What are biographical notes?
This is the part of your application where you let your personality shine through to the recruiters- who are you, what hobbies and interests do you have outside school? Recruiters do read these, so they are important. They don’t have to be too long or formal but should give them more of an idea of who you are as a person. This is your opportunity to really sell yourself and stand out from the other applications.
Some examples from past candidates
“Youngest of three children, I grew up in country Victoria, Australia with an English father and Australian mother. They both are teachers and perhaps influenced my future career path, although I would never admit that to them! I moved to Melbourne to further my education and from there went to Shanghai, Phillip Island, England, Kilmore, and Tasmania.”
“Underlying my actions is a strong belief in the principle of contextual teaching from a student’s first-hand experience and of developing a curriculum that incorporates material relevant to the students’ lives. I encourage students to be lateral and critical thinkers in a student-centered classroom. This has been demonstrated throughout my teaching career.
“I see myself as a dedicated, enthusiastic, and caring person committed to the nurture and education of all students. I consider that I am not only qualified for the positions described above but have a great deal to offer children. My referees will attest to my competence and personal qualities. I look forward to the challenge of teaching at another international school.”
“My husband and I are keen to begin our international teaching career in Asia. I have lived in both Indonesia and Thailand and traveled extensively in the region. We love the vibrancy, the history, and the culture that Asia has to offer and can’t wait to once again be immersed in it.”
“As a child of immigrants, my father being Dutch and my mother of Italian descent, I value what other cultures offer and how we can grow from learning about and working towards understanding each other. I particularly enjoy leading the IB workshop on ‘International-mindedness’ and believe I speak from the heart and personal experience when we explore culture, what it means to be international and how understanding similarities and differences can lead to connections and ultimately a better world. I want my own children to live in another culture, to learn and develop an awareness, understanding, and appreciation for our similarities and differences. My partner and I also wish this for ourselves and want to learn from and contribute to another community. I have grown up in both the city and country, travelled through Europe and lived in Italy, backpacked through parts of Africa, worked in parts of Asia briefly, and have always wanted to teach in an international setting.”
What extra ‘something’ can you offer a school?
What drew you to teaching and in particular made you want to look overseas?
Try to let your personality come through. You need to stand out from hundreds of candidates that are also well qualified.
Tip: Remember to write in ‘Word’ and check how much you can actually write in the space provided.