Sample Personal Statement for Graduate School

Statement of Intent 

The decision to apply for the MT grad program is fueled by my passion in the disciplines offered and because it appeals best to my passions and interest. One of the most significant motivations for my application for the program is specifically because I really value the research aspect of the program. My two greatest passions in life are learning and helping people. I have been curious about what conditions and techniques best facilitate learning for a long time. My interest in the manner in which the facilitation of learning is conducted has led me to seek answers for a number of questions. One of the questions or desires has been how exactly can the delivery of modern day learning shift perceptions of education from a box-to-check-off-this list on the way to your real life and instead get learners to value the process, to ask questions and to view learning as a lifelong practice. What are the barriers to education and how can we minimize them? What methods are most effective to what subject matter? Should there be a distinction? The more time I work, volunteer and continue to study the more questions I have. My hope is to get the opportunity to study at UFT and uncover as many answers as I can to those questions. They are tough questions to answer in a written way some things that just don’t translate well, the same way that poetry doesn’t alwaystranslate to prose and the same we can’t always infer causality. 

I am a firm believer in curiosity as a driver for growth and learning. There are some things that can’t be measured well in realm of education and learning. Over the course of my learning and development course, I have come to conclude that true success can be measured by an ever changing scale if you of passion and self-drive. The same applies to the learners and I believe that that the learning technique used should be able to cement this. I am of the philosophy that if a student is eternally curious and constantly trying to push their own limits then that is an idea that matters. Along the learning course, some ideas are quantifiable while others can only be treated in their abstract. There is no direct way, for instance, to quantify resilience, hardwork or passion of learners. I don’t want to tell you that I’ll work hard and that I think creatively and that I get things done despite seemingly insurmountable odds. I would much rather show you. Maya Angelou quipped it well: “When you learn, teach; when you get, give.” 

Statement of intent sample

All I have ever done since I could walk and talk was do that, I believe maybe naively but also shamelessly that we can have a huge impact if we simply take a moment to extend ourselves in compassion, to learn about those around us and to help them learn too because with education comes the ability to think critically about what needs to be changed and change it. Learning is an act of curiosity and empathy. Reading requires you to try to understand something someone else wrote down and utilize that information. Information that occurred to others, seeing through the perspective of others and discerning what can we understand from this? Can we duplicate this? Is this universally true or very personal? Authentic learning and the subsequent authentic change is a direct result of this, from reflection on information and experience and employing a process. I want to be part of figuring out how we can better enable ourselves to do this, to spread important information but more importantly to constantly reflect and to employ that knowledge. 

For the record I would like to also prove that I am empathetic, compassionate and passionate about using our ability to be empathetic and using the tools of education to affect less apathy. There is a lot of psychology and science to communicating and education. But I would like to submit that at least from my perspective it is an act of humanity, it is something that I am. I am a teacher and I have tried to be a lot of other things. But this is what I keep being pulled back to, this is what I do both accidentally and naturally and I am hoping now consciously and well. 

To sum up my biggest passions in life are learning and helping people and I think the master of teaching program combines the two brilliantly.  

Personal statement for graduate school example

Experiences

Last year I had the opportunity to work as a tutor for high school students for Microskills Bridge toSuccess program. This was an afterschool program focusing on at-risk youth in the Rexdale community. My role at Microskills was to provide support and assist students dealing with academic challenges, students in the program usually had additional barriers and challenges to overcome when it came to learning. Mental health struggles, ESL, economic barriers and additional psychosocial issues. I tried to offer one on one support as much as possible but there was a lot of need and a very limited number of tutors. Often I would put students in small study groups according to what subject they required assistance with doing my best to try to get students in the same classes with the same assignments to sit together, then I began to rotate through the groups answering questions and facilitating study groups. I remember one student in particular who was always particularly recalcitrant. Every day I would ask him “Are you okay? Do you have any homework? Do you need any help?” He would shake his head. Then would come the automatic reply “No”  

It became almost a joke, I would ask him “how come everyone else has homework and you never do?” You must be the favorite.  One day I tried asking a different questions. “How are you?” “Uh fine” he responded. “What did you learn today?” I asked “Anything interesting? Anything cool?”   

He looked at me sort of surprised. “I learned about science stuff” he said. “Cool.” I said, what sort of things.”   

He fumbled a bit at first, not quite expecting to be asked but he began to talk a little about the lesson generally. He forgot a lot of the specifics, there were quite a few gaps. But it was great to see him trying to make connections between the things he had sort of passively heard about roughly and try to re-configure the information into something he could talk about. It was a rough conversation. It lacked a lot of detail. But once we could identify where he was at it wasn’t hard to fill in the gaps. 

  These types of conversations grew into quick daily updates. It was easier for him to tell me he had no homework than to tell me there was nothing to talk about. He wasn’t particularly interested in reading or writing. But he had a very high ability to intellectually scaffold. He would tell me a few quick things and then he’d get back to socializing. This improved his grades by getting him to remember a few quick facts, but I was interested to see if it would work better if more students got involved. I walked over to the students sitting in a circle, by this time they knew what to expect, they had their facts ready. They were eager to keep talking basketball. “Miss aren’t you going to ask us?” one of the boys asked me. I sat down. “Actually I’d rather you told each other. Let’s see who can come up with the coolest thing.; As they told each other their facts there was some disagreement. ;No the teacher didn;t say that she;d said this. No that;s not how you;re supposed to do that.; They would look to me for answers sometimes I would ask them if they could look it up.;