesthetics and metaphysics. Introductory courses may include a general overview of all these topics, while advanced courses focus on a particular area or subset of philosophy.
The free expression of ideas is important in a philosophy classroom, so teachers need to be able to foster communication and open conversation between students. This quality is an important one to include in your philosophy teacher job description.
Teachers often need to perform additional duties outside the classroom, and it’s important to let candidates know what these entail. Review the example below for more ideas of what to include in a strong philosophy teacher job description.
Philosophy Teacher Job Summary
Our philosophy teachers have a big job to do, opening young minds to new modes of thought and introducing them to new ideas. If you love leading deep conversations and encouraging students to take up new, creative ways of thinking, join our team at City University. We offer undergraduate and post-graduate-level programs, so teachers get a chance to work with students at all levels and work one-on-one with graduate students to produce their master’s theses. While all instructors are required to teach introductory classes that touch on the basic tenets of philosophical thought, you will have a lot of freedom to design higher-level classes that delve deeply into topics of the teacher’s own interest.
- Teach three to four courses each semester in accordance with university needs, including one section of Introduction to Philosophy
- Foster an open, engaging and civil learning environment where all students are comfortable contributing to the discussion
- Hold at least one office hour per course per week and make yourself available to meet with students to answer questions about assignments, discuss grades and address any concerns with course material
- Create syllabi and course plans for introductory classes in adherence with departmental course competencies; design upper-level courses on diverse subjects
- Assign and evaluate all student work, and maintain records of student attendance, achievements and competencies
- Serve as advisor to graduate students in the major, helping them through the process of choosing a topic, reading appropriate works and writing their graduate theses
- Serve on departmental committees, with time commitments dependent on the number of courses taught that semester
- Participate in department- and university-wide community service and charity projects
Job Skills & Qualifications
- Ph.D. in Philosophy from an accredited university
- Experience teaching philosophy or related courses at the post-secondary level
- Excellent rapport with students and a desire to foster deep communication
- Publication in peer-reviewed journals in the field
- Proven track record of mentoring undergraduate and graduate students in the major
Philosophy Teacher Job Responsibilities
You don’t need to answer existential questions to hire a highly talented philosophy teacher. Get a leg up with job responsibilities section written in a way that captures qualified candidates’ attention and holds it with a promise that they could easily see themselves deeply invested in the role. This section should be the meatiest part of your posting, and with a few simple tips and tricks, you can revise your philosophy teacher job description to appeal to the top tier of jobseekers, no matter what school of thought they follow.
The key principle is to keep it simple. Short, effective bullet points work best, ideally up to eight detailing high-level statements of the general job duties. Those statements should begin with action verbs; writing with action-oriented language infuses each statement with more powerful impact by eliminating passive statements. A philosophy teacher job description using well-crafted bullets and active language can improve the quality of applicant it attracts.
Give our philosophy teacher job responsibilities a look for an example:
- Present comprehensive lesson plans and course materials for undergraduate students
- Assign, review and score in-class and take-home assignments, quizzes and exams
- Coach and counsel struggling students during office hours and tutoring sessions
- Mentor student teachers and graduate teaching assistants
- Participate in curriculum development meetings with the department head and Dean
Philosophy Teacher Job Specifications
You can further strengthen your philosophy teacher job description by including a job qualifications and skills section. Discuss with other employees to gather a list of their requirements for an effective philosophy teacher, and match their feedback against your list of necessities. Find the most essential, and craft a list of 5-6 key qualifications that can make or break an applicant’s eligibility.
Why do this? For two reasons. First, applicants often automatically screen themselves against such lists, and less qualified candidates are more likely to self-exclude. This minimizes the time you spend forging through a slog of applications that will only end up in the circular file. Second, this list provides you with a way to quickly eliminate the resumes that do end up in your inbox by rapidly screening against your criteria and cutting out those who don’t make it. Adding a list of requirements makes your philosophy teacher job description much more effective and ensures you get better results.
Here’s our example of philosophy teacher job specifications:
- Doctorate degree or other advanced education in philosophy required
- At least 10 years of experience teaching at the undergraduate level
- Supporting degrees and certification in education preferred
- Ability to take on extra non-major coursework and elective classes
- Capacity for counseling and leading other members of faculty and staff