All entries for Tuesday 13 September 2005

September 13, 2005

Penultimate Draft

As applications should be opening in the not too distant future, this will be the last chance I get to get some feedback on my statement. I've also got to make the decision as to whether I want to put Birmingham as a second choice. It'd be a pain travelling there, and I really want to go to Warwick or back to London (which would mean taking a year out cos I can't sell the house up here for a couple of years).
Oh well, the statement is as follows, thanks to everyone who's got it looking this good already!

I am a motivated individual who wishes to share a love of science with others. Through teaching I can achieve this whilst enjoying a range of interactions with different people. I am the type of person who enjoys varied rather than repetitive tasks, and teaching consequently holds real appeal for me. Working with teenagers can be a very challenging experience, but these difficulties can make the job far more interesting; there are never two lessons the same. I have always enjoyed acting and telling stories, and believe that these are skills which can be used productively throughout the education system, not just at primary level or in the arts, to inspire students. In teaching you are giving a performance, with the aim of creating the best learning experience for the students, from interesting presentation of material to tackling behavioural issues.
There is a great need for young people to be inspired by physics and to show that the difficulties associated with the subject, are worth overcoming for the insights it can bring. One of the big hurdles to overcome here is linking what may seem to be an abstract subject with the real world. In order to improve my skills and knowledge for this task I have taken a number of modules in my degree which concentrate on the communication of scientific ideas. In order to broaden my insight into how science interacts with other disciplines I have taken a module on the History of Medicine, and I hope to be taking a Philosophy of Science module.
In my gap year before coming to university I took two fantastic opportunities to broaden my experiences of education. I taught English in Nepal for four months, during which time I developed my classroom management skills. My classes contained up to 55 students, showing the importance of behaviour management in facilitating learning. I was fortunate to have some great students, who, despite not always being on their best behaviour, were a joy to teach. I discovered the importance (and tedium) of marking, and the difficulties of catering for mixed ability students. The limited range of resources that was available meant that I had to use my creativity in producing teaching materials from sources that were readily available, such as tourist literature.
In my time as a science technician I experienced more of the non-classroom aspects of teaching, particularly the amount of paperwork and administration required. I developed an awareness of the value of working with support staff, now even more important due to the workload agreement, and the importance of a supportive staffroom environment. In addition to preparing experiments and carrying out administrative duties, I accompanied school trips giving me an opportunity to lead small groups of students. I also taught a GCSE physics revision session in partnership with a member of the teaching staff, giving me a chance to experiment with some of the ICT facilities in the school.

September 2005

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