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I've been working on my teaching statement recently (for the mathematical sciences, but it shouldn't matter). I'd really like to keep the main body to one page, because I personally wouldn't want to read anything longer than that, but there are several instances where I feel like I could include a little more information "for those inclined to read it". Do you think it is appropriate to include these comments as endnotes, or is this somehow more irritating than having a slightly longer document with such comments incorporated inline? For instance, if I do something like this, I end up with one page of text followed by a half page of notes.

I've had broad success1 using a modified Moore method to teach a graduate qualifying exam review course.

...

Notes

1 In the three years I have taught it, 22 students have taken the course, and 19/22 have passed at the PhD level first try; in contrast, the first-try PhD pass rate for the five years prior was only 50%.

If I incorporate such statements, I'm over my (entirely self-imposed) one page limit.

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  • I'm a bit confused - Are they in a different size font or something? (Mathematically, if it is the same number of words, plus even the extra header "Notes" and a line between the different notes, how can it be over 1 page if they are in the text, but under one page if they are at bottom of text? If it adds a page anyway that is headed 'notes', then might as well use that page with some organization. it might be better to just organize it as the one page executive summary have some additional sections that highlight more details of stuff in summary.
    – Carol
    Sep 3, 2017 at 18:40
  • @Carol thanks for the input. It does indeed add a page anyway, I didn't quite make that clear. I like the idea of an "executive summary" with additional highlighting sections, I'll have to see if I can make that flow nicely.
    – icurays1
    Sep 3, 2017 at 18:47

3 Answers 3

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At the end of the day, it's your teaching statement, and you can write it any way you think makes sense. I have seen plenty of different styles and formats so far, and I don't think the expectations of hiring committees are so overwhelmingly similar that it even makes sense to follow a particular style, at least not across disciplines.

That being said, for me personally this style would probably not be very effective. Footnotes or endnotes with actual text (as opposed to, say, hyperlinks or references) have always been somewhat of a mystery to me (why write this in a footnote, as opposed to in the text?). Going back and forth between the endnotes and the main text is annoying, and - let's be honest - your text is for any practical matter longer than one page anyway when your endnotes spill over to the next page, so the benefit is very questionable.

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Endnotes of the sort you are suggesting would give the impression that you don't know how to write a teaching statement. In any document like this, you're trying to make a convincing case, which means knowing what to put in and what to leave out.

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  • You're right, I don't really know how to write a teaching statement, which is why I'm asking questions...
    – icurays1
    Sep 3, 2017 at 18:43
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    @icurays1 Then it sounds like your question is actually "Should I include supporting information?" That's hard to say without reading your entire statement. The standard advice is that you should "show not tell" to be convincing. Sep 3, 2017 at 19:02
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    Thanks for the input. I agree that all relevant content should be incorporated into the main text, and since the supporting information I have in mind is part of my case, I should work it in, and be willing to give up on the one page limit if necessary.
    – icurays1
    Sep 3, 2017 at 19:09
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One thing to understand is that it is not literally true that "one doesn't want to read more than the first page". What is true, however, is that "one wouldn't read beyond the first page if he finds nothing interesting on it". That applies to both fiction novels and teaching statements. So, instead of trying to squeeze everything relevant into the first page, I would rather put something really impressive there that would prompt the reader to turn the page over and try to see more (or, if he is extremely lazy, just to multiply the good impression he gets from the first page by the total number of pages in the statement).

The end-notes are generally a bad idea except, perhaps, for some tables (like evaluation averages, etc.) that would otherwise disrupt the normal flow of the text. Nobody really wants to look up all those small numerals after sentences and match them with the paragraphs on another page. If you have ever read a book in which the author inserts some words or phrases in a foreign language you don't know now and then and sends you to the alphabetical list of those in the end of the book every time, you know exactly how pleasant it is to read something structured in the way you proposed.

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