Question:I am applying for a teacher training course and one of the questions is "why do you want to do this course". I presume they are looking for more than "im intrested in teaching" and "i like working with kids". I have no background in teaching to put down and have already put down my background of working with kids to demonstrate the second point. Is there any other suggestions/ on what to write?
At the bottom I've pasted in the last few paragraphs of my personal statement that got me into a Master's of Teaching program in Virginia. The first 2 paragraphs were personal information about my career changing progression.
In what I write below I tried to show the reviewers that I have done some research into the field and admit I have a lot to learn. I was specific in some of those things I want to learn. I spoke specifically to how the program I was applying for would meet my needs. The last paragraph was a question they had about teaching style - so I had to work around that as I was unclear of my teaching philosophy (so I was honest). I then chose to put some humor at the end.
Admit your lack of knowledge, tell how the course objectives will fulfill your needs and help you reach your ultimate goals, then put some humor in there. Reviewers are either really reading bunches of these things and need a break - or they are not reading them so it won't matter.
I have questioned my choices, my motives, and my desires since beginning my graduate studies. Am I where I am supposed to be? Certainly this is a question that I will ask myself all my life. Right now I choose to challenge myself and explore whether or not teaching is my calling. After looking around Richmond for possible educational options I believe that the Mary Baldwin College MAT program fits perfectly with my needs.
I know that I have a lot to learn to become an effective teacher. I do have tutoring experience from college and facilitator skills gained after graduate school. I also have a personality lending to the patience and compassion needed by children. But I lack many essential skills. Looking at the "science" of teaching I have several questions. How do I write a lesson plan? What do children in the fourth grade need to learn? Teaching as an "art" raises more questions. How do I deal with two Einstein's, twenty achievers, and three special needs children at the same time? How do I get the kids to like me? And teaching certainly is not immune from politics and legal issues. How do I deal with parents? How do I teach effectively through the Standards of Learning? How involved should I get in the kids home lives?
I do not feel I have sufficient experience to determine the subject area I feel most comfortable to teach. My liberal arts background and strong interest in music and theater drives me to learn and teach almost anything. I do believe I will integrate and promote the arts as much as possible. I do not plan on turning out robots, but rather creative, independent thinkers that will be there to take the world from my hands after I win the lottery.
Tell them that it's your vocation to work with kids. If it was just a job then it would be an avocation which wouldn't get you the job. Teaching today is extremely difficult so they only want people who have an vocation and love kids. That should do it unless of course it's not true. Then you won't last long. The burn out is high even for teachers who love their jobs. Good luck.
Well, what has brought you to this place in your life to want to teach? That is basically what they are asking. Write an answer that is heartfelt, but not too sappy. Go with your original answers, but just elaborate on them. For example, "I am interested in teaching because I ___________." Fill in the blank. And write "I would like to take this course, because I have a passion for teaching children." Then explain that reason. Generics are fine, but you have to personalize them to your experience and reasons. Good luck and I hope you are able to take this course.
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