A personal statement (usually placed near the top of your CV beneath your contact details) is your chance to summarise your qualifications, experience, and key skills to highlight what you can offer to a prospective employer.
Ideally, you should tailor your personal statement to each job that you apply for. This should be relatively easy to do since the jobs you’ll be applying for will probably be similar if they’re all in an SEN (special educational needs) environment. However, we advise that you always read the job description every time you apply for a new role. This is to ensure that you can provide relevant information in your personal statement which will help demonstrate the qualities a prospective employer is seeking in order to fill the role. For example, if you’re applying for an SEN teaching assistant job, then you’ll need to highlight your experience of working with SEN students and the key skills you acquired.
To help you successfully gain a special educational needs teaching assistant job, you need to have a personal statement that stands out. Your personal statement should be professional, but the key word here is personal; make it distinctive by providing the facts, such as the where and when (where did you teach and in what year), and then infuse your characteristics by detailing the how and the what (how you went about the day-to-day tasks and what you achieved).
The start of a good personal statement should look something like this:
An empathetic, patient, and extremely dedicated teaching assistant, with experience and particular enthusiasm for working in special educational needs. In my previous role, as an SEN teaching assistant, I supported students in their learning, helping them to achieve their individual goals by adapting my teaching methods accordingly.
To create a personal statement that will make you stand out to a prospective employer, there are a few key pieces of information that you must include. With this in mind, we have put together a small list that should hopefully assist you when you come to write your personal statement for an SEN teaching assistant job.
What to include in an SEN teaching assistant personal statement:
1. Mention any top achievements you’ve had
Hopefully, these are relevant to the position you are applying for. However, even if your top achievement isn’t related to special educational needs, it is worth still mentioning it as employers like to see you have other passions in life. But you should also try to add another achievement or something that you’re particularly proud of, which you can relate to SEN.
2. Describe yourself using attributes needed for the role you are applying for
An example of this would be:
An empathetic, patient, and extremely dedicated teaching assistant, with experience and particular enthusiasm for working in special educational needs.
SEN teaching assistants need to be empathetic, patient, and very dedicated in order to effectively achieve their day-to-day tasks and, ultimately, help their students meet their learning goals. But there may be other personal qualities a prospective employer is seeking, which is why you should always check the job description so that you can tailor your personal statement to suit.
3. Highlight any previous experience you have and the skills you acquired
You should link these skills to the job you are applying for. For example, you may be applying for an SEN teaching assistant position within a school, whereas your only previous experience could be from working voluntarily at a community centre where you supported children with SEN.
Although the previous role wasn’t within a school, the skills gained while working in a community centre will still be very relevant; you would have been exposed to children of various ages with numerous needs and you would have had to adapt your communication skills and your method of support.
This level of commitment and adaptability is exactly what prospective employers are looking for. This is also your opportunity to mention any qualifications you may have gained which will further demonstrate your dedication to the sector.
4. Think about your aspirations for the future
Explain how the job you are applying for fits in with these future goals. A prospective employer wants to see that you have a genuine interest in pursuing a career within a special educational needs environment. So, to get an idea of what you’d like to be doing further down your career path, do some research into the sort of jobs that are available, and to where/how you can progress from the job you are applying for.
This will give you further insight into the SEN sector to enable you to establish your goals. You’ll then be able to include these goals in your personal statement which means a prospective employer will, hopefully, see longevity if they were to hire you.
5. Demonstrate you know what the job entails
If you have covered all of the above four areas in your personal statement, then you should have successfully demonstrated that you know what’s expected of an SEN teaching assistant. But, again, make sure you have thoroughly read the role description of the job you’re applying for, and include a couple of short examples from your previous experience that can prove you have exactly what it takes to be an SEN teaching assistant.
Now that you know how to successfully write a personal statement, take a look at the SEN teaching assistant jobs currently available.