I became interested in teaching after realising how much I had benefited from excellent and passionate teachers. They exuded a real sense of enthusiasm for learning which inspires me to pass on that passion.
My love for RE and sociology developed during my A-levels after discovering an aptitude for writing, analysis and researching. This drove me to study more, going on to gain a 2:1 in RE and sociology from the University of England. Studying at university developed my passion for social sciences and taught me a range of academic skills which I believe are fundamentally important to teach young people. This is demonstrated in my dissertation, which was awarded a first, looking at RE teaching in secondary schools, opening my eyes to how RE and sociology give students a greater understanding of society and its place in our diverse and changing world.
While volunteering as a teaching assistant I saw the skills needed to be a great teacher one of which is leadership. My own leadership skills have developed over the years, from attending a youth club to gradually going on to lead small groups in activities. This has given me the confidence to volunteer as a teaching assistant in a mainstream school during my degree. By my final year I was able to take responsibility for running activities in the classroom, balancing the needs of each child and managing behaviour issues. In working with potentially more vulnerable students such as SEN learners I saw the role played by support staff in maintaining control of the classroom, particularly with those who can be disruptive when under stimulated. I learned the importance of differentiating lesson plans to educate and engage students with special needs and the power of strategies such as a well thought out seating plan and friendly competitiveness in learners. I saw students develop within the classroom as a result of my determined support and these good working relationships are beginning to result in higher grades. I have liaised well across a number of departments to communicate information about students in an organised and diplomatic way.
To support my professional development, alongside my studies, I undertook work placements in two other schools. Volunteering in Key Stages 1 and 2 confirmed my desire to teach Key Stages 3 and 4. I began to develop stronger skills in communication, leadership, behaviour management and knowledge of the national curriculum. Doing a second placement in my final year while balancing deadlines and dissertation research developed my time management and organisation skills. I was exposed to a range of pedagogical models and teaching methods which is something I look forward to learning more about on a PGCE.
I enjoy reading and learning about contemporary ethics and society, considering how I can use this to benefit the students I teach. While in schools I have seen the challenges and rewards present in a school environment. Teachers need to be resilient particularly when working with students who find school difficult, do not want to engage and do not want to accept support. However I look forward to working in the education system and believe I could help and inspire students to develop their future aspirations.
A PGCE is a Postgraduate Certificate in Education that may or may not require Master's credits. It can be offered in England, Wales or Northern Ireland. The program is a course that spans one year and enables the holder to train to be a teacher.
PGCE Personal Statements
Applications for the PGCE can be made between September and June in order to begin coursework in September. Most applicants should file their application with the Graduate Teaching Training Registry.
One part of the application process involves creating a personal statement. The personal statement is fairly brief, covering no more than 47 lines. The personal statement should include:
- Reasons for wanting to teach
- Significance of previous experience
- Relevance of previous education
- Work experience with the group with whom the applicant would like to teach
Some examples of statements that could be part of your PGCE personal statement include:
- I have really enjoyed working with primary level students through my experience as a teaching assistant.
- My undergraduate work in English has helped me to build the skills necessary to effectively teach writing to youth.
- I have a passion for education and believe it to be the foundation of any civilized society. As such, I want to be a part of transforming the lives of youth to prepare them for university and careers.
- My experience as a psychology major has helped me to understand child development and has caused me to want to be a part of helping young children to build foundational skills for learning.
- As a dance student for many years, my love of physical education and my natural aptitude for it make me a highly qualified candidate to teach physical education to primary level children.
- My coursework in the field of literature and extensive knowledge of the topic uniquely qualify me to teach primary level English courses.
- I am motivated and passionate about being a part of the educational system in order to affect positive change in society.
- My experience as a daycare provider has built the experience with youth that has prepared me to be an effective teacher of primary level students.
- As a youth group coordinator of teenage children, I have the experience to effectively teach and reach this population in the classroom.
- I have had the opportunity to build my interpersonal and communication skills in a variety of jobs which makes me a candidate who will be effective in working with other faculty, communicating with parents, and being a highly effective teacher.
- In my previous work and education experience, I have formed the time management skills that are crucial to success in the classroom as an educator.
- My successful completion of my science and math coursework in my undergraduate level education has helped me to build the problem solving skills that are imperative for success in the classroom.
- My undergraduate mathematical work has prepared me for teaching secondary math.
- My own artwork and art coursework exemplifies my creativity and success in art, and reflects my potential for success as a teacher of art at the primary level.
Hopefully these examples will help inspire you to prepare your own personal statement for your application.