SAF: How to structure the Special Interests section


Lots of my Instagram followers requested information about the special interests section of the SAF so here are my thoughts.

The Special Interests and getting to know you

This section in each SAF is a lovely place to get to know the job candidate. Many of my clients keep it very academically-based (Curricular areas they enjoy teaching, dissertations, special education expertise etc) while others include their hobbies (eg yoga, horse riding, baking, sports etc). I love to see the range of information that's out there and there's no area that's better than another when you're coming from a place of authenticity.

Qn: I'm unsure what to write in the Special Interests Area.

I reply - are you unsure because

  1. You don't have many areas you're interested in?

  2. You've not much time for hobbies?

  3. You lack the confidence to 'own' your experiences?

  4. You're afraid to write too much or too little?

For questions 1 - 3 above, I invite you to reflect on them and uncover what's going on for you personally there. What can you do differently with this new awareness?

.And for question 4: In terms of length and number of boxes each teacher uses, this ranges vastly from client to client. Many clients I provide question prompts to encourage them to write more and for others, I encourage to cut down this section a little. A happy medium, I would say in terms of length is 5 - 7 sentences and 5 boxes in total.

Qn: Should I only reference curricular based Special Interests?

This is a personal choice, in this section I enjoy reading about the fact that your love of historical biographies lends itself well to your teaching of history or your love of baking means that you often use the school kitchen to bake with your pupils for social skills, teaching procedures in English etc.

I'm not a fan of bullet points in this section, I feel that it's a nice place to tell a little story about when you became interested in it, why and how it helps you in your teaching. Each to their own here though.

> Read ‘The Standard Application Form: What do I write in the non-accredited courses section?’ here.

I hope that helps you get an idea of how to structure this important section of the SAF. If you’re still unsure you may want to learn how my 1-1 services can help you, click here for more information.



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