Teacher Personal Statement: The Good, the Bad and the Evil

Teaching is one of the most rewarding, if challenging, careers available today. No matter whether you’re teaching kindergartners to read or you’re instructing postgraduate students in chemical engineering, you’ll find plenty of sources of wonder on a daily basis. Make sure you get to grips with the best way to write your teacher personal statement or PhD personal statements and you’ll set yourself off on a path to a highly enjoyable career that offers rewards far beyond the mere financial kind. As the famous student, Malala Yousafzai, said, “One book, one pen, one child and one teacher can change the world.” This is no exaggeration: you could just ask the former teachers of any successful CEO today and see where they started.

Teaching as a Job

You’ll no doubt already have some awareness of what teaching involves if you’re interested in pursuing this noble path. However, it’s worth bearing in mind some of the actual facts of the matter before you take the plunge. Most teachers end up working evening hours aside from the typical class hours you’d expect. Of course, they need extra time to prepare lessons and grade homework and other assignments. This additional time is offset by a rather generous vacation period in the summer.

To train as a teacher, admission requirements include a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. Preferably, this should be in the subject you intend to teach. After all, there’s little point in trying to teach senior year pupils a topic you don’t actually understand at any higher a level than they perhaps do. You can expect to earn a median average salary of around $57,000 per year, although this varies depending on the state in which you’re employed as well as the type of institution for which you work. Naturally, private schools are likely to offer a higher salary.

As for your likelihood of employment, the teaching profession is expected to grow at about the same rate as most jobs in the United States, that is to say 6% over the next decade. This is why your personal statement for teacher training programs must be top notch.

Malala Yousafzai teaching quote

How to Write Personal Statement for a Teacher Position

There are many ways to write a successful personal statement for a teacher and your method will be unique to you. However, there are all kinds of dos and don’ts involved, some of which you might be entirely unaware of. Smooth your path to working in higher education and impress the admissions committee by following the tips for writing personal statement for teaching laid out below.

Do the Following Things

You’ll quickly find that tips for writing personal statement for teaching follow a set pattern: a list of what to do and a subsequent list of what not to do. This is a perfectly reasonable approach and we’ll do the very same here so that you can easily learn how to write a good personal statement for teacher training.

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The bullet points below outline what you should include in your personal statement for teacher training purposes.

  • The most important thing is to demonstrate that you’d make a good teacher and the way to do this is to explain your philosophy towards it. A highly involved approach is best as was extolled by Benjamin Franklin when he said: “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”
  • Formatting is a key consideration as well, despite the fact that content is the true king. As such, stick to a maximum of two sides of paper when writing. Otherwise, you might find your application thrown aside before you’ve even been given a proper chance.
  • Write a unique statement for each individual application. The last thing you want to do is write a generic essay that shows no effort to speak directly about what attracts you to a particular teacher training program. If there are any points made as part of an advertisement for the program, keep them in mind as you write.
  • Show that your experiences have allowed you to learn and progress in your outlook and approach towards teaching. If you have good examples of this, you absolutely must use them. As long as they are genuinely reliable to teaching, try to fit them in.
  • Use specific knowledge about your chosen program to your advantage. If you’ve visited and worked in schools in the local area as part of your work experience opportunities when at college, this will work in your favor if you made a good impression while you were there.
  • Teaching is unfortunately not only about the distribution of knowledge. You’ll find yourself trying to manage a class of perhaps upwards of 30 active children or adolescents, some of whom might be a little less enthusiastic about learning and behaving well than others. Show that you’re aware of this and that you have strategies to deal with this at your disposal.
  • Extracurricular activities could be highly relevant in a school environment. If you’re proficient at anything that could be included as part of after-school activities, it’s worth mentioning it. Any work with summer camps and the like would probably be appreciated by most schools and teacher training programs.
  • Remain positive at all times. If you’re forced to mention a negative point, turn it into a positive by showing what you’ve learned from the experience and how it’s shaped you into a better candidate. This is particularly relevant if you’ve got a low GPA.

teaching stats infographics

Absolutely Do Not Try the Following

Learning how to write a good personal statement for teacher training is also about knowing what to avoid. Now it’s time to consider the bad and the ugly practices that’ll get your statement thrown straight into the trash can.

fun teacher home workAlthough you might think that you are composing on a topic that essentially boils down to why I want to be a teacher personal statement writing is not like this at all in actual fact. Rather than writing an essay with a focus on why I want to be a teacher personal statement success is achieved only when you write something about why I would make a great teacher. This task starts right from the get-go. There’s no meandering around the topic, instead you have to get straight to the point with a fantastic opening paragraph. So that you know what not to do, here are 5 cliché opening statements that’ll make you cringe. Copy these into your statement at your peril!

  • “From a young age I have always been interested in…” The main issue with this is that it’s overused and is found in a huge number of personal statements. Even if you genuinely have been interested in teaching since you first taught your kid brother to tie his shoelaces, the admissions tutors have heard it all before and are simply bored of hearing it.
  • “Teaching is a very challenging and demanding career…” That may well be the case, but you’re supposed to be showing some enthusiasm and a burning desire to make a difference in the world of teaching. Starting off with a cynical, albeit truthful, statement like this is a sure way to fail.
  • Academically, I’ve always been very determined…” This is one of those phrases that means nothing at all. It’s a stock phrase that doesn’t mean much at all. After all, the least you should be expected to be is determined to succeed. It’s not something that you should have to state explicitly so avoid doing so.
  • “I have always wanted to pursue a career in teaching…” This is poor practice for one simple reason: you are supposed to show and not tell your audience that you’re a great candidate. Use evidence relating to your experiences and skills to demonstrate your suitability. Don’t just state the obvious as it really says nothing at all.
  • “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” This is a valiant attempt at using a metaphor but, frankly, it falls flat on its face. It has been used far too many times and it won’t look original at all if you have the misfortune of your admissions tutor having read this somewhere before.

If you hope to train to become a high school teacher personal statement writing is something you’re going to have to master. It’s not something that comes easily to everyone and selling yourself almost as if you’re a product on the shelf at the store is a task unfamiliar to most people. Consider the tips above as you write your statement and make sure you avoid all the worst mistakes out there.

In order to demonstrate your aptitude for being a teacher personal statement writing is a number one priority. Learn by example and stand out from the crowd.