Any spelling/punctuation police out there? I NEED YOU!

Discussion in 'Slimming World Off Topic' started by clairex, 23 December 2010 Social URL.

  1. clairex

    clairex Silver Member

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    Hi everyone - wondering if you would be able to give me a hand. I am writing my personal statement for a Primary Education degree, wondering if you could have a read (its not very long) and tell me what you think? Any spelling/punctuation errors, or anything you think sounds wrong. All criticism greatfully recieved! And of course, what you think in general of it. I know its very cheesy, I found it really hard to write about myself!!! There is a 47 line limit which I have used up.
    Thank you in advance. Hope you all have a lovely christmas and new year xxxxxxxxxxxxx



    The prospect of studying Primary Education is massively exciting to me. While preparing to write this personal statement I have found it immensely difficult to put into words how passionate I am, and how much I simply cannot imagine doing anything else. To be able to inspire children, to ensure that they look forward to coming into school, to find ways of teaching the curriculum that is both exciting and illuminating; are all things that I aspire to.
    I am a friendly, happy person who enjoys life. I work incredibly hard, and thrive when challenged. As I have taken some time out from academia; I am mature, and ready to commit fully to this degree. Working within a Doctors practice has helped me gain some invaluable skills. For example, I have learned how to be compassionate yet still maintain a professional manner. This was demonstrated when dealing with a family where substance abuse was an issue. I had to deal with the family, the Doctor and social services. I could not give any information to the family, maintain confidentiality whilst understanding the awful position the family was in. Also, I am in charge of the chronic disease registers within the practice, and this has taught me how to time manage my work, and remain organised.
    My first solid experience within a Primary school was 2004 where, through school, I expressed a passion to work with children. I gained a placement at a local Catholic Primary School, and enjoyed two weeks of working with all different ages. Here laid the foundations for my craving to want to teach. I had the opportunity to work one-on-one with pupils, as well as taking my own groups aside and aiding them in the work the class teacher had set. I learned here that I found it easy to create a rapport with the pupils, and that I had a natural flare for supporting the pupils in their work.
    Currently I have a placement in another local primary school, which I fit in around my job. I have learned so much. There are a few pupils who I work with frequently as they have attention disorders. It is difficult to keep them on task, but I enjoy the challenge of changing the way of looking at the work to suit them. For example, the children were asked to write a letter to the Prime Minister on how they would improve the world. I took a small group of 4 boys who find it difficult to concentrate. In order to keep them interested, we had a discussion between us about what they thought was wrong or unfair in the world. They came up with some outstanding answers such as starvation in the third world, hunting animals, and also people dropping litter. I wrote these on the board and drew pictures next to them to represent each point. We all then worked together to put each point into full sentences, ensuring each child helped to create the sentences. Their class teacher was delighted with what I managed to come up with, as these pupils were challenging, and one of my group was selected to put theirs on the wall, which elated the child. I am confident this placement has provided relevant, practical experience that will aid me in the course; helping to enhance my written work and further placements in other schools.
    My interests can also help me in this course. Reading is an important pass time for me, I enjoy both fiction and non-fiction. I hope to pass this love of reading on to pupils, and hope they feel inspired to read, too. I also enjoy computing. Being able to use a computer in an efficient manner is vital in modern society. I enjoy computing, and as technology becomes more and more prevalent; this is very important for future teachers. I also enjoy being social and spending time with my friends and family, various music genres, and travelling.
    Primary teaching is all I have ever wanted to do. The only way I can describe the feeling when I am teaching, is that it feels very 'right'. I would be an asset to this course, and am looking forward to working incredibly hard to achieve the best degree I can, in order to become the best teacher I can.
     
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  3. Pearly0505

    Pearly0505 Full Member

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    repetition - it isnt needed as you have already stated it only seconds before. just take that bit out. but from the quick read i did have the rest seems ok. im sure someone who has more time and knowledge will be able to help further =] but looks good so far :) good luck on getting in :)
     
  4. Jennyonaplate

    Jennyonaplate Gold Member

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    Hi - all looks good. Only comment is that reading is a past time, not a pass time!

    Good luck!
     
