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Writing teacher personal statements

A personal statement gives you the opportunity to outline your strengths and practices as a teacher. Schools and preschools read personal statements to help them determine the most suitable candidate for a position.

Your personal statement needs to change depending on whether you are applying on the employable teacher register (ETR) or for an advertised teacher vacancy.

Eligible teachers who are required to complete a permanent teacher register (PTR) application also need a personal statement.

Writing and formatting your personal statement

Your personal statement must be 1 page. Consider the following:

  • put your name and employee ID number (if you have one) on the top
  • font size at least Arial 9
  • margin of 1 to 1.5 centimetres
  • layout of 2 columns is recommended
  • align text to both the left and right margins
  • aim for a consistent tense - past or present
  • use active rather than passive language
  • avoid repeating examples of your teaching practice or strategies
  • ask someone to proof read your statement and provide feedback (spelling and grammatical errors, and excessive repetition aren’t a good look)
  • show evidence of what you can do by using examples from your teaching or practicum experiences
  • consider a 3 part approach to structuring an example:
    1. what I do
    2. how I do it
    3. how I know I am successful
  • create headings using the criteria to assist principals, preschool directors and panels to locate information.

Employable teacher register (ETR) personal statement

The ETR personal statement is a general profile of you as a teacher. It may be read by multiple schools and preschools looking to fill a contract position.

The personal statement criteria for the ETR aligns directly with the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers. Write your statement under the 3 main headings or the 7 minor headings. Consider the following focus points:

Professional knowledge

1. Know the students and how they learn

Your focus areas could include

  • physical, social and intellectual development and characteristics of students
  • understanding how students learn
  • students with diverse linguistic, cultural, religious and socioeconomic backgrounds
  • strategies for teaching Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students
  • altering your teaching to meet the specific learning needs of students across the full range of abilities
  • strategies to support full participation of students with a disability.

2. Know the content and how to teach it

Your focus areas could include:

  • content and teaching strategies in your teaching area
  • content selection and organisation
  • curriculum, assessment and reporting
  • understanding and respecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to promote reconciliation between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians
  • literacy and numeracy strategies
  • information and communication technology (ICT).

Professional practice

3. Plan for and implement effective teaching and learning

Your focus areas could include:

  • establishing challenging learning goals
  • planning, structuring and sequencing learning programs
  • using teaching strategies
  • selecting and using resources
  • using effective classroom communication
  • evaluating and improving teaching programs
  • engaging parents and carers in the education process.

4. Create and maintain supportive and safe learning environments

Your focus areas could include:

  • supporting student participation
  • managing classroom activities
  • managing challenging behaviour
  • maintaining student safety
  • using ICT safely, responsibly and ethically.

5. Assess, provide feedback and report on student learning

Your focus areas could include:

  • assessing student learning
  • providing feedback to students on their learning
  • making consistent and comparable judgments
  • interpreting student data
  • reporting on student achievement.

Professional engagement

6. Engage in professional learning

Your focus areas could include:

  • identifying and planning professional learning needs
  • engaging in professional learning and improve practice
  • engaging with colleagues and improve practice
  • applying professional learning and improve student learning.

7. Engage professionally with colleagues, parents, carers and the community

Your focus areas could include:

  • meeting professional ethics and responsibilities
  • complying with legislative, administrative and organisational requirements
  • engaging with the parents and carers
  • engaging with professional teaching networks and broader communities.

Advertised teacher vacancy personal statement

The personal statement for an advertised teaching position should address the context and specific requirements of the school or preschool advertising the vacancy.

Each school and preschool is different, so start by looking at their website, and consider what you can bring to the advertised position.

You should address the following criteria in your statement:

  • relationships
  • student learning
  • curriculum
  • safe work practices.

Permanent teacher register (PTR) personal statement

The PTR personal statement is a general profile of you as a teacher and your experience.

You should address the following criteria in your statement:

  • relationships
  • student learning
  • curriculum
  • safe work practices.

People and Culture

Phone: 8226 1356
Email: education.hr [at] sa.gov.au