On the Journey Towards Becoming a Dynamic Classroom Teacher
A Personal Teaching Statement
Like countless others applying for entry into teaching credential programs, you are more likely to complete an essential component in any application process: the personal statement.
There are multiple examples of personal statements available online to view with a simple Google search. Below I provide an example of a personal statement I wrote to gain entry into one of the nation's top teaching credential programs.
My overall purpose in entering the teaching profession is to see students succeed. In pursuing this ambition, I am driven by a profound sense of mission, along with my fascination with knowledge and my strong interpersonal instincts.
My choice to pursue teaching as a career was not made lightly; rather, it was the culmination of significant obstacles I tackled while gaining experience in the field. First, my mother, a child development and weekend islamic school teacher, has long been an inspirational role model for me. I served as her teaching assistant for three years, originally intending to gain interpersonal skills for a career in nursing. Yet thoughts of teaching often surfaced as I witnessed my mother's desire to make a strong, positive impact on others. As the years progressed, my love for teaching strengthened as I began working and volunteering in the field mentoring disadvantaged high school students and tutoring formerly incarcerated youth to help them obtain their G.E.D. degrees. I found teaching to be extremely fulfilling, which reinforced my interest in an educational career and helped me to build my vocational identity.
I then served as a substitute teacher for the Pomona Unified School District, which is mostly full of marginalized and disadvantaged students. In encountering many unique K-12 students with their own set of stories and personalities to share, I became driven by an interpersonal sense of mission. I found great fulfillment in helping these children achieve success. I recall one instance when I subbed for a class of second graders, which had been learning in a dangerous environment. Many of these students had incarcerated mothers and fathers waiting outside of school to take away their child because they did not have custody of them, which created significant obstacles for them to overcome while learning. From this experience, I came to adore helping impoverished students succeed, pulling them out of the cycle of poverty to redirect and guide them to a long yet rewarding path of education.
In particular, I remember one self-proclaimed troublemaker, a very unique second grader named Braulio. Because of my humorous, unassuming vibe, he began to open up and cooperate with me. One day after class, as he was hurriedly feeding Music, the classroom pet parakeet, I learned that his mother had abandoned him to live in Mexico. He had never had the opportunity to visit his siblings living elsewhere, and he had never met his own father. The battles he wages in the classroom as a troublemaker do not compare to the ones he was battling personally outside of school. I felt a strong need to address these root problems in such students, without giving them special treatment, but by devising ways to empower them to gain knowledge. Through my experiences dealing with these kinds of students, I developed a true passion for nurturing youth to realize their full potential, regardless of circumstances. I now seek a more stable opportunity to work with young people, to relish in the joy and satisfaction of witnessing a child's learning process. I long to make a difference, helping peel away students' ignorance and adding to their positive educational environments at large.
Another reason that I have chosen to pursue the teaching field is that I am fascinated by how people learn, their interests, and their need to explore the world. I am eager to gain further credentials to help pursue and guide my love for continual teaching. Thus far, I have graduated with a B.A. degree from UCLA in Anthropology, which is the broadest study of humankind covering many disciplines. My educational background will help me in teaching elementary school students because of the multiple subjects including in this curriculum. Having benefited from my own education, I want to contribute to society while paving the way for lifelong learning.
I intend for my teaching work to serve as a stepping stone for my long-term ambition. Down the line, I aspire to become a principal to further contribute my talents and increase my positive impact on society. The experiences I will have built in my teaching career will allow me to contribute to the growth of the school system and better improve the lives of my students. I am also motivated by the intrinsic rewards I receive in teaching. Teaching is an opportunity for me to express my creative verbal abilities through my individual personality, which is built on a foundation of empathy and compassion. I find great rewards in the opportunities to develop myself personally that teaching presents. I have seen how students how me more about myself than anyone else can. For example, I have learned that I have a tendency to be very inclusive and cannot ignore even those students who display the most reticence.
My goal in attending the preliminary multiple-subject teaching credential program is to realize these motives for my teaching career. I hope that my stay at the program will allow me to take on a greater responsibility in the classroom, so I may broadcast my individual talents for children to observe and learn from. All of these motives tie together and overlap, highlighting my main purpose, which is to see students from all walks of life and with all different personalities succeed to the best of their abilities.