SupplyBag.co.uk aims to help supply teachers in all aspects of their work. Here, we look at your personal or supporting statement.
Writing a personal or supporting statement, after filling out a 10-page form already, and a covering letter, can seem very daunting.
However, a supporting statement is your chance to shine.
Think about what you believe in / what you think makes a good teacher?
Now write examples of how you have put that into practice, without telling them that’s what you’re doing.
Tell them what you’ve done, how you did it, and how successful you were. What are you most proud of in your career so far?
Along with a few of my teaching friends, I came up with something like this as an opening paragraph:
Through this statement I will show what I consider to be the primary requirements for the post of class teacher. I will discuss what I believe I can offer in terms of my personal strengths, based not only on my view but also the views of a number of teaching professionals.
(The last part enables quotes from tutors/inspectors/heads etc.)
To help ensure you are showcasing yourself appropriately, take a look now at my proofreading and critique service.
The following supporting statement is in general circulation amongst the inboxes of students and is more specifically for a secondary school position.
Dear <Head Teacher>,
I write with reference to the vacancy for Teacher of Geography advertised in TES on Friday 19th November 2004. I am keen to be part of the geography department at because I would like the opportunity to enthuse young people about geography. I want to be a team player in a school, such as , where pupil success in learning and achievement is celebrated for each and every pupil.
Geography has always been my favourite subject; it offers the chance to explore the processes that form the world around us. I believe teaching pupils to understand physical and human processes advocates an appreciation of environments, places and people. With this ethos in mind I purposely chose a 50:50 split of physical and human modules to build a rounded geographical knowledge for my degree. Studies undertaken for my degree include glaciation in the mountains of Majorca, urban studies in Paris and Palma and agricultural practices in West Wales. Using this knowledge to teach geography at School Name would allow me to encourage pupils to navigate ‘unchartered’ waters, making them aware of the world around them.
Whilst on teaching practice, at Teaching Practice School Name and Current School Name, I taught various strands of the Geography National Curriculum at Key Stages 3 and 4. In addition I was also involved in A-level teaching at Teaching Practice School 2/3 Name. My professional relationship with Current School Name has continued into the new school year, when I accepted the position of teacher of geography. This post is a temporary maternity cover, which ends on Friday 26th November 2004.
Developing ideas and strategies has also included an exploration of a variety of teaching and learning styles, including didactic, group and pair work, use of textbooks and open-ended research. An example of this is a research project I conducted with mixed ability year 7 groups. The research was based upon the BBC’s list of top 20 places in the world to visit. During one lesson in the series pupils were encouraged to use ICT as part of their research, this activity had to be differentiated to accommodate the differing needs and abilities of each pupil. One method I employed in this situation was to encourage ICT confident pupils to ‘buddy’ with less confident ICT pupils, this method worked very effectively. I am keen to continue to develop my repertoire of strategies and methods at School Name, to ensure I can offer all pupils the opportunity to enjoy their education.
Throughout my teaching I have taken the opportunity to develop my own teaching ideas and strategies, especially in line with the literacy and numeracy strands of the Key Stage Three Strategy. Literacy is especially important in geography because it is necessary for pupils to be able to understand specialist geographical terminology in order to fully appreciate the subject. With this premise in mind I incorporate literacy into my lessons through defining key terms and offering guidance on how to structure reports, essays and other work.
Assessing pupils’ work is essential in encouraging them to progress and build upon their knowledge. I employ a variety of assessment methods to encourage this progress, and hope to continue developing assessment methods at School Name to ensure pupils build a sound geographical knowledge. Hand in hand with assessment is continual monitoring of pupil progression in the classroom, which is vital to ensure a positive, independent pupil-centred environment for learning.
The teaching and learning styles encompassing fieldwork are a key area of pupil progression that I am eager to be involved in at School Name, in order to enrich the learning experiences of the pupils, and make them aware of essential geographical research methods. I appreciate the location of School Name lends itself very well to fieldwork because there are a multitude of opportunities in the surrounding area that can be used to facilitate ‘hands on’ learning.
I want to work at School Name where there are opportunities to develop the use of ICT in a variety of ways, including producing resources, lesson planning and conducting research with pupils. I have used Interactive Whiteboards for a variety of teaching and learning activities including Power Point presentations, drawing diagrams and displaying aims. ICT has a positive effect on pupils and their learning; they are confident at working independently, able to access relevant information quickly and easily and have access to the most up to date knowledge available.
I also took the opportunity to teach GCSE Leisure and Tourism based on my relevant experience in the hotel industry, which I joined when I left university. I am able to use this experience in many contexts within the classroom, and beyond, and feel my specialist knowledge would be beneficial to School Name pupils because I could bring a new perspective to the teaching of the geography curriculum, especially in areas such as tourism, industry and citizenship, which are constantly being redefined.
Being a form tutor is an essential aspect of School Name’s school life I am keen to be involved in, because it allows time to get to know pupils away from the geography lesson. Form time is an opportunity to discuss many topical issues, such as the importance of being an informed citizen and acting responsibly. Whilst training at Current School Name I shadowed two forms, year 10 and year 8, the latter was handed over to me as year 9 when I began my employment at the school.
Acting in a pastoral role has affirmed my belief that education needs to be holistic as well as academic, which is why it is important for me to be able to meet pupils away from the geography classroom where I can assist them in forming their own beliefs, morals and codes of conduct within the context of existing school policies. I aim to use these beliefs and morals within the classroom to create a safe, secure and caring environment for all pupils to work in.
Extra-curricular activities and fundraising events are a fundamental part of School Name’s school life I am eager to be involved in because they help to pull the wider community together and consolidate the values of a rounded education. Activities I have experience of and would be prepared to get involved with at School Name include Badminton, swimming, handicrafts, public speaking and debating. At Current School Name I have been involved with preparing participants in the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme for their bronze award residential expedition, and I have conducted after school sessions aimed at pupils who want to improve their coursework.
I would like to finish this letter of application with my most important assets which I feel are essential to teaching successfully; a good sense of humour and fun and the ability to be understanding.