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Personal Statements!!!

Discussion in 'Thinking of teaching' started by princess644, Aug 25, 2005.

  1. Hi,

    I am trying (and failing) to write my personal statement for School Direct Primary.. I am so used to writing these kinds of things for jobs, I thought it would be reasonably ok, but I am struggling a lot! I have a total mind block and cant seem to get everything down how I want to, any advice or tips would be appreciated !!

  2. aqeelakhatoon

    aqeelakhatoon New commenter

    Hi all,
    I'm just in the process of applying for a primary PGCE and need some help and advice on personal statements. would anyone be able to send me theirs to get a gist of how to make it flow please?

    thanks x
  3. jaguarette

    jaguarette New commenter

    When I wrote mine, I started with a spider plan (my best work comes off scribbled notes like that!): I started with the headers: * current position, * qualifications, * Work history (I'm coming from a mixed career history), *why I want to teach, *experience with young people, *What I bring to teaching (knowledge skills, soft skills, history of being a TA, and * why I want to join the course and leave my current job.

    Then I went over it again and again, with all the ideas and details I could find. Any experiences and anecdotes I could think of, over a couple of days, I threw in. Then tidied it up, redrafted it, and had to cut out loads of stuff to allow for the number of words again!

    I hope this helps someone...
  4. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    If you do a Google search on how to write a personal statement, I am sure you will come up with models. Not to use word for word of course, but to show you how to structure it and the kind of things to put in it.
  5. Piscean1

    Piscean1 Senior commenter

    Make good use of the work experience section of the application - it saves you having to shoehorn stuff into a tiny amount of space in your personal statement. I broke mine up into:
    - Why teaching/why primary specifically
    - Brief bit about my qualifications (I did awfully in some due to sickness absence in sixth form and this had to be justified in my personal statement)
    - Bit about my degree and how it would help me as a teacher
    - Bit on skills and qualities

    I did refer to my employment experience but not in vast amounts of detail as I had put that information into the work experience sections.
    pepper5 likes this.
  6. Piscean1

    Piscean1 Senior commenter

    Oh, I forgot the key bit! Make it relevant to teaching! It's great that I spent half of my uni life slaving away in retail but only where I've related it to education. I was a supervisor so I said about being able to give criticism tactfully, being able to lead and motivate a team, etc. Show how your skills transfer.

    And if you've had life experiences which genuinely relate or inform your thoughts about education, share them. I had a fairly rubbish childhood and ultimately ended up in care. I haven't got the violin out but I have said, "It was a difficult time and my teachers did this, this and this to help me. I've seen first hand the impact that this can have on a child's ability to learn and worked to embed it into my own practice."
  7. charl0tte90

    charl0tte90 New commenter

    How have you found going from retail into teaching? Looking to do the same thing (slaved away for 10 years in retail and looking to take the plunge....)
  8. Piscean1

    Piscean1 Senior commenter

    I definitely prefer being in education. Spent four years as a TA and three years in retail then had another retail job whilst being a TA which I just walked out of in the end. I realised that actually, the additional money wasn't worth it, and that on Boxing Day, they needed me more than I needed them. So when the store manager decided he wanted to scream in my face because it had taken me more than 3 seconds to get to a till (I was dealing with a customer), I decided that it was time for my break and quietly went out to the car park. I de-iced my car, drove home and put my feet up.

    I actually feel like I'm doing something valuable in education, despite all its challenges, and I never had that in retail. Retail felt like groundhog day and frankly, the way some managers spoke to staff and directed me to speak to my staff shocked me. The constant being treated like absolute carp was horrendous. Education and teaching is not easy but it has definitely been the right thing for me.

    And... Christmas and Bank Holidays off!! Some work to be done over holidays obviously but it is nicer that you can do it with a glass of wine! I say this with 45 books to mark before I go to bed. I'm a current trainee so if you have any questions - PM me.

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