Thursday, September 24, 2009

[04] Personal Statement

It has always been my dream to be a teacher. When I was younger, teaching was just an activity that seemed fun. Now I realize that being an educator involves much more work than standing in the front of the classroom giving a lesson and grading homework, but this knowledge has only served to increase my passion for this field.

I started having more interaction with youths after graduating from junior college, when I began teaching tuition to primary and secondary school students. This little foray into teaching reaffirmed my desire to work with students. Though working with them on a one-to-one basis might be different from teaching in a classroom setting, but the satisfaction of successfully helping them to grasp a concept is the same.

Participating in community service during my undergraduate years has helped to hone my patience. I was involved in Befriending, a Students’ Care Service (SCS) programme in which university students mentored secondary school youths who had trouble coping well in school. These students were often less privileged than their peers. Building rapport with them took quite a long time as they did not open up to us easily. I’ve learned that trust needs to be earned over time, and that rushing the process would not have worked.

During my schooling days, I have held leadership positions in class and in my Co-Curricular Activities (CCAs). These experiences involved having various responsibilities and working with other people. As a class leader in secondary school, I had to ensure class discipline while maintaining friendships with my classmates. During my term as the chairperson of the Befriending programme, I had to liaise between SCS and the school’s Community Service Club (CSC). From these experiences, I learnt the importance of preserving good relationships with people around me. As such, the interpersonal skills that I have picked up along the way will come in useful in relating with students and interacting with colleagues.

I strongly believe that a teacher should not just teach subject content. Impressionable young minds can easily be led astray, and a good teacher should instil in his or her students the ability to differentiate right from wrong. Most importantly, a teacher should be able to connect with his or her students and to motivate them to fulfil their potential. These are my goals as an educator.

When I was schooling, I met many great teachers who were excellent role models. I hope to emulate them in a teaching career and to inspire my own students, just like I have been inspired.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

[03] Job Application Letter Critique

Goh Jinghui
Block 459, #05-306
Jurong East Avenue 5
Singapore 640459

3 September 2009

Mr. Lu Cheng Yang
Personnel Department
Ministry of Education, Singapore
1 North Buona Vista Drive
Singapore 138675

Dear Mr. Lu,

Application for the Position of Secondary School Biology Teacher

I came across the Ministry of Education (MoE) website and learnt that you are currently recruiting teachers. After reading more about it on the website, I was deeply interested and would like to apply for the position of a secondary school Biology teacher.

Although I am a fresh graduate from the National University of Singapore (NUS), I have been teaching tuition since my GCE 'A' Level examinations ended. My Life Sciences degree gives me the relevant knowledge to impart to students, and I believe my constant interaction with my tuition students has allowed me to develop skills that help me to connect with youths.

I have also been partaking in voluntary work as a mentor to secondary school students referred to the Student Care Service (SCS). Being in contact with students with some social or behavioural problems has given me the chance to learn to deal with them in a way that is best for them. There, I discovered that every child responds differently to teaching methods. This awareness and flexibility will help me to successfully motivate students to learn.

The MOE programme has developed many great teachers, some of whom I'm blessed to have come in contact with. These teachers inspired me to want to be like them, and to benefit more youths through working with them.

I have attached my resume for your consideration and would deeply appreciate it if I can attend an interview with you at your convenience. Please contact me at 81239030 at any time throughout the day.

I hope to receive your reply soon. Thank you.

Yours sincerely,
Goh Jinghui

Encl.: Resume

Okay, that was my cover letter. Click here to see what MoE wants.

(Edited as of 11 September 2009.)