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Personal Statement

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by NCC-1701-D, Oct 9, 2017.

  1. NCC-1701-D

    NCC-1701-D New commenter

    Are there any experts I can PM on here to give me some advice on improving my personal statement for an overseas post.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. nicole_westwood1

    nicole_westwood1 New commenter

  3. drvs

    drvs Star commenter

  4. 576

    576 Established commenter

    The best course of action is probably to have someone you know look at it. They can then point out where you're selling yourself short. A stranger can't.
  5. Mrs_CS

    Mrs_CS New commenter

    Hi All,

    What should a personal statement of an experienced teacher look like? I have only ever written one personal statement and that was whilst doing my teacher training 10 years ago. Never have I needed it again for UK job applications until now where statements and "bios" seem to be a common requirement for international job posts. What needs to be on there?
  6. taiyah

    taiyah Occasional commenter

    Apologies but if a teacher can't figure this out...

    Personal.... Statement... For a teaching role.
  7. amysdad

    amysdad Established commenter

    taiyah, this is practically unheard of in UK job applications for any job, let alone teaching - it's a very "American" thing, generally seen in the UK as blowing your own trumpet (which is not a compliment) so not surprising that British teachers might not know what they are.

    I know that of the ones I've read, they come across to me as being generally quite grating and full of teaching jargon, so I'd question the point of them (unless it was being used as a BS detector....)
    TeacherMan2019 likes this.
  8. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Lead commenter

    Taiyah has a point. Not least, the P.S. is, well, personal. It. is your opportunity to convey to the reader your burning enthusiasm (if any) for your subject and your clear understanding of its importance in a balanced international curriculum for the 21st Century. I can write a stormer for an elderly, eccentric English teacher (me) but wouldn't know where to start on one for a Geographer or a dedicated hispanophile such as Dumbers. (Come to think of it, I'm not even sure he's ever mentioned what subject he teaches.)

    You need to include something about what used to be called your 'educational philosophy'. (But nobody uses them big words no more, innit?). Do not repeat material that appears elsewhere in your CV though you may refer briefly to it. I always look for an indication of the applicant's attitude to student discipline (but for God's sake don't use that word or you'll be toast before you've properly got into your stride).

    Brainstorm and write down anything that comes into your head and then rewrite it in no more than 300 words ruthlessly excluding anything you've decided is irrelevant.

    Be careful with spelling and grammar. Learn the difference, for instance, between 'whilst' and 'while', as in:

    'Whilst I'm actually a confirmed sadist where children are concerned, I learned, while working in the secure unit, to pretend to love them out of their naughtiness.'
  9. 576

    576 Established commenter

    I would disagree.
    I recall doing my first personal statement on the UCAS form and they are usual in the UK, though may be called, letter of application or some other name but there is usually an opportunity to blow your own trumpet. How else will the school know that you are the best applicant.
    Mainwaring likes this.
  10. taiyah

    taiyah Occasional commenter

    Highly disagree.... The academies and schools in the borough I was lucky enough to spend 4 years in all asked for a 'Personal Statement' in conjunction with their application letter. I also know this applies to the Southern Hemisphere for those applying for (long-term) temporary or permanent positions.

    First one in the bin are those who didn't submit one no matter what or where their qualifications were from. It's all about giving a school and your prospective teams a gage whether you fit in the school ethos and the department.
    576 likes this.
  11. Mrs_CS

    Mrs_CS New commenter

    Hi taiyah,

    No need to apologise but I don't know if you are questioning my intelligence because of my query? If you are then please don't. I have worked as a teacher in the UK for nearly 10 years and can safely say that a personal statement is not commonly required for an experienced teacher and neither is a CV for that matter. Normally a job application form has to be filled in along with a cover letter. I respect that you have had a different 4 year experience but because of that please don't undermine my experience.

    Thank you for your points in mainwaring - obviously my query wasn't about what MY personal statement should include. I have already included my educational philosophy but wasn't sure what else I should or should not include. Especially as the personal statement is for an agency so cannot be linked to a particular set of school values or job requirements.

    Thanks amysdad - in the UK a covering letter and a personal statement are 2 totally different things and a personal statement is not common at all.
  12. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Lead commenter

    'Obviously my query wasn't about what MY personal statement should include.'

    Not obvious at all. As your query relates to the writing of a personal statement the obvious conclusion is that your focus is the writing of YOUR personal statement, hence my use of the pronoun 'your' in my reply. If you find this inappropriate you could always substitute 'one' for 'your'. Having re-read the thread it doesn't seem to me that anyone is questioning your intelligence or undervaluing your UK experience, though a PS for a post abroad clearly needs to consider the international dimension (the key term in my previous post). Finally, if you really want people to help you, try not to sound touchy.
  13. Mrs_CS

    Mrs_CS New commenter

    "What should a personal statement of an experienced teacher look like?" I'd say that's pretty obvious. I was just looking for types of things to include. Not for somebody to tell me my own experiences.

    Also I appreciate people trying to help me - please see above that I have thanked you for it. I have extensively tried to research this query on the internet before putting it on here. I nearly didn't ask for the help because I was worried about unhelpful comments.

    As for being touchy - not at all. However if I am being misunderstood, I always like to clarify.

    Thank you again.
  14. taiyah

    taiyah Occasional commenter

    To the OP.. FYI, the four (4) years referred to 2008 - 2012. I should have made that very clear.

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