I know how it is to feel daunted by the procedure of choosing the right course, looking at different universities, and beginning the terrifying application process. For me, the most difficult point was starting as I was bombarded with information, which made me feel almost scared to start making decisions about my future.
Although I had known from a very young age that I wanted to be a Primary School Teacher, it is natural for doubts to creep into your mind, as they did for me. I doubted my ability to obtain the entry requirements, let alone passing the skills tests, but you really must believe in yourself – especially when writing your personal statement.
The thought of submitting a tiny passage of writing to summarise myself and why I wanted to be a Primary School Teacher seemed like an impossible task – partly because I’m all too good at “waffling” – but it was through drafting my personal statement that I learnt how to be concise!
There is no limit to how many times you can draft a personal statement, and I feel that the more drafts you produce and the more people you have to look at it and give their opinion, the better.
I was fortunate enough to know someone at my college who had links to the University of Worcester, and as I had already considered this university as my first choice, I was given specific guidance on the type of personal statement for a teacher training course the University of Worcester are looking for.
My advice for writing a personal statement would be to divide it into sections: you as an individual, the subjects you study, your experience, and a summary.
With teacher training personal statements, reflection should be a consistent theme. Teachers are constantly reflecting on and evaluating their practice, and these are crucial skills that you should try to demonstrate in your personal statements.
For example, those responsible for offering interviews and places at Universities do not want you to describe who you are, what you study, and the experience you have – they want you to reflect on it and link it to your ambition to be a teacher.
One crucial tip would be to not rush your personal statement, good writing takes time and it’s important to leave it and come back to it with fresh eyes and new ideas.
The universities you apply to want to feel your personality come through in your passage of writing, and they are usually good at sensing whether what you have written is false – and will often pick you up on it during the interview!
My final tip would be to avoid comparing your personal statement to someone else’s. Universities have seen thousands of personal statements and they are looking for something new and refreshing.
You only have a short amount of lines and characters to fill, so make sure you do not waste them – you have one chance to prove to your chosen universities that they should offer you an interview, make every word count!
I also regularly blog for educational publisher Critical Publishing. See their website www.criticalpublishing.com for further details!