Examples of a Teaching Assistant's Personal Statement
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Examples of a Letter of Intent for a Teaching Job
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A teaching assistant position gives you the chance to work with kids, even if you don't have a teaching license. The application and hiring process varies, but it may include writing a personal statement covering your beliefs about education, discussing your teaching skills as well as other relevant information that highlights your qualifications. Taking time to craft a well-written statement can put you ahead of the competition, when applying for teaching assistant positions.
Your entire personal statement should be to the point. A large block of text may cause the hiring manager to skim or skip the section entirely. Personal statements typically start off with a simple description of your job title as a teaching assistant, how much experience you have in education, and the expertise you have or specific position you're seeking. This is your first impression and your chance to hook the hiring manager, so choose powerful words that make an impact.
"Energetic teaching assistant with two years of classroom experience in supporting elementary students with reading, writing, math and science activities."
Education and Teaching Experience
Describing your training and education in the field shows that you're qualified and knowledgeable about how to work with students. If you have experience in the classroom as a teaching assistant, highlight that work to show that you're ready to work with students. Other experience outside of the classroom can also fit into the personal statement, if it somehow relates to teaching or can translate to work as a teaching assistant.
"While completing my studies in elementary education, I gained knowledge on child development, teaching strategies and behavior management. I completed three practicum experiences in elementary classrooms, which gave me the opportunity to plan lessons, manage behaviors in the classroom and support student learning."
Strengths and Skills
The goal of your personal statement is to set you apart from other applicants. To do that, you want to highlight your special skills and strengths that relate to being a teaching assistant. Some people excel at connecting with students. Others have excellent communication skills with parents and colleagues. Some might know how to support kids who struggle with the learning activities.
"As a teaching assistant, I have a unique ability to see where students need support, enabling me to reteach the ideas in a way the students can understand. I also communicate well with lead teachers and with other teaching assistants, to support a team atmosphere."
Reasons for Wanting the Position
Your personal statement usually includes a section that explains why you want the position. It's your chance to emphasize why you're a good fit for the role and what you can offer the school.
"This position offers the challenging environment I enjoy, while allowing me to work with elementary students, which is the level in which I have the most experience. I welcome the opportunity to support the classroom teacher, while continuing to add to my experience."
- University of Kent Careers and Employability Service: PGCE Personal Statements
- Purdue Online Writing Lab: Writing the Personal Statement
- Fish4Jobs: Teaching Assistant Personal Statement
- Total Jobs: How to Write a Personal Statement
Shelley Frost holds a degree in education and has experience in educational management, insurance and software testing. She currently runs her own business and writes frequently on business and job topics for Chron and Intuit QuickBooks.
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The essential resource for supply teachers
Category archives: sample teacher supporting statement, sample personal / supporting statement.
SupplyBag.co.uk aims to help supply teachers in all aspects of their work. Here, we look at your personal or supporting statement.
Writing a personal or supporting statement, after filling out a 10-page form already, and a covering letter, can seem very daunting.
Other applicants may have very similar experiences and qualifications to yourself. In your statement you need to be persuasive.
However, a supporting statement is your chance to shine. Think about what you believe in / what you think makes a good teacher? Now write examples of how you have put that into practice, without telling them that’s what you’re doing. Tell them what you’ve done, how you did it, and how successful you were. What are you most proud of in your career so far?
Along with a few of my teaching friends, I came up with something like this as an opening paragraph:
Through this statement I will show what I consider to be the primary requirements for the post of class teacher. I will discuss what I believe I can offer in terms of my personal strengths, based not only on my view but also the views of a number of teaching professionals.
(The last part enables quotes from tutors/inspectors/heads etc.)
To help ensure you are showcasing yourself appropriately, take a look now at my proofreading and critique service . The following supporting statement is in general circulation amongst the inboxes of students and is more specifically for a secondary school position.
Dear <Head Teacher>,
I write with reference to the vacancy for Teacher of Geography advertised in TES on Friday 19th November 2004. I am keen to be part of the geography department at because I would like the opportunity to enthuse young people about geography. I want to be a team player in a school, such as , where pupil success in learning and achievement is celebrated for each and every pupil.
Geography has always been my favourite subject; it offers the chance to explore the processes that form the world around us. I believe teaching pupils to understand physical and human processes advocates an appreciation of environments, places and people. With this ethos in mind I purposely chose a 50:50 split of physical and human modules to build a rounded geographical knowledge for my degree. Studies undertaken for my degree include glaciation in the mountains of Majorca, urban studies in Paris and Palma and agricultural practices in West Wales. Using this knowledge to teach geography at School Name would allow me to encourage pupils to navigate ‘unchartered’ waters, making them aware of the world around them.