  5. Beegee

    Beegee The Big One

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    I don't feel totally qualified to comment on grammar and spelling etc, but just wanted to say that if you're not snapped up by the college it would be a travesty! What a lovely piece which conveys really well how much you want to teach. Your passion for it comes across very strongly. Wishing you lots of luck x
     
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  6. Petal1951

    Petal1951 Full Member

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    Actually it is a pastime not a past time
     
  7. -Laura-

    -Laura- Silver Member

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    I've just done this, clicked preview post and realised it looks like I've criticised everything!! I really haven't so please please please don't be disheartened when you look at it! I've used colour which I think is why it looks so drastic! There's a couple of grammatical bits, and bits that sound a bit 'chatty', so I've suggested some changes for them (but when I write things like this, I tend to be OTT formal - so maybe a happy medium?!). There's also a couple of examples you've given - I can see why you've given them but they take up quite a big chunk of text - particularly the example with the prime ministers letter - lots of description, but if you try and condense it even more (easier said than done, I know!) then you can pack even more evidence in about how great you'll be.

    Your passion really comes across, so above all make sure that keeps shining through. Personal statements can be really repetitive, so check through the start of sentences and try and avoid starting them with 'I' or 'My'. And, above all, stay positive - you are right for the course, they will be lucky to have you studying with them! Make sure there's no 'could's, 'can's or 'may's in there!

    Again, please don't be disheartened and think I've torn it to bits - I'm a bit of a loser in that I enjoy doing this kind of thing, and did it for friends who applied for PGCE, so I do go to town a bit! I've mostly just played with the arrangement of sentences to sound a bit more 'formal'. Feel free to ignore as much as you want!!

    Hope it helps a little, and I really wish you the best of luck!!

    The prospect of studying Primary Education is massively a bit colloquial? Maybe 'very' or 'hugely' might fit better? exciting to me. Whilst (I think) preparing to write this personal statement I have found it immensely difficult to put into words how passionate I am, and how much I simply cannot imagine doing anything else. I aspire to inspire children, to ensure that they look forward to coming into school, and to find ways of teaching the curriculum that are both exciting and illuminating.
    I am a friendly, happy person who enjoys life. I work incredibly hard, and thrive when challenged. I have taken some time out from academia and as such/and therefore am mature and ready to commit fully to this degree. Working within a Doctors' practice has helped me gain many invaluable skills. For example [don't think you need this - extra words for the sake of it!] I have learned how to be compassionate whilst maintaining a professional manner.This was demonstrated when dealing with a family where substance abuse was an issue. I had to deal with the family, the Doctor and social services. I could not give any information to the family, maintain confidentiality whilst understanding the awful position the family was in [I can see how this is relevant, but it seems quite lengthy?]. I am also in charge of the chronic disease registers within the practice, and this has taught me how to time manage my work, and remain organised.
    [STRIKE]My first solid experience within a Primary school was 2004 where, through school, I expressed a passion to work with children[/STRIKE] In 2004, I expressed a passion to work with children, and took a work placement within a local Catholic primary school working within every year group.. [STRIKE]I gained a placement at a local Catholic Primary School, and enjoyed two weeks of working with all different ages[/STRIKE]. This laid the foundations for my desire/passion to teach. I had the opportunity to work one-to-one with pupils, as well as taking my own groups aside and aiding them in the work the class teacher had set. I [STRIKE]learned here that I[/STRIKE] found it easy [don't know if I would want to say anything was 'easy'! 'Natural flare' in the next bit is really good, maybe you could rearrange the sentence somehow? to create a rapport with the pupils, and that I had a natural flare for supporting the pupils in their work. Maybe - I found a natural ability to create a rapport with pupils, and discovered how rewarding it is to support them in their work.
    Alongside my paid employment, I volunteer in another local primary school. Here, I work frequently with pupils with special educational needs, specifically attention [deficit?] disorders. It can be difficult to keep them on task, but I enjoy the challenge of changing the way of looking at the work to suit them. For example, the children were asked to write a letter to the Prime Minister on how they would improve the world. I took a small group of 4 boys who find it difficult to concentrate. In order to keep them interested, we had a discussion between us about what they thought was wrong or unfair in the world. They came up with some outstanding answers such as starvation in the third world, hunting animals, and also people dropping litter. I wrote these on the board and drew pictures next to them to represent each point. We all then worked together to put each point into full sentences, ensuring each child helped to create the sentences. Their class teacher was delighted with what I managed to come up with, as these pupils were challenging, and one of my group was selected to put theirs on the wall, which elated the child.[Again, can see how this is relevant and shows your passion, but it is a very lengthy description of just one incident. May be better to give more, shorter, yet still specific examples? [STRIKE]I am confident [/STRIKE]This placement has provided relevant, practical experience that will aid me in this course; helping to enhance my written work how? and further placements in other schools.
    [STRIKE]My interests will also help me in this course.[/STRIKE] Reading is an important pastime for me, I enjoy both fiction and non-fiction, and hope to pass this love of reading onto pupilsinspiring them to read[STRIKE],[/STRIKE] too. I also enjoy computing. The ability to use a computer in an efficient manner is vital in modern society, [STRIKE]I enjoy computing, and as technology becomes more and more prevalent; this is very important for future teachers.[/STRIKE]and I recognise the importance of ICT skills for future teachers, as technology becomes more and more prevalent within the classroom [STRIKE]I also enjoy being social and spending time with my friends and family, various music genres, and travelling. [/STRIKE] Being social, spending time with friends and family, listening to music - a bit generic and 'fillery'. Hobbies and interests is the worst part of applications, but personally I would steer clear of any of those unless you could demonstrate a real passion - for example, I enjoy listening to many genres of music and play in a band in my spare time. Whether they're true or not, they seem a bit 'I can't think of anything else so I'll put these down'! Could you big up the travelling a bit more perhaps?
    Primary teaching is all I have ever wanted to do. The only way I can describe the feeling when I am teaching, is that it feels very 'right'. I would be an asset to this course, and am looking forward to working incredibly hard to achieve the best degree I can, in order to become the best teacher I can.
     
