Wednesday, 14 November 2018

A Letter of Application...

When ever you are applying for jobs, after filling out the personalized, bespoke to each company/school/Organisation (pain in the ass) form - which basically asks for your CV different format that can’t be copied and/or pasted into, you quite often have to also write a motivational letter. I was once asked to write it as an educational philosophy...

I really loved this. I got into it and worked on it for hours... it was the first time someone has asked me - why do you do it? Why are you a teacher, really? What’s in it for you? And it was the first time I had to use my values and beliefs to justify getting a job. Not just over a pint with a friend or in the staff room with like-minded people.

Here was my first attempt:

Dear Sir/Madam,
I have been teaching for 11 years, completing my PGCE Secondary teaching qualification twelve years ago in 2006-7. However, I still feel that there is still an incredible amount to learn and to discover about teaching, learning and about myself, as a teacher. That is one of the joys of this career. Every day is a new challenge, an exciting journey, for everyone.
As a lover of learning I instill in my students a joy for discovery, an understanding that it is ok to make a mistake and to use these errors as a way of finding humor, finding something else and maybe more than you planned, to be adaptable and to be a conscious, awake person in this ever  changing, fast paced and exciting society that we are a part of.  Working collaboratively is very important to learning - whether it is group work, discussion, debate, problem solving or research, children need to learn the social skills and communication skills required to exist in the ‘real world’.  Equally, I understand and promote the benefits of working alone - finding space and quiet with yourself is a very important skill that we all, but particularly young people, need to be trained to do. 
As such, I see school as an opportunity to not only acquire knowledge and understanding, and a place where learning is facilitated by passionate, educated, inspiring staff and peers, but - as well as this - school is a community: it is a place where every student should be able to find a sense of place, a sense of who they are, who they want to be and have the guidance and support to work out how they can achieve this.  As well as an acceptance that this can change and evolve as they grow as an individual. Because they are all individual and unique.
I have a record of success with my classes - this year I achieved a 100% grade 5-9 pass rate; of a class of 32 they achieved 11 grade 9s (to put this into perspective, there were only 14 grade 9s in the whole of the Year 11 cohort (250students), in the English department). In previous years I have also helped my students achieve 96% and 100% grades A*-C.  Last year, one of my A level English Language and Literature student achieved A** which I am very proud of: he worked hard and was over the moon with his achievements. This I hope shows my consistency and my commitment - two elements of my professional attitude that help me to achieve ongoing successes. That and an ability to reflect, share and grow.
In addition to my commitments to the students I teach, I have spent the last two years as Deputy Team Leader for KS5: my role has been to coordinate the A level English Language an Literature and the English Literature courses across the whole school. This year we achieved outstanding results as a team. As well as this, I organized extra-curricular opportunities for all of the A level students, such as: The Big Debate (with a panel of six guests - six members of the public from different careers - debating hot topics and challenging issues put forward students from my school and other schools, who were invited to attend), theatre trips, University seminars, visiting authors, careers meetings and 1:1 mentoring. These extra opportunities are something I feel very passionate about.
Yours Sincerely,

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