Whilst on teaching practice, at Teaching Practice School Name and Current School Name, I taught various strands of the Geography National Curriculum at Key Stages 3 and 4. In addition I was also involved in A-level teaching at Teaching Practice School 2/3 Name. My professional relationship with Current School Name has continued into the new school year, when I accepted the position of teacher of geography. This post is a temporary maternity cover, which ends on Friday 26th November 2004.
Developing ideas and strategies has also included an exploration of a variety of teaching and learning styles, including didactic, group and pair work, use of textbooks and open-ended research. An example of this is a research project I conducted with mixed ability year 7 groups. The research was based upon the BBC’s list of top 20 places in the world to visit. During one lesson in the series pupils were encouraged to use ICT as part of their research, this activity had to be differentiated to accommodate the differing needs and abilities of each pupil. One method I employed in this situation was to encourage ICT confident pupils to ‘buddy’ with less confident ICT pupils, this method worked very effectively. I am keen to continue to develop my repertoire of strategies and methods at School Name, to ensure I can offer all pupils the opportunity to enjoy their education.
Throughout my teaching I have taken the opportunity to develop my own teaching ideas and strategies, especially in line with the literacy and numeracy strands of the Key Stage Three Strategy. Literacy is especially important in geography because it is necessary for pupils to be able to understand specialist geographical terminology in order to fully appreciate the subject. With this premise in mind I incorporate literacy into my lessons through defining key terms and offering guidance on how to structure reports, essays and other work.
Assessing pupils’ work is essential in encouraging them to progress and build upon their knowledge. I employ a variety of assessment methods to encourage this progress, and hope to continue developing assessment methods at School Name to ensure pupils build a sound geographical knowledge. Hand in hand with assessment is continual monitoring of pupil progression in the classroom, which is vital to ensure a positive, independent pupil-centred environment for learning.
The teaching and learning styles encompassing fieldwork are a key area of pupil progression that I am eager to be involved in at School Name, in order to enrich the learning experiences of the pupils, and make them aware of essential geographical research methods. I appreciate the location of School Name lends itself very well to fieldwork because there are a multitude of opportunities in the surrounding area that can be used to facilitate ‘hands on’ learning.
I want to work at School Name where there are opportunities to develop the use of ICT in a variety of ways, including producing resources, lesson planning and conducting research with pupils. I have used Interactive Whiteboards for a variety of teaching and learning activities including Power Point presentations, drawing diagrams and displaying aims. ICT has a positive effect on pupils and their learning; they are confident at working independently, able to access relevant information quickly and easily and have access to the most up to date knowledge available.
I also took the opportunity to teach GCSE Leisure and Tourism based on my relevant experience in the hotel industry, which I joined when I left university. I am able to use this experience in many contexts within the classroom, and beyond, and feel my specialist knowledge would be beneficial to School Name pupils because I could bring a new perspective to the teaching of the geography curriculum, especially in areas such as tourism, industry and citizenship, which are constantly being redefined.
Being a form tutor is an essential aspect of School Name’s school life I am keen to be involved in, because it allows time to get to know pupils away from the geography lesson. Form time is an opportunity to discuss many topical issues, such as the importance of being an informed citizen and acting responsibly. Whilst training at Current School Name I shadowed two forms, year 10 and year 8, the latter was handed over to me as year 9 when I began my employment at the school.
Acting in a pastoral role has affirmed my belief that education needs to be holistic as well as academic, which is why it is important for me to be able to meet pupils away from the geography classroom where I can assist them in forming their own beliefs, morals and codes of conduct within the context of existing school policies. I aim to use these beliefs and morals within the classroom to create a safe, secure and caring environment for all pupils to work in.
Extra-curricular activities and fundraising events are a fundamental part of School Name’s school life I am eager to be involved in because they help to pull the wider community together and consolidate the values of a rounded education. Activities I have experience of and would be prepared to get involved with at School Name include Badminton, swimming, handicrafts, public speaking and debating. At Current School Name I have been involved with preparing participants in the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme for their bronze award residential expedition, and I have conducted after school sessions aimed at pupils who want to improve their coursework.
I would like to finish this letter of application with my most important assets which I feel are essential to teaching successfully; a good sense of humour and fun and the ability to be understanding.
