BA for Primary Education (QTS) Personal Statement
Submitted by Lauren
The role of a teacher demands a hardworking, assiduous and empathetic character. Teachers must be able to handle long work days, vast workloads and a diverse range of social issues that may arise during their career. However, having the ability to enable a child to further make sense of the world around them gives me such a profound sense of pride that I would be more than willing to withstand the challenges that come with being a teacher.
I had the pleasure of completing two weeks of work experience at my old primary school, St Christopher's, whereby I shadowed a past teacher of mine. He gave me the opportunity to present one of the English lessons independently, where I was required to manage classroom behaviour and lead focus group work to ensure the material was understood. Through this experience I learnt how to correctly support students of all abilities, as well as the necessity of patience and a constructive approach to the criticism of work. This I find will be integral to assisting me on my chosen course as I will already have prior knowledge and experience of the role. I loved that no two days were ever the same, as this constantly kept me on my toes. On a personal level, despite the many obstacles that undoubtedly materialise, overseeing the educational, social and emotional development of a child is an incomparable feeling. The importance of assisting a child to become a morally upstanding member of society is paramount to me.
During my time at sixth form, I dedicated my spare hours to the maths and English departments and had the opportunity to assist lower school lessons. This was an invaluable experience as it opened my eyes to the reality of challenging classroom behaviour. I observed how the teachers responded to such behaviour and maintained classroom control. I also offered a free tutoring service during free periods in order to get some hands on experience in delivering material to a student and helping them to understand it. I discovered over time that teaching extends further than merely delivering a session, it focuses on the broader subject of developing young minds.
Outside of the classroom, I played an active role in my school community. I had the pleasure of being executive head girl for two years, an achievement of which I am immensely proud. I helped to cast and direct school plays, organise charity events and promote the values of the school. In addition, I volunteered at acorns charity shop for a year as I had a few spare evenings a week and I am always eager to give back to my local community.
Combined with my direct experience of the role itself, I also had the pleasure of working part time as an Activities assistant at Sunrise Senior Living. This role was not only immensely personally gratifying, but allowed me to utilise my interpersonal, communicative and leadership skills. I was entrusted to take on management roles, whereby I would lead classes such as art, poetry and exercise. Much like teaching, however, the role did not come without its challenges. There was a considerable amount of paperwork and meetings that went unseen. I also worked with people with challenging behaviour as a result of dementia. It should therefore follow that a great deal of safeguarding was in place to maintain the dignity and protection of these vulnerable individuals.
I believe that a teacher must be flexible above all. We do not learn in exactly the same way and in order to enable each child to reach their full potential a teacher must be able to look at the same scenario in a variety of ways. Throughout my various experiences of teaching, I have learned that a keen desire to be reflective is essential. If I fail to learn from past mistakes as well as successes I cannot create or amend my material to comply with the child's needs. Teaching to me is the foundation that which produces an open-minded, intellectual and moral society. We should never stop questioning and challenging the world around us.