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PGCE tips

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by sjfowler, Sep 15, 2011.

  1. Hi folks my son is interested in applying for a place on a PGCE course after he has completed his degree in educational studies. Any hints and tips he should put in his personal statement please.
    Cheers Sharon

  2. Hi folks my son is interested in applying for a place on a PGCE course after he has completed his degree in educational studies. Any hints and tips he should put in his personal statement please.
    Cheers Sharon

  3. Couple of ideas

    - Maybe talk about the point where he realised that he wanted to become a teacher. E.g. Inspirational teacher and how that motivated him to do the same

    - Link his degree into teaching. E.g. I am sure there's a lot he could put down from his degree in educational studies and how that's paved a way for him to wanting or being a teacher. He may have possibly learnt skills that will aid his teaching career

    - Before he applies he may want to carry out some voluntary work with children. For example, become a learning mentor/teaching assistant. He can then use this in his personal statement and say something along the lines of not only do I have a desire and preliminary skills to become a teacher but I have also worked with children giving me the experience necessary... obviously the PGCE will be the ideal but any work that's done with kids is great

    - He could also try get some teaching observation done. If he writes to a school/college nearby I am sure that they will be happy to help. He could then talk about some of the things he observed. E.g. multi episodic lessons, student teacher relationships... he could then go onto say how this has influenced the type of teaching career he wants to have.

    - Talk about general skills that make him the ideal candidate:
    - creative
    - hardworking
    - patient
    etc etc

    - If he has a part time job - try link this. For example, all jobs are customer orientated.. this means that our communication skills have enhanced both verbally and orally. He could say something along like... the fact that your communication is to a higher level will mean that you will be able to put your ideas through to your students with more ease thus facilitating their learning... communication is also important with other teachers and parents.

    Just end by saying how your competent, enthusiastic about your subject... self motivated... It would be an honour to complete the PGCE @ wherever...

    :) hope this helps.. good luck

    Just to add!! This is the structure i followed and I have successfully secured a place to complete the pgce
  4. I would be wary of putting "It would be an honour to complete my PGCE at ........" as applications go through GTTR and will therefore be sent on to your second choice provider if you are unsucessful with your first, I don't think they would be very impressed if the wrong provider was on the statement!! Once the reference has been submitted you can't make any changes to your application.
    I would say don't be too descriptive, you don't go into the ins and outs of "During my placement I saw the teacher differentiating blah blah" it's very much about being reflective.
    You need a strong opening statement, you want to grab the reader! I've heard of unis passing over an application after reading the first paragraph as it hasn't held their interest.
    Get several people to read over it, preferably someone who has educational links (a headteacher etc) as they will know what makes a strong personal statement.
    Best of luck to your son.
  5. The million dollar question however is what makes a good headline grabber for your personal statement?
  6. sleepyhead

    sleepyhead New commenter

    One that you have written yourself. There is nothing worse than multiple applications which all include the same"headlines". It lacks imagination and effort - you have to write about YOUR ideas, not someones else's.
  7. This is the point I was trying to make, but not as succintly!!
    They want to see originality, reflections, and certainly not the standard stock phrases that everyone uses because they think that's what the reader wants to hear.
    Minal has been very helpful with all those pointers, but my own personal statement read nothing like that and I still got a place with my first choice provider (well it was my only choice provider so I'm glad I did get the place!!!).
  8. I wrote this on another thread so have copied it again here...

    I'd say avoid falling into the trap of just listing all your experience/acheivements/qualities etc, and instead focus on WHY each one would make you a good teacher. What have you learnt from your work with children/young people so far? So what if you were a Brownie leader? This tells them nothing. However, if you say how you think this relates to teaching, what challenges you had to overcome in the work, which bits you found most rewarding, what additional skills you learnt there that you would bring to a school, that is a different story.
    Providers love school experience, so even if you have only go a small amount of this, talk lots about about what you learnt there, did anything surprise you? What has changed since you were at school? Did you enjoy any particular element more than you were expecting? Did you observe any particulalry good (or bad) practice? They want to know you have a realistic insight into schools today.
    Also the PGCE year is very challenging, so acknowledging this in your statement, and talking about how you would handle this (eg, did you maintain a part-time job through your undergrad) would be good.
    If you have additional 'life expereince' such as having your own children, or having a career before entering the profession, use these too, but again, relate everything back to how it will make you a good teacher rather than just telling them facts and dates.
  9. barneystinson

    barneystinson New commenter

    Put some time into it and think about why he wants to become a teacher and what he feels he can offer to the profession.
    Those two main themes should fill up a personal statement if he is serious about doing it. If he can't think of enough then maybe it's not for him.
    They are looking for PGCE students who are passionate about becoming teachers as those who aren't usually end up failing.

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