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CV Writing Tips for…Supply Teachers
1. a great supply teaching cv….
- is not cramped onto two pages, use more if needed
- is in Word (not PDF) using an easily readable font with each section easy to follow
- has clear and relevant headings
- outlines your earlier education such as GCSE’s as well as more recent higher education
- identifies relevant referees from most recent school or college employers
- has impeccable grammar and has been spell checked
- includes details of your student placements if you are an NQT/recently qualified
- does include non-teaching roles (in less detail) to bridge any gaps or set the tone of your experience
More Tips to perfect your Supply CV…
1. intro section.
Include your full name at the top of your CV in the centre using larger text in bold. You do not need to write curriculum vitae or CV as all Head Teachers will know that this is your CV! Make sure you include your full address, contact telephone numbers and current email address. Make sure your email address you use for job searching is appropriate! I have seen many email addresses with inappropriate works and phrases included so make sure it reflects you as a professional teacher. You do not need to include your date of birth or your marital status as they are not relevant and it is a little old fashioned to do this in a modern CV. It is a great idea to include the link to your Linked In profile and Twitter profile if you have one.
2. Personal Statement
This is your “sales pitch” and allows the reader to see in one place a concise and condensed narrative of your experience and aspirations to date. You should be writing about why you became a teacher, what types of schools and students you have worked with over your career and what type of environments suit your teaching style. Describe your Teaching Style in detail, don’t be afraid to give examples as to how you have added value to your last/current school and where possible give facts and figures about pass rates and results. Include a sentence or two about the supply work you have done and mention the names of local schools in this section to grab the attention of the Head Teacher. Write about what type of position you are now looking for. Do you want supply only or are you also looking for a permanent post? Do you want full or part time and in what area? Most people forget that a CV should also showcase your aspirations as well as your achievements. Don’t be afraid to show off! If you are unsure of what to include, as a Teacher you work closely with in your department what they think if your teaching style. Get them to describe your strengths and use them for the basis of your profile.
3. Teaching Qualification
Whether you studied for a Cert Ed, a PGCE or worked though the schools direct program, make sure that you make it clear at the top of the qualification section how you became a qualified Teacher – don’t make it difficult for the reader. Include the dates and the name of the place you qualified. You can also outline any safeguarding training you have recently completed in this section.
4. Other Qualifications
Include ALL qualifications from GCSE’s or equivalent onwards such as Diplomas, A2 and AS Levels and Degree. You should always state where and when the studies took place and put down what grade you achieved.
5. Career Summary
It is a great idea in a Supply Teaching CV to summarise in bullet points or short sentences, your teaching experience with the most recent at the top. You can give dates, school names and job title and a short sentence or two about the position. This gives the reader a clear view of how experienced you are, which subjects you have covered and where you have worked. Later in the CV you can then go into more details about each place you worked. This is particularly important for Supply Teachers as this section can fill a whole page if you have worked on supply for a large part of your career.
6. Work History
In this section you can go into further detail about your permanent or long term work history and describe the schools you have worked for in a little more detail such as; “a mixed comprehensive with 600 kids on roll in inner city location.”Explain in more detail the type of teaching you carried out such as; “Teaching French to Key Stage 3, 4 and 5 for first 3 years on post then moving into a purely A Level Teaching role for the remaining 12 months. Assisted with 4 French Year 8 residential to Paris and was second in department from 2nd year in post.” This allows the reader to gain a better understanding of your fit within the department and will allow them to see more about your skills and experience.
7. Non-Teaching Employment
There is most definitely a place in your CV for this work experience as it helps to bridge the gaps between any dates in your teaching career.
8. Continuing Professional Development
Headteachers are keen to see how you have invested time and effort into your own development as a professional Supply Teacher, so make sure you include any relevant CPD and Safeguarding courses you have attended in your CV.
9. Hobbies and Interests
This is an important section for a Supply Teaching CV as this can often highlight your interests that are relevant to the classroom and potentially their school. For example, an interest in Historical buildings, playing a musical instrument or singing in the local choir shows your real passion for subjects you may teach. If you play for a local football team or speak any languages or have an interest in cookery make sure you write it down.
Referees should always be your most recent school/college and should include the employer name and address and the school contact’s name and email address and telephone number. If you are currently studying towards your PGCE or Teaching degree or have just qualified, then it is a good idea to put down the details of one of your placement schools as a referee as well as your course tutor.
