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Guide to Teaching: Making your Personal Statement

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Guide to Teaching: Introduction to Teaching | How to get into Primary or Secondary Teaching | Choosing your route into teaching | How to apply to UCAS | Making your Personal Statement | Other parts of your UCAS Application | Funding | Help and more information


Making your Personal Statement

Teacher training is becoming an increasingly competitive application process - be sure to give your Personal Statement as much care and attention as possible to ensure you give yourself the best possible chance of getting through.

The statement is designed to show that teaching is a career that you truly want to do and not one that you have settled for:

It should show three main principles:

How to do it

Every word counts. You can enter up to 47 lines of text (including blank lines) with a maximum of 80 characters, including spaces, in each line. You have a maximum limit of 4,000 characters in total. This should roughly be about one side of A4. Be aware that the application will omit any words that go over these limits, and your application could look unfinished if you are not careful.

Make sure you use all the space you are allowed. To make this easy use Verdana 11 point font as this is the font used by UCAS. You can also copy your text into a plain-text program like Notepad, and then paste it from there into the personal statement box to strip away all invisible formatting characters which may eat up valuable space without you knowing.

There are no set rules for the structure of your statement as long as it covers the three main principles, however to help you we have made a suggested structure that you can tailor to suit you:

Introduction

This paragraph should sell you from the start and encourage the reader to find out more about you. Things to include here are:

KEY TIP
Some people like to include their thoughts on why teaching is important, what makes a good teacher and what is the place of teachers in society. This can demonstrate that you have given it some considered thought and have done your research. Be truthful in this section - they want to see your genuine enthusiasm for this profession and any dishonesty will be caught out later.


Subject/Age Group

KEY TIP
Ensure that you have done your research into current issues in these subject areas/age groups. Try and include these in any justification for why you want to work in that area. Using teaching terminology could also be useful here, e.g. refer to ‘key stages’ rather than ages. Also consider how your course content relates to the curriculum you are interested in teaching.


Relevant School Based Work Experience

It is vital that you have gained work experience through your first and second years of your course, and just as important that you write about it. Make sure that you are aware of how many days experience your course provider requires so you can tell them about as much as they need to hear about.

KEY TIP
This paragraph should reflect on your teaching experience as a whole, not simply what you enjoyed. You may also want to consider how the teachers you worked with used classroom layout, new technology and innovative teaching methods.


Additional Work Experience

KEY TIP
Even if your work experience is seemingly unrelated, it can sometimes enhance the skills that you can apply to a teaching role. This is about your ability to demonstrate that you know what teaching is about, you know what it takes and you can identify necessary skills and attributes in yourself.


What Else Can You Offer - What Are Your Influences?

KEY TIP
Include in this paragraph any other experiences, research or knowledge that you have had or done that have influenced your decision to be a teacher. This could be experiences in things like sports clubs or other activities and the skills that they have developed. Additional courses you have done, your educational experiences and how they have affected you are also good things to talk about.


Conclusion

Summarise your application and re-emphasise your commitment to teaching but also demonstrating:


Once you are done

When you feel that you are happy with your statement, ensure you read over it several times including reading it aloud. Find a friend or lecturer you trust to be honest with you and have a sharp eye for spelling and grammar errors you may have missed in your own read-throughs. Be sure it is as perfect as you can make it.

Remember that the University Careers & Employability service is here to support you. Visit us on the Ground Floor of the University Library, 9am - 4:30pm, Monday to Friday.


Guide to Teaching: Introduction to Teaching | How to get into Primary or Secondary Teaching | Choosing your route into teaching | How to apply to UCAS | Making your Personal Statement | Other parts of your UCAS Application | Funding | Help and more information

Research your options | Graduate Schemes | Guide to Teaching

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