Personal Statement – Second Draft
Once again, any comments gratefully recieved!
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.
There is a great need for young people to be inspired in Physics 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. Working in a situation without the range of resources that were available in my own education meant that I was able to express my creativity in producing teaching materials from sources that were readily available, such as tourist literature.
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.