My Platform 2
This is my personal statement and in this I will include why I applied for this opportunity, what I think I may bring to one of the program’s projects, what I hope to gain from experiencing a Platform 2 placement and why I would hope to be eligible as a disadvantaged young person.
I had been hoping to take a gap year placement after I had finished Dance and Performers College to try and gain some experience teaching English as a foreign language as that was what I wanted to do with my future but I could never afford it and the fact that I was homeless for about two years didn’t help my situation finding a job much either. Then last week I was on my break at the Princes Trust and noticed the Article about Platform 2 and I was automatically intrigued. I am currently saving and seeking funding from ILA and some other resources to pay for a 120 hour i-to-i TEFL course as it is something I have really wanted to do for about 3 years now but I can’t afford to pay for it alone. Moreover, I noticed that you have placements that require English teachers and assistants and I would really love to be granted that opportunity to gain such valuable experience.
In terms of what I think I could bring to a placement, well I trained in various forms of Dance. For example, Hip Hop, Tap, Modern, Ballet, Jazz, and Street and given my multi cultural roots I can also do Scottish Country dancing and Arabic dancing. I also have considerable experience on stage with the various shows I have been in and I am currently playing the lead female in a low budget armature Christian based movie. I also trained in the Martial Art Tang Soo Do for nearly 4 years and can use Num Chucks and the Bo Staff if there are any self defence classes run at any placements. As I said, at the moment I have no formal English Teaching Qualifications however, I taught my father’s side of the family in Tunisia English reading, writing and verbal communication when I went over in summer. Before I went none of them could speak English bar one cousin and now they can all have full conversations and read and write to a reasonable level. As I could say no more than hello, how are you and I am fine in Arabic I used more innovative ways of teaching them and communicating with them such as games, pictures, books and simply writing it out then saying it and having them repeat it to ensure that they had the correct pronunciation. The ages I taught there ranged from 7-45 years old so I am very flexible on any age group that you would possibly give me if I was granted a placement with you. I also taught some Polish Women Intermediate English here in Aberdeen too. We mainly focussed on spelling, grammar and pronunciation. I can now speak relatively good Arabic (Tunisian Dialect) and I tend to pick up languages quite quickly.
What I would hope to gain from a Platform 2 placement would be the experience of it all, as obvious as it may sound it is true. The idea of actually helping in a foreign country, a poorer country, where they really need it and appreciate it would ultimately be what life is all about for me. I genuinely do care about people and although my main passion is teaching I am more than happy to get my hands dirty on any community project that needs doing. For example building a school or a hospital and knowing how much you have achieved by doing so would feel absolutely amazing. Also being able to come home and receive the right support and guidance on how to share it with my community would be great because in Aberdeen there are so many young people in a similar situation to me that are doing nothing and have no goals and being able to tell them about such an experience would hopefully inspire them to do something worthwhile too, whether in this country or in another. I truly love culture, religion and language so travelling the world is what suits me and it has always been my dream, however with my current financial situation it doesn’t seem like that will become a reality any time soon.
The reason why I would consider myself as a young person at a lower advantage would be because I had a very difficult upbringing with my mother who has rather severe mental health problems which resulted in my escaping to dance college to keep a stable roof over my head but when that finished I was then homeless in Aberdeen for about a year and a half, staying at various places. I am only now starting to get back on my feet being in a supported accommodation flat and sticking rigorously to my Princes Trust course which I am thoroughly enjoying. I am on Income support so money is very tight right now and I would never be able to afford an opportunity like this one without funding. I have always had goals and I have a five year plan which I am working through bit by bit but if my financial situation doesn’t change very soon then it will be almost impossible. It is like a vicious circle, I need qualifications to get the job I want and to go where I want but I need money to pay for my qualifications as it is a private course and gap years with other companies cost an arm and a leg. I can’t even describe what this opportunity would mean to me, it really would be my first step to getting back to normality and give me a taste of what I have longed for for so long. I know there will be a multitude of other applicants but I really do hope you will consider me because I am a very determined and caring young person and I just want to give something back.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.
By Aiysha Jebali