September 07, 2005

Personal Statement – First Draft

Okay, this is the first draft of my personal statement for my PGCE application. Any suggestions gratefully recieved (yes that includes from Grammer Nazi Dan)
EDIT: GRRRR Why is the default commenting permission on world viewable entries staff/student only? Sorry Dan, ahave been thru past entries so u can comment now, let me know if you find any more

Personal Statement
I have wanted to teach for as long as I can remember as it has always struck me as a very rewarding profession. The main appeal of the job to me is its varied nature; there are few other professions that give such a range of different interactions with people. 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. Another aspect of teaching that appeals greatly to me is the performance of giving a lesson to achieve the best learning experience for the students, from interesting presentation of material to tackling behavioural issues.
There are a number of particular challenges for a physics teacher as the popularity of the subject decreases. There is a great need for young people to be inspired in the subject and to show that the perceived difficulties associated with the subject, such as the mathematical difficulty, are worth coming to grips with for the insights they 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. I have taken a module on the History of Medicine to examine one aspect of how science can affect society, and this year I hope to be taking a Philosophy of Science module and a module on Education and Learning.
In my gap year before coming to university I was given two fantastic experiences of education. From teaching English in Nepal, I was able to develop my classroom management skills, with classes containing up to 55 students the importance of behaviour management in facilitating learning was very evident. I discovered the importance (and tedium) of marking, and the difficulties of catering to mixed ability classes.
In my time as a science technician I was able to experience more of the non-classroom aspects of teaching, particularly the amount of paperwork and administration required. I was also made more aware of the value of working with support staff, even more the case with the implementation of the workload agreement, and the importance of a supportive staffroom environment. In addition to preparing experiments and carrying out administrative duties, I was able to accompany 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.


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  1. I've seen loads of these over the past few days. To stand out I'd say you need more on why you're suitable and less on why teaching is such a brilliant profession. Almost every application will have words to the effect of 'I find teaching a very rewarding profession and it is something I've always aspired to do' and it can get very boring no matter how you phrase it. Make it more personal.

    07 Sep 2005, 14:34

  2. Default was changed in one of the recent blog builder updates. I presume to try and curb the rising tide of spam. I thought I had a grammer correction but looking at it again I was probably wrong.

    Ill look over it again this evening not feeling terribly inspired at the moment.

    07 Sep 2005, 14:56

  3. Hmm….I'd change the first sentence. Sounds like the sort of thing you'd expect EVERY PGCE student to say.

    07 Sep 2005, 15:05

  4. Thanks for the suggestions. Edited first paragraph is as follows (and removing first sentence from second paragraph):
    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 not the type of person who would be happy in an office job, and the varied nature of teaching subsequently holds real appeal to 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. Another aspect of teaching that appeals greatly to me is the performance of giving a lesson to achieve the best learning experience for the students, from interesting presentation of material to tackling behavioural issues. I have always enjoyed performing 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.

    07 Sep 2005, 15:29

  5. I think its good, I would put more focus on your experiences with teaching, maybe a bit more detail on Nepal?

    07 Sep 2005, 17:07

  6. Some of the more "technical" details will go in the work experience section of the form – things llike ages i taught etc. to try and save spave here. Will try and think of some other bits to add. I'm not good at lengthening things – can be a bit too to the point sometimes!

    07 Sep 2005, 18:01

  7. Second Draft now fully uploaded!

    08 Sep 2005, 09:34


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