Goal statements -- sometimes called personal statements -- are often the first and most important element of a job application. When writing a goal statement for an elementary school teaching position, it’s important to craft your statement in such a way that demonstrates your familiarity with the problems and mission of the school to which you are applying. Your goal statement should consider several major topics, ranging from the individual school’s mission statement to your philosophy on incorporating technology into the classroom.
School's Mission Statement
School districts and standalone schools publish mission statements, usually on their official websites. These statements articulate exactly how and why the district educates its students in the way that it does. Paul V. Anderson states that often these statements are filled with key terms and concepts that you should reflect in your goal statement. For example, if the district values education geared toward life in the 21st century, you might indicate that you gear your elementary school lessons toward 21st century concerns appropriate for the age level, such as navigating online friendships and being media literate.
Depending on the location and type of school to which you are submitting your goal statement, you should be aware of the various educational standards to which that school adheres. These standards are composed by the state’s department of education, and they articulate specific learning objectives for all grade levels, including elementary school. Your goal statement should demonstrate your awareness of these educational standards. For example, in Pennsylvania, one area of second grade standards focuses on general approaches to learning. You could make an explicit reference to this standard by indicating that you will help second grade students develop problem-solving and critical-thinking skills.
Anderson recommends anchoring your future goals in a goal statement to your prior experience. For example, if you want to indicate to a district that your goal is to help your first graders generate a basic understanding of narrative structure through simple nursery rhymes and oral fairy tales, you can connect that goal with your prior experience working with young students during a library story time. You might write, “I hope to continue with the type of work I do as a volunteer story reader at my local library where I help students develop literacy skills as I read to them.”
The writers of “Technical Communication in the 21st Century” argue that nearly all goal statements -- particularly those written in the field of education -- must make some reference to the topic of technology and its incorporation in your daily practices. For an elementary school teacher, you might state that you hope to integrate technology into your classroom so as to familiarize students with things like computers and interactive whiteboards. You might also emphasize the various technologies with which you are already familiar, as well as those that you hope to develop familiarity with as you work with young students.
- Technical Communication: A Reader-Centered Approach; Paul V. Anderson
- Pennsylvania Learning Standards for Early Childhood: Second Grade
- Technical Communication in the 21st Century; Sidney Dobrin, Christian Weisser, Christopher Keller
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