11. One last thing
Ask someone to check your CV for you. Spelling and accuracy of dates are the two main mistakes candidates make, so make sure you do a final check before you submit your CV.
For more information about how to write a Supply Teaching CV contact Lyndsey directly at System People Education at [email protected]
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Teaching personal statement examples
Find out what you'll need to include in your teaching personal statement to impress training providers and gain a place on a teaching course
What is a teaching personal statement?
Your personal statement is used to explain why you want to become a teacher and your suitability for the role. While your application form briefly outlines your qualifications, skills and work experience, your teaching personal statement is where your personality shines through.
Take your time with it; be prepared to receive constructive feedback and write a few drafts before you send it off.
It's important to:
- use examples based on your recent teaching experience
- tailor your personal statement according to the school/age group
- use good, clear, written English, using first person terms such as 'my' and 'I'
- be original and honest
- avoid clichés and general statements, such as 'I've always wanted to teach'
- demonstrate a passion for teaching.
While it's crucial to get it right, your teaching personal statement is only a small part of the application process. Find out how else you'll need to prepare to get a teaching job .
How to write a personal statement for teaching
The personal statement is split into two sections totalling 1,000 words and is an important part of your application. It's crucial that you don't copy and that the statement you provide is your own work .
Section one is around 600 words and is where you explain why you want to teach and what qualities you have that would make you a great teacher. Show that you know about the challenges and rewards of teaching, discuss any lessons you’ve observed and what you would do differently and explain why you want to teach a particular subject or age group.
Talk about any experience you have outside of the classroom and any thoughts you have on the education system and welfare of children.
For the second section you can write up to 400 words. If you want to do primary teacher training you’ll need to explain why you've chosen this age group and if you want to do secondary teacher training you'll use this section to show your subject knowledge. You could talk about your degree subject and the modules within it, any relevant skills or interests you have and your understanding of the national curriculum.
See personal statements for postgraduate applications for more guidance.
The nature of your personal statement will vary, depending on the type of teaching you'd like to pursue. Take a look at some of our example personal statements to get an idea of how they differ.
Personal statement for PGCE primary
As well as focusing on roles in which you've gained experience with primary-age children, a PGCE primary personal statement should demonstrate your well-rounded personality and any skills that could be useful for the range of extra-curricular activities primary schools provide (such as the ability to read music for recorder lessons, or drama experience to help with school plays).
Personal statement for PGCE secondary
Many good PGCE secondary personal statements acknowledge the challenges involved in teaching older pupils and provide examples of where the candidate has worked to overcome these problems. As secondary teaching roles are geared towards teaching a specific subject, training providers are looking for more evidence of your subject and degree knowledge.
Personal statement for School Direct
If you're applying for the salaried School Direct route, you should discuss the experience you've gained in the classroom prior to your application. One of your references will need to be from an employer, or someone who can comment on your work ethic and suitability for teaching. Don't worry if your degree is unrelated to the subject you'd like to teach - you may still be able to apply by completing a subject knowledge enhancement (SKE) course .
Find out more
- Discover how to structure a teaching CV .
- Find out what it's really like to be a primary or secondary school teacher .
- Search postgraduate courses in teaching .
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How to write a great personal statement for a teaching job
Discover our top tips on what to include in your personal statement for a teaching job and how to present your skills, knowledge, experience and attributes.
Your personal statement is the heart of your application for work as an early career teacher and should be tailored for each role. For teaching applications this is sometimes also called a letter of application, but it is essentially the same thing. This is your opportunity to provide evidence of how you match the needs of the specific teaching job you are applying for, and earn yourself an invitation to the next stage, which is likely to be a selection day held at the school.
Writing tips for personal statements
See our example personal statement for primary school teaching and personal statement for secondary school teaching for further guidance. For more general advice, see our example how to write your personal statement for teacher training
When completing a personal statement for a teaching job, you should usually observe the following guidelines:
- Use the person specification for the vacancy as a structure for your statement or consider using the government's Teachers' Standards if no person specification is provided.
- Do not exceed two sides of A4, unless otherwise instructed.
- Tailor your statement for each new application according to the nature of the school or LA and the advertised role.
- Always read any guidance provided – many schools and LAs will tell you how they want this section set out.
- Emphasise your individual strengths in relation to the role.
- For a pool application, make sure you give a good overview of your skills and experience.
- It is essential that you give specific examples of what you have done to back up your claims.
