A key part of the application process for a Teaching Assistant job is personal statement. A personal statement is a document that tells the panel who are doing the shortlisting about your motivations for wanting to become a Teaching Assistant. This guide will teach you how to write an effective personal statement for a Teaching Assistant job in a mainstream or special school. We will discuss the different components of a personal statement, provide tips for writing a persuasive essay, and give you a sample personal statement for a teaching assistantship in a special school. By following this guide, you will be prepared to write the perfect personal statement for a teaching assistant vacancy.
Other Teaching Assistant Recruitment Articles
I would recommend having a read of these articles that discuss other elements of the Teaching Assistant recruitment process.
- Teaching Assistant Interview Questions – Read Here
- How Teaching Assistants can motivate pupils to learn – Read Here
- What are the most important qualities of a Teaching Assistant – Read Here
1. What is a Teaching Assistant?
A Teaching Assistant job is an essential role for supporting the educational provision in any school. I would argue it is a vital role in any school but especially in special schools The responsibilities of a Teaching Assistant can vary depending on the school, but generally include assisting teachers in the classroom, leading small group or 1:1 interventions, such as phonics or maths. There will probably be times where a TA will take the whole class for short periods.
When writing a personal statement for a Teaching Assistant job, it is important to be honest and upfront about your skills and experience. Even now schools may receive multiple applications for each advertised post so it is important to provide compelling reasons why you are the best candidate for the position.
To help you write a personal statement that will stand out, we have created this teaching assistant personal statement guide. This guide contains tips on how to write a personal statement that will be both interesting and informative, as well as tips on how to make your candidacy stand out.
2. What qualities are necessary for a successful Teaching Assistant application?
There are a few qualities that are necessary to include for a successful Teaching Assistant application. First and foremost, you must be a highly motivated individual who is looking for a new opportunity to use their skills and knowledge. Secondly, you must be a team player who is able to work well under pressure and be positive. Finally, you must have excellent communication and organisational skills.
We have written a whole article on answering this question – here.
If you can demonstrate all of these qualities, then you are well on your way to being a successful Teaching Assistant applicant. However, if you don’t have any teaching experience or experience working with SEN students, it will be difficult to show that you are the right candidate for this position. In order to make a strong application, you will need to gather as much information as possible about the school and the position.
3. What should be included in a personal statement for a teaching assistantship?
When writing a personal statement, you will want to include information that will help the school make an educated decision about hiring you. This includes your educational and work experience, your motivations for wanting to be a teaching assistant, and your skills. Most schools will include a Job Description and Person Specification with the advert. Use these to your advantage. Try and mention each of the elements in the person specification in your personal statement.
When writing your personal statement, it is important to be honest and concise. Try to be specific about why you would be a good fit for the position and what you can bring to the table. You should also be sure to list any teaching experience you have and any workshops or courses you have taken that relate to special education. I would recommend an absolute maximum of 2 sides of A4. Try to stick to 1 side or about 600 words. This is because the admin and leadership team shortlisting need to be able to quickly see who fits the criteria. You can fill in the details at interview.
In addition, it is important to list any volunteer work you have done in the field of SEN or teaching. This may include supporting playgroups, running a sports club or even parent groups. This will help to demonstrate your dedication and interest in the field. Be sure to include your references when submitting your application. These have to include your last and current employers. You can usually request that they are not contacted before interview if you haven’t told them you are looking for another job.
When writing your statement, be sure to focus on your reasons for wanting to teach in that specific school. This will show that you are passionate about the field and have a good understanding of the students and the school. It will also show that you are committed to helping the school achieve its goals. Read their website, look at their tweets or facebook posts. This will give you an insight into what they value and are proud of. You can mention some of these nuggets of information in your personal statement i.e “It is clear from the pictures of your Sports Day that the school’s values of inclusion align with my own.”
4. Tips for writing a personal statement for a teaching assistantship
Having read hundreds of application forms and personal statements there are a few things to keep in mind when writing a personal statement for a Teaching Assistant post.
- Sell your skills – word things in ways that show you are proud of what you can bring to the role. “I am adept at finding ways to support pupils to engage with learning”. They may then follow this up with questions such as “Give me an example…” at interview.
- Sleep on it. If you are struggling to think of things to include read the Teaching Assistant job description then take a break. You will come up with better ideas sleeping on it rather than staring at the page.
- Make sure you have used capital letters correctly especially in the Information bits of the form. This seems to be a common error on online forms.
- Name the school you are applying for in the body of the text. This shows you are not just copy and pasting the same form to multiple schools.
- Personal experience is valuable – what makes you want to support teaching and learning in a school? Your own experiences? I know many TA’s who went into the job because of family members with SEN.
- Put spaces between paragraphs – it really helps the people reading.
- Fill out every box on the form
- Get a sensible email address – especially if your is um… a little edgy. GMail and outlook are free.
- Finally, be sure to proofread your statement carefully. This will help you catch any errors and make sure that your statement is easy to read and understand.
5. Key points to remember.
When you are applying for a Teaching Assistant role in a special school, the personal statement is one of the most important components of your application. You want to make sure that you present yourself in the best possible light.
When writing your personal statement, you want to focus on why you are the perfect candidate for the job. What qualities do you bring to the table that make you the best candidate for this position? What are your strengths and weaknesses? What are your goals for the future?
Be sure to outline your teaching experience, what you are specifically good at and why, and how your teaching experience will benefit the students in the school.
There are a number of books that can help guide your thinking and gain an insight into the role. Including How to be an Outstanding Primary Teaching Assistant by Emma Davie.
The newly released (2023) Working Effectively With Your Teaching Assistant by Sara Alston is currently on offer via the Bloomsbury website.
6. Useful websites and resources for Teaching Assistants
There are many websites and resources available to a prospective Teaching Assistant, but the most important thing is to use the right ones for your specific situation. Facebook groups can be brilliant for sharing ideas. Some groups are used by staff to vent and can be really demotivating so find one that suits you.
Some helpful websites and resources for teaching assistants include:
Open Learn Free Courses for TAs – This website from the open university has lots of free, short courses suitable for teaching assistants. Undertaking and mentioning these in your personal statement or application may be a good way to get noticed if you have limited experience. the courses include, child development, SEN and subject specific courses.
Lots of schools engage with the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) research. They have released a guidance report on effective use of Teaching Assistants. I would recommend reading this if you are looking at applying for a role as a TA. The poster is visual and easy to read.
NASEN are a brilliant organisation for those working in schools and supporting SEN learners. They have a range of mini-guides that are accessible, including Identifying and Supporting Children with SEND in the Early Years: PVI and governing body-led early years settings Mini Guide. All free.
In conclusion, writing a personal statement for a Teaching Assistant job in a school can be a daunting task. By following the tips outlined in this guide, you will be able to produce a statement that will have a good chance of securing the interview.
We hope you enjoyed our article about writing a personal statement for a Teaching Assistant job in a school. A Teaching Assistant role is a great opportunity to gain experience in a specific field and to learn more about the school that you are applying to. By following these steps, you will be sure to stand out from the other applicants and make the Teaching Assistant selection process simle for you and those shortlisting. Thank you for reading, and we wish you the best of luck in your job hunt.
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