If you’re applying for postgraduate teacher training starting in 2018 you probably already know that you can search UCAS from Tuesday 24th October and apply from Thursday 26 October 2017. Hopefully you’ve given your personal statement a lot of thought. We’re already starting to see statements in drop-in so we know some of you have written yours already!
If you’ve not yet put pen to paper or you’re finding detailing your experience and desire to teach in 4000 characters (47 lines) a little daunting – fear not! Here are our top tips for writing a teaching personal statement.
Why do you want to teach?
Think about why you have chosen the age group and subject specialism you’re applying to. Detail the school-based work experience you’ve had and what you have learned about yourself, about successful teaching methods and about others as a result of this experience. The reader wants to see your passion for teaching, an enthusiasm for your subject and an understanding of the challenges involved in teaching.
“The main thing I look for in a statement is a passion for teaching. Not just a comment that says an applicant has it but that it permeates the personal statement.
I look for recent, relevant experience with children of the age they wish to teach, and some of this must be in a school setting. I then look to see if the applicant has used this experience to reflect on what they have observed/ heard and what they have learnt from it and possibly how they might apply it in their future work. This is where a passion for teaching can shine through. A want to be constantly reflecting, learning and improving so as to better support their pupils/students with their learning.” Madeline Haines, ITT recruiter
Detail your broader experiences.
If you’ve worked with children or young people in any other roles talk about this too. It’s all relevant. Perhaps you’ve volunteered, tutored or mentored – detail what you did and why you feel it’s relevant.
Think about all the job roles or positions of responsibility you’ve held – is there anything you can add to your personal statement from these roles?
Think about your skills.
What are you good at and why will this help you to be a good teacher? Are you organised? creative? inspiring?
When detailing your skills try to give examples to back up your claims. Perhaps you’ve had feedback on your communication skills from a teacher you’ve worked with or your regular tutoring offers you the opportunity to be creative in planning and tailoring lessons.
What can you add?
Is there anything extra-curricular you can offer? If you’re into coding, drama, running, rugby or play a musical instrument this could be your unique selling point. Anything you do outside of university that could inspire others or where you could add value to a school will definitely be of interest.
Get it checked!
Use the grammar and spell checker in Word to check over what you’ve written and ask someone you know to read through it for you. You’d be surprised what another pair of eyes can spot. Don’t stand out for the wrong reason!
Here at Hope we offer drop-in Careers Express Mon, Tues & Thurs 10.30am – 12.30pm where you can get your personal statement checked.
We’re also running extra Teacher Training drop-ins during apply week on Wednesday 25th October 11am – 1pm in the Eden Building and on Thursday 26th October 3pm-5pm in the Employability Hub.
Looking for more top tips?
If you haven’t already viewed all the useful advice on UCAS take a look at their information on How to write a UCAS Teacher Training personal statement here.
There’s also some great advice on the Get into Teaching website.
Good luck! Anna