When schools advertise graduate teaching jobs , they write a job description which states the essential attributes they are looking for. This is their marking criteria for the job. So when they read your statement, they will usually score this based on their essential and desirable criteria. Therefore, you need to read their documents carefully to find the criteria and provide an example or evidence of each point. If the job advert does not include any documents which include their criteria, then you can use the following structure for your statement and use the Teachers’ Standards as a guide for the criteria they may be looking for.
What you should cover in your personal statement
Why you are applying for the role:
- Refer to any knowledge you have of the LA or the school, including any visits to the school and what you learnt from them.
- Mention any special circumstances (for example, your religious faith) which you think are relevant.
Details about your course:
- Give an overview of your training course - including the age range and subjects covered - and any special features.
- If you are a PGCE student, mention your first degree, your dissertation (if appropriate), any classroom-based research projects and relevant modules studied. Also mention if you have studied any masters modules.
Your teaching experience:
- What year groups you have taught.
- What subjects you have covered.
- Your use and understanding of formative and summative assessment practices.
Your classroom management strategies:
- Give examples of how you planned and delivered lessons and evaluated learning outcomes, including differentiation.
- Explain how you have managed classrooms and behaviour.
- Detail your experience of working with assistants or parents in your class.
Your visions and beliefs about primary/secondary education:
- What are your beliefs about learning and your visions for the future? You could touch on areas such as learning and teaching styles and strategies.
- Reflect on key policies relevant to the age range you want to teach.
Other related experience:
- This can include information about any previous work experience.
- Include training activities you have carried out and ways in which your subject knowledge has been developed.
Other related skills and interests:
- Give details of any particular competencies, experiences or leisure interests. This will help the school to know more about you as a person and could ‘add value’ in a school environment.
- Any involvement in working with children (running clubs, youth work and summer camps) is particularly useful to include.
Aim to end on a positive note. A conclusion which displays your enthusiasm in relation to the specific application and teaching in general will enhance your application - but avoid general statements and clichés.
Written by Vinny Potter, St Mary’s University, August 2022
© In partnership with AGCAS
This content has been written or sourced by AGCAS, the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services, and edited by targetjobs as part of a content partnership. AGCAS provides impartial information and guidance resources for higher education student career development and graduate employment professionals.
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Teach.com / Online Education / Education Degrees / Online Master of Arts in Teaching Programs (MAT) / Applying for Your Master’s / How to Write a Personal Statement
Before you start outlining your statement, ask yourself a few questions to get an idea of what you’ll need to include. Jot down each of the following questions and leave some space to answer them.
- Why do I want to be a teacher?
- How should I address my academic record?
- How can my experiences enhance my application?
- Who is my audience?
Now take a few minutes and come up with some answers to these questions. Don’t spend too much time on this step; just write down your general thoughts. Once you do that, you will be ready to dive in and start writing your personal statement.
Your introduction needs to grab the reader’s attention at once. Remember that they are most likely staring at a pile of applications, and yours will be one of many they’ll read in this sitting. You need to be memorable right from the start. Follow this general form for a solid intro.
- HOOK: Grab the admissions officer’s attention with a broad, but strong statement about the teaching profession.
- LINE: Write two to three sentences that develop that idea and narrow it down to focus on you.
- SINKER: Deliver your thesis. This is where you state specifically why you want to study education at their school.
Begin with a short summary of your educational background. Do not turn this into a resume; just briefly give an overview of your studies in both your major (English, math, etc.) and in your education concentration. If you have any inconsistencies in your academic record, this is where you should address them. Do not give excuses, but if there are reasons why you did poorly in an area, state them here.
The second body paragraph is where you get to tell your story. Why do you want to become a teacher? What inspires you about this profession? What type of teacher do you see yourself becoming? How did your student teaching experience inspire you to continue on this path? Anecdotes are best, but don’t get carried away. Keep it concise and to the point.
Once you have explained who you are and what your professional goals will be, the third body paragraph should explain why you think you are a good fit for that particular school. Hopefully you did some research before applying, and you have some concrete reasons for choosing this college. Tell them your reasons, but don’t go overboard with platitudes. They know what awards they have won and where they rank in the U.S. News college rankings. Be honest and explain what attracted you to their program of study and what you hope to get out of it.
In order to ensure the clarity of your work, each body paragraph should be formatted the same. This way the reader will be able to quickly read without losing track of the point. After the first body paragraph, begin each subsequent paragraph with a transition phrase or sentence, and then provide a clear topic sentence. Support that topic sentence with solid evidence. Finally, provide examples to back up that evidence.