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  8. -Laura-

    -Laura- Silver Member

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    Just had another quick thought - how long have you been volunteering in the school you're in at the moment? It might be worth dropping that in. Also, anything else at all that you've done between your first placement and now that could relate? Just thinking from their perspective, it may look as though you did a school placement in 2004, then forgot all about it until now - I'm certain that's not the case, but you can't rely on them reading between the lines!

    I'm so sorry if I seem like I'm being overly critical, I really don't mean to be - I know how impossible it is to say everything you want to say in that little space, so throwing more at you probably isn't helping, but I also know how difficult it can be to get on these courses, especially at the moment, and would hate to think that you've missed anything you might want to put in, just because you've tried to cram so much in and you've forgotten something you might feel is important!
     
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  9. clairex

    clairex Silver Member

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    Thank you all SO much! You're all brilliant :)

    By the way - how ridiculous that I didn't know it was pastime?! haha, idiot xxxxx
     
  10. Petal1951

    Petal1951 Full Member

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    Good luck in getting your degree.:fingerscrossed:
     
  11. RegField

    RegField Silver Member

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    First of all, may I say that the most important thing about your statement is that your enthusiasm and commitment comes shining through. I find it very impressive.

    I have one or two minor corrections. They may seem a bit pedantic and nit-picking, but then that's what I am!

    Good luck with your course.

    1. Working within a Doctors practice – missing apostrophe – it should be “Doctor’s practice” (or “Doctors’ practice” if there was more than one doctor).

    2. I had a natural flare for supporting the pupils – that should be flair, not flare.

    3. I took a small group of 4 boys who find it difficult to concentrate – should be “four boys who found it”. A small number looks better as a word, and you changed from the past to the present tense in that sentence.


    4. Reading is an important pass time for me, - the word is “pastime”.
     
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  12. clairex

    clairex Silver Member

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    just bumping this up incase anyone else can offer anything.

    Thanks for all the brilliant responses. I'm so grateful! x
     
  13. IreneH

    IreneH Gold Member

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    I am an ex primary teacher who did a PGCE and feel your statement shows enthusiasm and commitment. Think the others have already helped.

    Good luck.

    Irene xx
     
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  14. silly sausage

    silly sausage Peas on Earth

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    Just a quickie - You do not need a comma before the word "and".

    are all things that I aspire to - ending a sentence with a preposition :nono: Should be are all things to which I aspire

    Good luck!
     
  15. blissfulbabe

    blissfulbabe Full Member

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    Could you use the phrase 'differentiation' here? This is one of the key terms used in teacher training as is 'student centered learning', both of which you are demonstrating skills in with this experience.

    BTW - get used to to 'evidencing' both yours and your students' learning - I had never used this term until I went into education but use it all the time now!

    Good luck with your application
     
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