Teaching Personal Statement

Example Teaching Personal Statement

Having gained extensive experience of both classroom and extra-curricular contexts, I am passionate about a career in teaching. Combining a love of my subject with the challenge and reward of an educational and pastoral role, History teaching offers a unique match for my skill, experience and professional goals.

As Classroom Assistant and Senior Rowing Coach at The King’s School, Sydney, I used the leadership, teamwork and motivational skills that I developed through a successful career rowing for Great Britain. I first experienced the satisfaction of teaching when training crew members; balancing the need to encourage and to impart knowledge. Trying to achieve this balance within the classroom, my time at King’s School has allowed me to work across a range of situations and develop a positive, goal-centred approach.

Knowledge of our past is the key to shaping our future. Encountering History in the formative years, when our futures are so uncertain, can prove a timely resource. My interests lie in 20th century European, US, and Irish history, but my degree covered a wide range of topics. It also improved my critical thinking, research, data collection, logical argumentation and ICT skills. The goal is to gift my students with these skills so that they may follow their own interests.

During my time at King’s I observed multiple teaching techniques, and saw how interactive lessons inspired the pupils. Careful planning is the key to working in a range of sources, from historical objects and field trips to modern ICT. ICT resources I found particularly useful, both when I was asked to produce quality materials and within the class itself, such as when asked to devise a way for the students to follow the Gallipoli campaign using Google Earth. I also observed the importance of class discussion. The best teachers involved the whole class by asking questions of different people, changing their position, and leading by example, maintaining an even vocal tone. They also drew connections between subjects, topics and classes, both through formal tasks and informal discussion.

Discipline is key to leading discussion. As in coaching, I found a system of positive rewards effective, offering merit awards for improved performance or excellent work. As King’s is a boy’s school, I was advised the best approach was to be strict, quickly demonstrating the line for acceptable behaviour. Supplementing this with a week’s work experience at both a girl’s and a co-educational school in the UK, I gained experience of the National Curriculum and the unique challenges that each presents. Boy’s classes benefited from practical, interactive approaches while girl’s classes tended to have a better standard of behaviour. Interestingly, the boy’s behaviour was raised by the presence of girls in the classes I observed, suggesting the importance of mixing attitudes and abilities when possible. The success of this approach was borne out within a single sex context, when I noticed an improvement brought about by mixing abilities within classes, and when assisting the educational services support unit in integrating of students with learning difficulties into the mainstream.

The pastoral aspects of teaching not only appeal as they allow you to offer support, but also because it creates strong bonds that bear fruit in class. As a coach, I have witnessed the benefits of engaging with the students through extra-curricular activities and would be keen to be involved in the school’s broader life. My goal is to emulate inspiring teachers and coaches I have observed, or been taught by, that a may play a similar role in the lives of my students.

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