Conclusions are hard, and they are hard for a reason. Ideally, you have made your case in the body of your personal statement, so you understandably ask yourself, “What else can I say?” Try one of these strategies:
- Widen the focus a bit and validate your thesis without being redundant.
- Project where you see yourself in 10 years after completing your degree and becoming a successful teacher.
- Reaffirm your passion for your subject area.
However you decide to close, do not fall back to your middle school days and simply restate your case in the conclusion. Take some time to craft a closing that will leave them with an overall positive impression.
The Nuts and Bolts of Academic Writing
It is certainly worth noting a few of the technical aspects of writing your personal statement. Many programs will have specific items they want you to cover in your statement. Be sure you have carefully read and then answered their questions. Use a basic font like Times New Roman or Calibri and either a 10- or 12-point font. Always use 1-inch margins and single space your document. The general suggested length is 500 to 1,000 words. Don’t feel like you have to hit the word limit, but don’t only get halfway there either.
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How to write a teacher personal statement
What experience do you have, are you engaged in teaching theory and research, are you up to date on safeguarding statutory guidance, what are your skills and qualities, how can you contribute to wider school life.
Your personal statement is your first opportunity to show the school you’re a great fit for the job, and gets you closer to being shortlisted for an interview. The more you show how your skills and interests match the school’s ethos and values, the better. We’ve spoken to a range of teachers to get their top tips for success.
Schools want to hear about your trainee experience with different subjects, key stages, types of school, and working with a range of pupils.
Think about your approach to teaching, how you keep pupils engaged, and how you communicate with different kinds of people (children, staff, parents and carers). Ensure you provide evidence for how you have improved student engagement and built positive relationships with pupils.
Schools will be interested in your approach to behaviour management, so think about your go-to strategies.
Think about any research that has affected your teaching practice. Explain what has worked well and if it didn’t, what you learnt.
You need to demonstrate your awareness of the importance of safeguarding and the requirements of Keeping Children Safe in Education . Include any examples of how you worked with a Designated Safeguarding Lead.
Are you a well-organised, confident, and motivated teacher? Say it, and provide examples! Schools are looking for great communicators, team players and relationship builders. Make sure you say how you create a positive learning environment, and consider skills like time management, organisation, and flexibility. Schools will also want to know how you overcome challenges.
Set yourself apart by showing how your hobbies and achievements could contribute to the wider school community. Could you run an after school club or organise school trips?
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Substitute Teacher Resume—Examples and 25+ Writing Tips
I had an interview yesterday and the first thing they said on the phone was: “Wow! I love your resume.” Patrick I love the variety of templates. Good job guys, keep up the good work! Dylan My previous resume was really weak and I used to spend hours adjusting it in Word. Now, I can introduce any changes within minutes. Absolutely wonderful! George
Substitute Teacher Resume Sample You Can Copy and Use
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Your NQT Personal Statement – 13 Tips to Make it Stand Out
When you’re applying for your first NQT teaching job it can be quite challenging. You might feel like you’re all alone, with no one to help and advise you. We don’t want you to struggle and perhaps lose the opportunity to get that teaching position you have set your eyes on. Therefore, we’ve created this post just for you.
Once you’re ready to start looking for a teaching position, one of the first things you will need to prepare is your application. There are usually three main components to an effective application, and these elements are:
- The application form
- A supporting statement or letter of application
- An executive summary to show how you comply with the criteria, and that you are the person the school is looking for.
In this article we will be focusing on your NQT Personal Statement.
Your NQT personal statement is likely to be the first impression that you will make with this new school or NQT pool and an ideal opportunity to show your unique qualities that make you the best person for the position on offer.
Therefore, you will want this opportunity to promote yourself to the school in the best way possible. So it’s important that your writing is coherent, focused and clearly explains your reasoning behind wanting to be a teacher. In addition, a strong NQT personal statement will set you apart from other candidates in the competitive marketplace.
Just like a resume and cover letter for a regular job, your personal statement should be rewritten for every position you apply for.
Never use the same NQT personal statement for multiple applications. Generic personal statements are super easy for employers to spot. And after all, you want to shine, right? Plus, you don’t want to copy someone else’s statement. Your employer might screen all personal statements using a similarity detection service like Copycatch. This could really hurt your application right out of the gate. And quite possibly end up in the bin.
Remember, your personal statement is your chance to show your personality and enthusiasm, relevant to the school and prove you understand what they are looking for.
