What is the purpose of the "teaching statement" or "statement of teaching philosophy" when applying for jobs, specifically math postdocs? I am applying for jobs, and I need to write one of these shortly.
Let us assume for the sake of argument that I have a teaching philosophy; I am not asking you to tell me what my teaching philosophy should be. I would like to know how those responsible for hiring view teaching statements, especially in the case of new PhD's who don't necessarily have extensive teaching experience.
(I believe this is appropriate for mathoverflow because it is of interest to "a person whose primary occupation is doing mathematics", as I am.)