The education job market is an incredibly competitive landscape for both aspiring teachers and those seeking new roles. With limited openings and rigid qualifications, those in the job hunt are always looking for new ways to stand apart from fellow applicants. Thankfully, there is no better way to effectively represent your abilities and earn yourself an interview than with a well crafted teacher’s cover letter.
However, a cover letter for a teaching position isn’t usually structured like cover letters for general career applications. There are a series of different sections to include, and best practices to follow to help your cover letter stand out. Here is a quick guide to writing your teaching cover letter.
How to Write a Great Teacher Cover Letter
When drafting — and editing and redrafting — your cover letter, there are few things to keep in mind. First, think of a cover letter as the teaser for your resume. It shouldn’t just summarize everything that’s included in the resume, but instead should hook the reader and make them want to know more about you. A cover letter is the opportunity to paint a more complete picture of who you are as a person and an educator, rather than just a laundry list of experience and education. Here are the essential ingredients of a high quality teacher cover letter.
- Header: The header should contain all of your important personal information, including full name, email address, phone number and sometimes physical address. If possible, maintaining the same header design across both the cover letter and resume can really help your materials stand out.
- Date: Date the letter for the day you will be submitting your materials.
- Address of School and Hiring Manager: Include the full formal address of the hiring manager and the school you are applying to, just as you would address an envelope. It’s also helpful to include the phone number and email address for the hiring manager to demonstrate your attention to detail.
- Greeting: “Dear ______,” is the default greeting for all cover letters, so it’s a good one to stick with. if you are unable to find a specific person to address the letter to, “To Whom It May Concern,” is a safe backup plan.
- Body Paragraphs: The main body of the cover letter should include a series of paragraphs detailing the relevant information your potential employer should know about you. While this does include your teaching experience, relevant skills and educational philosophy, it should not just reiterate everything included in your resume. Use these sentences to illustrate your personality, passion for the field and your goals for this position.
- Closing: The final paragraph should concisely wrap up your letter and include a brief thank you, reiterate your interest in the position and include a reference to your resume and list of references.
- Signature: Try to include your actual signature. If you’re submitting a physical copy that won’t be a problem, but if you’re applying digitally you can use Adobe Acrobat to insert your signature.
Beyond the must-include sections of an education cover letter, there are also a few pro tips that will help you stand apart from the other standardized letters:
Be concise: Hiring managers are likely reading countless cover letters for the same position, so using flowery language and lengthy sentences won’t be effective. Finding a way to concisely state all of your best qualities without coming across as braggadocious will help leave a good first impression with hiring managers.
Tailor each letter to each role: Odds are that you’re applying to multiple teaching jobs at once. And while it can be time consuming to edit and re-edit your letters for each job, this is an essential step. Hiring managers can sniff out a letter that has been created to be vague enough to work for multiple jobs, and that’s an easy way to get disqualified quickly. Go the extra mile and tailor each letter for each job you want — you’ll thank yourself in the long run.
Show, don’t tell: Don’t just say that you helped your students meet the standard for reading proficiency — explain the specific steps you took and highlight relevant proof points or statistics to support your claims. This is much more effective than simply stating an accomplishment.
Cover Letter Example Template
Here is a teaching cover letter example to help you get started.
[Hiring Manager’s Name]
[123 School Address]
[School’s City, State, Zip Code]
[Hiring Manager’s Telephone No.]
[Hiring Manager’s Email]
Dear [Hiring Manager’s Name],
I am writing to express my deep interest in the open elementary-level teaching position in your school district. As a 2020 graduate of the University of San Diego, I have student teaching experience in the third grade in a suburban school district. I believe my teaching pedagogy, classroom experience and passion for school engagement make me an ideal candidate and a perfect fit for your school community.
As an aspiring elementary teacher, I acknowledge that my classroom time is limited. However, I’ve found that my passion for (and commitment to) teaching have only grown with every experience. The feeling of getting through to that student who just wasn’t “getting the hang of it,” or helping students achieve their goals, never gets old.
In my teaching experience, I have taught in a third-grade classroom where I was relied upon to lead English instruction for 23 students throughout the term. This challenged me to adopt distinctive teaching methodologies, document all lessons, organize healthy group discussions and mentor troubled students. I had also previously volunteered as an education coordinator at a local museum, where I was able to create interactive lessons for a wide variety of age groups.
It is clear that your school strives to engage the whole school community, a mission I would seek to support through my out-of-classroom initiatives. I have lots of experience incorporating service projects into my curriculum. As a student teacher I led a unit for third-graders on plant life, and we volunteered to build a community garden for our school that was harvested for school lunches.
Enclosed is my resume for your review. I welcome the opportunity to discuss with you personally how my skills and strengths can best serve your institution. Please contact me at (123) 456-7895 or Ed-Ucator@gmail.com
FAQs About Getting a New Teaching Job
Q: How do I prepare for a new teaching job?
A: One of the best ways to stand apart from other applicants is to demonstrate your ongoing commitment to improving your craft. While many schools offer varying professional development opportunities, you can also pursue continuing education courses for educators. These courses cover a wide variety of topics — from classroom management to restorative justice to Google classroom — and can really help a resume stand out.
Q: How can I improve my chances of getting a teaching job?
A: Aside from having robust experience and demonstrable teaching skills, there is no replacement for a well written cover letter, resume and letters of recommendation. Schools want to hire a person, not just a list of accomplishments. Make sure your application materials highlight your strengths and show the hiring manager who you are. This will help you stand apart from other applicants. Secondly, consider reaching out to teachers already working in that school or district. They may have tips that will help you put your best foot forward with that particular hiring director.