Your personal statement also shows your communication skills. That’s why you want to grab their attention, just like you want to with your students at the start of every lesson.
What is the NQT personal statement?
The NQT personal statement is an important document which schools use to understand why you want to become a teacher and whether you are suitable to teach at their school.
Of course, your application form will lay out all your qualifications, your skills, your strengths and weaknesses and also any relevant work experience. But your NQT personal statement is where you allow your unique personality to shine.
It is important to put your heart into writing your statement. And be prepared to write multiple drafts.
How do you write an effective NQT personal statement?
Your application and your NQT statement are going to be the first steps in securing the position you are looking for. Therefore, you obviously want to make a great first impression. Be ready to go through multiple drafts. Take your time, and get feedback from friends and family members.
I’m sure you have a ton of questions, such as:
- How do I write a killer, successful NQT statement?
- Where do I start?
- What should I include in my NQT statement?
These are all important questions. And I’m sure you have many more. So, let’s dive in and show you how to write an NQT statement which will stand out and give you the best chance of getting hired in your chosen teaching position.
Are you ready to write your killer NQT personal statement?
Great. Here are some important tips to help you.
1. The first rule when writing a successful NQT statement is to know your audience.
Before you start, it’s a great idea to step back for a minute and put yourself in your hiring manager’s shoes.
Think about what's important to them. What are they passionate about? What are they looking for? How can you improve their life?
When you think about what your hiring manager is looking for, you’ll have a much better chance of writing a concise and effective personal statement.
It’s a good idea to write a list of 10 things you think will be important to them.
However, the most critical step at this stage is to do your research and find out exactly what is required for this specific application. Different schools or LEA’s will have different requirements for the personal statement and should have guidelines somewhere in their application advert or portal.
Clearly your first task is to make sure that the personal statement you prepare is tailored to the requirements that have been set out for that job.
2. What is your objective?
- What is the purpose of your personal statement?
- Why should they hire you?
- What action are you trying to get the reader to take?
You need to be clear on this before you start writing your personal statement. If the answer isn't clear to you, it certainly won't be clear to your potential employer.
3. Why do you want to be a teacher?
Seems a simple question on the surface. But this is a great opportunity to show you’ve thought through this question. You could mention a past teacher who inspired you. Or the challenges and rewards of teaching. You could also talk about any lessons you have observed or taught previously which impacted you. You could also discuss particular teaching styles and your interests in using technology in the classroom.
Key tip: Think about creating a story for this question. Remember, the hiring manager is first and foremost a human being. Many new teachers make the mistake of forgetting this vital point. You are equal to them in this respect. Use emotional language to touch your reader. Help them imagine themselves in the situation you are describing. Help them feel what it was like in the situation that drove your desire in becoming a teacher. This is a major key in rousing your reader’s emotions.
4. Make sure you start your personal statement strongly.
Just like a great book or movie, your opening sentence should stand out. Make it memorable, without being overly dramatic. Effective personal statements often start with what inspired you to enter teaching in the first place.
- Did a high school teacher inspire you?
- Was it your own experience of learning?
- Was it a good or bad teacher you had previously?
This is a great opportunity to show some passion. Like point no.3 above, use some emotional language.
5. Why do you want to teach a particular age group?
Be ready to explain why a certain age group appeals to you. Mention specific examples of your experience with this age group.
For example, anyone who has taught kindergarten knows how much energy the students have. Lessons are always full on. And as cute as the kids are, if your lessons are not jam-packed with active, high-energy games, you’re going to lose them.
Similarly, elementary students are at a stage where they are slowly beginning to think for themselves and many of them think they already know it all. At this age role-playing is effective, as the students like to see themselves as tiny adults.
If your chosen age group is teenagers, you’ll be aware that this age group has its own challenges. Being a teenager has never been an easy task, and with so many changes going on in their lives and their bodies, their confidence is up and down.
So, when you answer this question, you’ll need to show that you can relate to what is going on in your chosen group’s world. Show you are able to look back to when you were their age, relate to the age group and show how you keep your lessons relevant and exciting.
6. What experience do you have?
Relevant teaching experience is always going to help you when applying for any position. But it is also important to reflect on how that experience has helped you develop as a teacher. If you haven’t had much classroom time:
- Do you have any experience in voluntary teaching?
- Have you coached a sports team or been involved with a summer camp?
