You are just out of school and excited about your first teaching job, or, you are looking to change careers and start educating students; either way, you are going to need a first-rate teacher cover letter.
Being able to craft an exceptional teacher cover letter is essential because it is your first chance to make an impression on the employer, a chance to make him or her ask them self “why should I interview this applicant”? “What can he/she bring to the table that the others can’t?” If your teacher cover letter doesn’t show them your uniqueness you may have a problem.
There are several ways to go about getting help when you need to know about writing a teacher cover letter. Most colleges and universities offer help of this sort right at their student services office; there are also books galore in your local library or bookstore. However, the most powerful and most-oft used tool today, I believe, is the Internet. You can go to any search engine and type in “teacher cover letter” and you will most certainly bring back several “hits.” It can be tiring just reading through them and trying to weed out the good from the bad!
So, let me give you some help from someone who has been there and done that, let’s
teach you about writing a teacher cover letter…no pun intended!
But, before you begin writing, make sure you do some research on the school or educational system you are applying to; it is always wise to know a few facts beforehand and if it comes up in conversation during the interview you are trying to get, or if you can work it in somehow, it will be impressive and show how interested in the school district you really are.
Next, choose a cover letter style. If your cover letter is in response to a job posting in the newspaper, for instance, most people like to mention where they saw the ad. Recently, this action has come under debate, with some people saying not to mention where you saw the ad unless it was a referral, so do what feels right to you.
If you are sending your resume via email, make use of the Subject Line with something catchy, more than just your generic “Job Opening, Resume Attached.” Stay away from fancy fonts and italics though. Make sure the employer has all of your contact information as well as your full name. And last but not least, check for spelling and grammar. Spellchecker cannot and will not catch everything so you will have to proof read it yourself, as well. Make sure you do!
If you are composing a Cold Call cover letter, simply address it to the School Administration Hiring Board, or whatever may be more appropriate where you are applying. You should still do some research on the school district, and let them know which teaching position you are interested in. Also, list two or three things that would make you an asset to their teaching staff. Finally, simply write that you will follow up to discuss possible openings, maybe giving a specific day or a time range in which to expect your follow up, and make sure that you do indeed stick by your word and follow up. Of course, make sure that they have all of your contact info just in case something opens and they want to contact you.
Teacher cover letters should always be kept professional looking and “sounding.” At the top of the page should be listed your address, do not put your name there, just your address. On the next line, put that day’s date. Next, you will want to put the name of the employer, or person in charge of hiring, if you do not have this information, get it! Call Administration and find out, it will only take you a second and it’s a must. Make sure you have this person’s title as well, because that is what goes below his or her name. Then you will list the school or district name, below that, the address. Triple space and you are ready to address your potential employer: Dear Mr./Ms. Employer.
Your first paragraph should be kept short and to the point; state the position you want. Explain why you are interested in this specific profession; this specific grade, etc. Try to make a connection. This is where your research comes into play again. If you can make a connection do so concisely and explicitly; across-the-board statements will not work. If you don’t have something that you are sure you can use, use nothing. It will work better for you that way.
Your second paragraph will probably be your longest and should be the one that really “reels’em in,” so to speak. This is where you try and list two or three accomplishments which can be backed up with specific examples. Talk about general qualities that you possess that would bring value to the school district you are applying to. You may use examples from your resume but never copy word for word from it. If this paragraph gets too long, consider breaking it down into two, you want your teacher cover letter to have a consistent look and flow about it.
Your final paragraph should be short and will simply refer to the enclosed resume, and also request an interview. Let them know what will happen next, i.e. when you will be contacting them to follow up. And last, but certainly not least, thank them for their time and consideration.
Well, that’s all the time we have. Now how do you feel about getting started on writing a teacher cover letter?