Personal Statement… Where to start?

Hello again… 🙂 After a couple of requests from some of you, today I’m going to write a little bit about personal statements… What are they for? What should you include? Ultimately your personal statement is your opportunity to tell Universities and Colleges why you are suitable for the course that you want to study. It is vital that you make the most of this opportunity and demonstrate your commitment, enthusiasm, and most importantly, ensure that you stand out from the hundreds of other applicants… Now I know this sounds like a huge, daunting task, but if you break it down and use the following hints and tips, you’ll find that it’s actually not so bad! Okay, so a little bit about what to include… Writing about the course You need to answer two main questions here:

  • Why are you applying to this particular course? Here, you need to talk about why the subject interests you, try and include evidence that you understand what is required when studying the specific course.
  • Why are you suitable for the course? This is your chance to tell the Universities what skills and experience you have that will help you to succeed on the course.
Other questions to consider:
  • How do your current or previous studies relate to your chosen course?
  • What experience do you have that demonstrates your interest in the course?
  • Why do you want to go to University?
Skills and Achievements

Universities want to know if you have any accredited or non-accredited achievements and skills. These can include, CREST awards; Diploma of Achievement; Duke of Edinburgh Award; Young Enterprise. You can also mention positions of responsibility that you have held both in and out of school, e.g. school prefect and any other achievements that you are proud of, eg reaching grade 3 piano or being selected for the county netball team.

Hobbies and Interests

It is important to tell the Universities about your hobbies and interests but you need to think about how these demonstrate your skills and abilities. For example, rather than simply stating “I enjoy playing netball”, talk about how it had developed your skills as a team player, how it demonstrates your ability to cope with pressure and that you show the ability to mix with a range of different people

Work Experience

This is your chance to talk about any jobs, placements, work experience or voluntary work, especially if its relevant to your chosen course. Try to link these experiences to the skills and qualities mentioned in the Course Entry Profile…

A few do’s and don’ts when writing your personal statement

  • Do create a list of your ideas before attempting to write the real thing.
  • Do expect to produce several drafts before being totally happy.
  • Do ask people you trust for their feedback.
  • Do check university and college prospectuses, websites and Entry Profiles, as they usually tell you the criteria and qualities that they want their students to demonstrate.
  • Do use your best English/Welsh and don’t let spelling and grammatical errors spoil your statement.
  • Do be enthusiastic – if you show your interest in the course, it may help you get a place.
  • Don’t feel that you need to use elaborate language. If you try too hard to impress with long words that you are not confident using, the focus of your writing may be lost.
  • Don’t say too much about things that are not relevant – if you think that you are starting to, take a break and come back to your statement when you feel more focused.
  • Don’t lie – if you exaggerate you may get caught out at interview when asked to elaborate on an interesting achievement.
  • Don’t rely on a spellchecker as it will not pick up everything – proof read as many times as possible.
  • Don’t leave it to the last minute – your statement will seem rushed and important information could be left out.
  • Don’t expect to be able to write your personal statement whilst watching TV or surfing the internet – this is your future, so make the most of the opportunity to succeed.

I know this guidance isn’t extensive, but hopefully it will be a starting point for some of you looking to apply to University… If you have any questions about writing your personal statement feel free to post them below and I will get back to you, or as usual you can ask me on Twitter at @Jen_EHU Good luck with your applications! If there are any other topics you would like me to cover over the coming blog posts, let me know and I will do my best to include them… Thanks for reading Jen 🙂

Science in Pictures…

Okay, so I promised to upload some pictures of some of the things I have been doing since we started back at Uni in September… Please be aware if you are squeamish these pictures might not be for you…

This picture is showing a worm dissection… we did this to take a look at it’s blood vessel system.

In our next lesson we dissected a heart… The picture above is what we started with and the picture below is after we had cut into the heart and can see the chambers, vessels and valves.

We followed this by dissecting a lung… You can see that we are just in the process of cutting into the lung to take a closer look at the structures that lie within…

The next dissection that we did in our physiology lesson was a fish head…

 

 

 

 

We then removed the eye of the fish and proceeded to dissect that too…

Hope these pictures weren’t too disturbing and that you may have even found them interesting! I will upload more as we do them!

Don’t forget that you can follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/#!/Jen_EHU

Thanks for reading…

Jen 🙂

 

 

Why Teaching?

Why did I become a teacher? I’m guessing that many teachers ask themselves this question on a regular basis. There may be days when a teacher is so overwhelmed by the task in front of her, that she asks herself “What on Earth am I doing?” Teaching is, without doubt, a challenging profession, and one which in order to do it well, you must have a passion for. Teaching has to be something that you love to do. If not, the negative effects can be extremely long lasting, for both you and your students.

Have I always wanted to be a teacher? Yes and no is my answer to this question. Since a young age I have always “played school” taking on the role as teacher, but I also was very interested in becoming a dentist. Then I got involved in netball coaching at the age of about 14 and was sure that teaching others was what I wanted to do, and knew that I would teach either Science or Physical Education. My year 11 work experience was in a high school, and I think it was this experience that made me realise that teaching was the profession for me. Through college there were moments where I had other career paths in mind, but then I began to study psychology for the first time, and absolutely loved it and thought that I wanted to become a psychologist in a prison.