Obviously, as a new teacher, you can’t recite years of experience. Help your hiring manager imagine you in action. For example, you could describe a particular lesson which was either a success or failure. Think about retelling a memorable or challenging experience with a student, or a description of what your classroom looks and sounds like on a typical day. This will be much more valuable to enable them to envision your teaching experience than to cite pedagogical terms or talk vaguely about your teaching experience.
Always use specific examples of how your experiences have developed your teaching skills.
7. You should highlight your achievements, strengths and skills
Explain what you can bring to the school. Show how you differ from the other candidates. You could mention past experience and achievements, your unique talents, as well as your professional goals. You could also add specific classroom strategies you have developed and how they helped your students.
Many applications will make it clear that they want you to cover your specific qualifications, skills and understanding of elements of the National Curriculum, your classroom and educational skills plu your short and long term goals for making a difference to the education of your pupils.
The exact requirements should be set out in the application guidelines which should also tell you what you need to focus on.
8. How long should your NQT personal statement be?
This is not an essay. It’s simply a summary of you, your skills and your experience, and how they relate to the position you are applying for. Therefore, you should be specific and keep your personal statement short and informative.
This will help you keep your personal statement under a widely recommended 500-word limit. The school will not be impressed by minor childhood achievements, so keep your statement pertinent and focused.
That said, again, check the specific requirements in each case. Some applications will welcome a longer NQT personal statement, as is the case with Lambeth where we are happy to read up to three pages of A4, but no more.
If there is no guidance then the 500 word range is a very solid guide.
9. Make every word count
It’s a good idea to take a leaf out of a professional copywriter’s book here. Don’t waffle. Make every word count. Use powerful words where possible, without being overly dramatic. Avoid weak words like may, maybe, hope, wish, try, and perhaps. Instead, use words like will and can to help your personal statement command attention.
10. Take your time
Edit and then re-edit your personal statement. Besides being difficult to read, misspelled words and grammatical errors will destroy your credibility. Once you think you’ve written a great personal statement, it’s a good idea to leave it for a day or two. Then come back and see if you can improve it.
11. Read your statement out loud
This next tip is super-effective, and one many people fail to do. Read your statement out loud. If you do this, you’ll spot areas that don’t flow properly. And if you stumble when reading your statement out loud, you can be sure your potential employer will have the same trouble.
Key tip: Why don’t you record yourself as you read out your statement? This is simple to do with your phone. Then play it back and see if you can spot areas you can improve.
12. Let friends and relatives read your personal statement
Make sure whoever you ask to read your personal statement knows you want them to be critical. The whole purpose of this exercise is to improve your statement, not to make you happy that they love it. Choose your feedback team carefully.
13. Finish strongly
The way you finish your personal statement should reinforce your enthusiasm for your career in teaching. Acknowledge that hard work is necessary, but also make your excitement stand out.
Your personal statement for PGCE primary
You should explain the experience you’ve gained with primary-age children.
The PGCE primary personal statements usually demonstrate your personality and the various skills you have which would benefit primary schools such as being artistic, your musical talents or your sporting prowess.
All these types of skills would be very useful during primary schools’ extracurricular activities.
Your personal statement for PGCE secondary
In this type of personal statement, you will want to make it clear you understand the challenges of teaching older students.
You could mention specific examples of situations and challenges you have faced teaching this age of students, and how you overcame them.
You’ll also want to document how your degree ties in with the position you are applying for.
Final thoughts on your NQT Personal Statement
So, that is the nuts and bolts of what your NQT personal statement should include. The basic foundation for an effective personal statement is that it’s all about the pupils. What the school wants for the pupils, what you can provide for the pupils.
You should always write your personal statement, and indeed your whole application from the angle of what will benefit the pupils, not what’s best for you. The school is not interested at this stage in what’s good for you, it’s more interested in what’s good for its pupils, and if you can provide that.
Now you know the structure of a strong NQT personal statement, we hope you will be in a perfect position to write an effective statement to get that dream job you’ve had your eyes on.
There’s more on the specific requirements of what Lambeth are looking for in the NQT personal statement for the Lambeth NQT pool on pages 10 and 11 of the NQT Information Pack which you can download here .
Remember that, as we said at the start of this article, each job you apply for should come with clear requirements for the application and hopefully some guidance. In the case of Lambeth we have a requirement for your NQT personal statement to clearly cover how your skills, knowledge and experience meet the requirements of being an NQT, and we outline a set structure that helps you do that.
Download our NQT Information Pack now to learn more.
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