Yeah, yeah, you say. I know that the cover letter shouldn't have grammar and spelling issues. But what does it look like?
Here's an example of a cover letter. It can serve as a guide as you think about crafting your own, unique letter.
City, State Zip
(phone number or email optional)
May 10, 2011
[leave 2-3 blank lines here]
Ms. Sharon Wells
Prairie Valley Public Schools
1234 Main Street
Funtown, MN 12345
[leave 2-3 blank lines here]
Dear Ms. Sharon Wells:
It is with enthusiasm and interest that I am writing as an applicant for your current posting for a fifth grade classroom teacher for the 2011-2012 school year at Maple Ridge Elementary School in the Prairie Valley School District. My student teaching cooperating teacher, Jane Smith, encouraged me to apply for the position. Jane is happily employed at Blue Lake Elementary in your district. I am currently a student at University, where I will earn my bachelor's degree in May with a major in elementary education with licensure for K-6 and a minor in Spanish.
[This first paragraph is your chance to catch the reader's attention. If you have a connection to the district, be sure to mention it. Be clear about the position for which you are applying, and how you are qualified for that position.]
Maple Ridge Elementary is of particular interest to me because of its focus on providing all students a relevant and challenging learning experience and its commitment to promoting equity among all students. As indicated in my resume, I am completing my student teaching in Minneapolis, MN. At Minneapolis Elementary, I have been professionally challenged to meet the needs of a culturally and linguistically diverse fourth grade classroom. I believe it is important to understand the different learning styles and strengths that students bring to the classroom. Through my student teaching in this classroom, I have gained the ability to modify lessons to provide accommodations for the learning needs of all my students. An example of this is in the Earth Science unit I have developed, which includes hands-on, teacher-led, discussion-based and student-taught lessons.
[Clearly express why you want this position and how you are a good fit for the position and/or company. Highlight your relevant academic, experiential, and personal background. Focus on 2-3 specific qualifications and provide examples of how you’ve demonstrated the skills they are looking for. Use your voice to help bring life and personality to your application. But remember to be specific. Above all, clearly articulate the match between you and the desired position.]
I am eager for the opportunity to continue to pursue my passion for teaching and supporting student learning. I believe that my strong academic background in education and my minor in Spanish will complement the fifth grade position at Maple Ridge Elementary. I have included my resume, contact information for my references, and my application. I would be delighted to meet with you at your convenience. I can be reached by phone at (201) 555-5309 or email at email@example.com. Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to sharing how my experiences might benefit the students and families of Maple Ridge Elementary School.
[Let them know what you've included with the letter - your resume, an application, references, etc. Include your contact information again, and thank them for their consideration of your application materials. Show that you are interested in meeting with them.]
[3-4 blank lines for your signature]
Your typed name
A couple more tips for cover letters:
- Always address the letter to the specific person doing the hiring, not "To Whom it May Concern." This may mean searching the website or a phone call to the main number of the school/district. Make sure, too, that you have the correct title for this person (Ms., Mr., Dr. etc).
- Avoid using passive voice in your letter. Try to use as many strong verbs as possible.
- Stay away from using acronyms, jargon, and cliches.
Good luck as you continue crafting your cover letters!
Next topic: resume pointers
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What other questions do you have about crafting effective cover letters?
Looking for your very first teaching job or your third? One thing rings true: all the best credentials, experience and passion go unnoticed without a strong cover letter. The main rule? Sell yourself the way a publicist would. Sing your praises! Cover letters aren’t a time for modesty. They’re a time to brag and make your passion for teaching known. Here are a few of our favorite teacher cover letter examples.
But first, a few tips:
Always emphasize your achievements.
Teach your students “show me, don’t tell me?” Do the opposite! Share every detail of your teaching accomplishments. Overshare all your awards, accolades, relevant certifications and completed training.
Don’t forget your work outside the classroom.
When you’re just starting out, it’s understood that your experience is limited. You can still expand on all your relevant experience working with children from running workshops to volunteering. Discuss the impact it made and why.
Always tailor EACH letter to fit the specific school, district and job for which you’re applying. Research the school and its culture so you understand their expectations and use specific examples to explain why you’re a good fit.
Here are some great teacher cover letter examples:
1. For a first time teacher
This letter (linked above) is friendly and enthusiastic. It uses concrete examples and experiences related to teaching, building a strong case for why you want to become a teacher.
2. For an experienced teacher looking for a new position
Make it short, sweet and to the point—but chock full of important career information that highlights why you’re the right candidate for the specific job available.
3. For an assistant teacher position
With this letter, a slightly different approach is taken by breaking down the most relevant achievements and accomplishments into bullet points. They’ll jump out at the hiring manager while scanning through all their applications.
4. For special education teachers
If you’re applying for a special education/lead teacher position, you’ll see that this letter is not too different from the others. It does call out the specific qualifications and experience needed.
5. For a specialist position
Here’s letter is specifically for a food service specialist. Yet, it can easily be adapted for any job that goes beyond the traditional classroom.
Do you have any more great teacher cover letter examples? We’d love to add to this list. Please share in the comments.