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Education Personal Statement

Sample Education Personal Statement

My ambition to become a teacher of Religious Education has its origins in my deep Christian convictions, the enjoyment I gained from studying Theology as an A-level subject and, above all, a firm belief in the human value of the subject. The A-level course inspired me to take on a role as a Sunday School teacher, offering Bible study classes for young people, and it soon became clear to me that the study of religious belief is one of the great educational forces which lead to understanding of the world and particularly of the differing and often contrasting opinions of people from diverse cultures. This can be a great force for good, since understanding what is unfamiliar is the best way to learn to respect and value it. Religious Education can work to destroy prejudice and ignorance and thus help to prevent or heal divisions in society, as well as addressing many of the really momentous questions which confront us. Religious beliefs and practices influence the way people act and think and determine their systems of value, and therefore have a key role in politics and social organisation throughout the human world. Although we in the west may feel that we live in a secular world, it is clear from events everywhere that religious conviction remains a very powerful force, often, unfortunately, leading to division and hostility. The answer to all such problems is, I believe, education.

At the same time, the secular environment most western people live in means that the Religious Education teacher is unlikely to have an easy job. I have done some research in preparation for my planned PGCE course and I always try to keep abreast of new developments in my field by following stories in the media. I recently read an article by Patricia Malone about the use of resources in teaching RE, in which she argued that teachers are too often bound by the traditional textbook approach and that other methods might well be more effective in introducing young people to the subject. She has also written some interesting things about the language used in teaching RE. She argues that the RE teacher stands with a foot in two camps, the traditional world of the church with its associated “church language” and the often quite different world of the student, and that an appropriate language for communicating with pupils whose religious awareness and habits might be far removed from the teacher’s needs to be found. The material of the lesson could hardly be more important, involving as it does, philosophy, ethics and a sense of the spiritual in our lives, and clear communication of ideas is crucial.

I have completed a degree in Psychology and have recently been employed as a support worker for people with learning disabilities, which requires me to support them and assist them with day-to-day activities and teach them how to live an independent life. In the course of my work I have trained to give first aid and have learnt about affective disorders, anxiety and depression. I have also been trained in the support of those in the autistic spectrum, and in the safeguarding of vulnerable adults and those in danger of self-harm and suicide. Such work has only reaffirmed for me the value of a religious understanding of the lives of our fellow men and of the human duty of care.

Outside my work commitments and religious activities I am keen to keep fit and I go to a gym and enjoy swimming. I am hard-working, dedicated and reliable, and I have a creative approach to everything I do. I communicate well with others, enjoy working in a team, but have the confidence in my own judgement to be equally happy operating on my own. My own deep curiosity about why things happen in the world has always informed my own religious beliefs and I am keen to share my awareness with the young. My commitment to my subject is total and I believe I have the necessary qualities to become a very successful teacher.

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