With this new career path in mind I went to University to study psychology, and although the course was very enjoyable, it just didn’t feel right; I couldn’t get the idea of being a teacher out of my head… Now I’m sure you’ve all heard the cliché “If you can’t get something out of your head, maybe it’s supposed to be there.” Well I took this on board and after two years on my psychology degree I decided that teaching was 100% for me, so I began to look for Universities that could offer me the course that I wanted, and that’s when I came across Edge Hill University and it sounded perfect to me, so I ended my degree at my first University and set along a new path at Edge Hill….

I began to volunteer at a local school on the run up to the start of my course, and that’s when I noticed the positive effect that I could have on a child’s life. I began to notice that I could encourage even the most challenging of pupils to complete work by introducing interesting and exciting ways to get them to think about what they were doing. I’ve had two placements for my course now too, and it’s amazing watching the kids grow and become confident learners.

If I had to pick my favourite thing about being a teacher, it would definitely be those “light bulb” moments, when you have explained something to the pupil and you can see that they understand it.

Now, I can’t wait to qualify as a teacher and have my own classroom and classes, but does my enthusiasm and passion for becoming a teacher mean that all of my students will always like me? No. Will every day be a brilliant success? Definitely not. However, I know that during my time as a teacher I will have a massive impact on students’ lives and will have influenced my pupils in a positive way.

If you are interested in teaching in a secondary school, Edge Hill are running a Three Day ‘Taster’ Course for Secondary Teaching. This is a chance to experience a career in secondary teaching before making a decision. You will be able to talk to practising teacher, spend a day observing lessons, receive advice from the school’s training team and discover the best route into teaching for you. If you are interested or would like more information follow the link http://www.edgehill.ac.uk/careers/TeachingZone/TrainingTeach.htm

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter to keep up to date with life as a trainee teacher at https://twitter.com/#!/jen_ehu

Something to think about…

“If a doctor, lawyer, or dentist had 40 people in his office at one time, all of whom had different needs, and some of whom didn’t want to be there and were causing trouble, and the doctor, lawyer, or dentist, without assistance, had to treat them all with professional excellence for nine months, then he might have some conception of the classroom teacher’s job.”  ~Donald D. Quinn

 

 

Well needed weekend break!

I write this blog from a hotel in Bournemouth, on a well deserved break from University with my mum.

It’s nice to give myself a couple of days break from my Uni work – I’ve got SO much of it at the minute, I have seven assignments, a portfolio, a standards file and exams to revise for… On top of all this the hunt for jobs has started.

Even though I’m finding very little time for any ‘me’ time at the minute I wouldn’t change a thing, it’s all so exciting and ultimately a count down to becoming a teacher!

I’m officially on the countdown to Christmas now too after seeing the first coca-cola advert last night… Which got me thinking about how on earth I’m going to have time to fit in all the Christmas shopping I have to do! Looks like it’s going to have to be an online shopping job!

Just a short blog tonight just to give you a quick update on what I’m up to… In my next blog I’m going to give you a more in-depth look at one of my modules, environmental physiology and will upload pictures of some of the dissections we have done over the last few weeks.

Don’t forget you can keep up to date with what I’m up to on twitter @Jen_EHU

Thanks for reading 🙂

Education Open Evening

Well, I’ve just got in from working at tonight’s Education Open Evening and have to say my feet are aching after taking lots of prospective students from the main entrance across to the Faculty of Education – but it’s definitely worth it! All in all I think tonight’s event was a great success, around 200 prospective students registered to come and take a look at the courses on offer within the faculty.

There were lecture style session with information about the different courses; workshop sessions to give prospective students an idea of what they can expect; question and answer sessions with the admissions and finance teams and even chance to speak to a member of staff about interviews for the courses.

So, anyway, I thought I’d take this opportunity to tell you two things….

Firstly… If you didn’t attend tonight’s open evening and are interested in any of the courses that Edge Hill run, there is an Open Day taking place on Saturday 19th November that you can sign up for and come along and find out more about the courses on offer and take a look at the amazing campus here in Ormskirk. You can register for that here… https://think.edgehill.ac.uk/portal/form.html?form_id=3

Secondly… I thought I would tell you a little bit more about my part time job at University. I work as a Student Guide for the Student Recruitment team, it’s a great way to meet people and also to make a little bit of extra cash. We get involved in things like Open Days; Applicant Visits; Student Experience Talks; Campus and Accommodation Tours; Office Administration Tasks; UCAS Fairs and lots lots more… There is always something going on, and available work is e-mailed out and allocated on a first-come-first-served basis in most cases.

We have training at the start of every year, as a re-fresher and then there are training sessions that take place throughout the year for different things, for example, sessions for doing a Student Experience Talk or a Personal Statement Workshop. But ultimately it is our job to give advice and guidance to prospective students and share with them our experiences as students at Edge Hill University.

Being a Student guide is something I would definitely recommend to anyone coming to University, it is easy to fit around your study, as there are no set hours; it looks great on your CV and like I said it helps you to earn a bit of extra cash to spend on whatever you like….

Thank you for reading 🙂 Don’t forget you can follow me on twitter https://twitter.com/#!/Jen_EHU

Jen 🙂