Teacher Cover Letter Example and Writing Tips
Are you applying for a job as a teacher? An outstanding cover letter can mean the difference between getting the interview and languishing in job search limbo.
Use your cover letter to highlight related experience and past achievements, tying your work history and accomplishments to the job description. You’re not trying to recreate your resume, here. The goal is to introduce yourself and showcase the skills and qualifications that make you stand out from the competition.
Whether you’re fresh out of college or an experienced teacher, these tips and cover letter example will help you convince the hiring committee that you’re the best candidate for the job.
How to Use a Cover Letter Example
A cover letter example helps you with the layout of your letter. Examples also show you what elements you need to include in your letter, such as introductions and body paragraphs.
Along with helping with your layout, cover letter examples can show you what kind of content you should include in your document, and what type of language to use. For example, a sample might show you the action words you should include in your own cover letter.
Use a cover letter example as a guide to your own letter, but do not simply the text in the example. You should tailor your cover letter to fit your own work history, and the job for which you are applying.
Tips for Writing a Cover Letter for a Teaching Job
Emphasize your achievements. Include examples of your accomplishments in past jobs as a teacher.
For example, if your students earned high state test scores, or if you received a teaching award, mention these successes.
Mention any training or certifications. Many teaching jobs have specific training and certification requirements. Use your cover to demonstrate that you have what’s required for the job.
Include related work outside the classroom. If you have non-teaching work or volunteer experience that involves working with children, you can highlight this in your cover letter as well. You especially might want to do this if you have limited teaching experience.
Customize your cover letter. Be sure to tailor each cover letter to fit the specific school and job listing. One way to do this is to research the school, and mention why you think you’d be a good fit for that specific school.
Take your time. Many job seekers treat cover letters like an afterthought, but these letters are so much more than a cover sheet for your application. A boring, slapdash letter won’t help your candidacy, and it could hurt your chances. Quality is also important: a cover letter filled with typos and silly grammatical errors will not inspire the hiring committee to give you a call.
Cover Letter Example for a Teacher
87 Washington Street
Smithfield, CA 08055
Mr. John Doe
Smithfield Elementary School
Smithfield, CA 08055
Dear Mr. Doe,
I am interested in applying for an elementary-level teaching position in your school district. As a 20XX graduate of XXX College, I have student teaching experience on the third- fourth-, and sixth-grade level, in both suburban and urban school districts.
I believe my teaching experience and passion for community engagement make me an ideal candidate for a teaching position at your school.
I have experience teaching elementary-level students in a variety of settings. I am currently teaching third-grade children at an inner-city charter school. As a former education coordinator at a local museum, I also have experience teaching fourth-grade students in a small suburban school system. Your school emphasizes its unique position as a school that caters to both inner-city and suburban students, so I think my varied experiences would make me an asset to your program.
Your school also strives to engage students in the larger community. I have lots of experience incorporating community service projects into my classrooms. For example, as a student teacher, I led a unit for third-graders on plant life, and we volunteered at a local community garden.
I would love to find ways to integrate service learning into my lesson plans.
It is my goal to combine my range of experience with my ability to be a compassionate, enthusiastic, intelligent teacher who will make a positive contribution to your school district and larger community. I would welcome an interview and hope to hear from you at your earliest convenience.
Signature (hard copy letter)
Read More:Teacher Resume Examples | More Sample Cover Letters
If your well-crafted teacher resume is your passport to interviews for elementary teacher jobs, your teacher cover letter is your first handshake with the interviewer.
The first step is to ensure that your cover letter is tailored for each new job application.
Research before writing
Start with a little online research on the school district's website to determine:
- What makes the school unique?
- The school's mission statement (if they have one)
What you might find on a school website
Think: How could this help you tailor your cover letter?
The goal of the staff at Simpson Elementary is to provide the best possible educational program for every student. A child’s success in school is highly dependent upon the relationship that exists between child, parent and teacher.
The Simpson community works together for the students at our school. Site based decision making has been implemented at Simpson through the Site Council which is instrumental in bringing the students, parents, teachers and members of our community together on behalf of our children.
Not a lot of details (which is common) but you can infer the high value they place on community. If you were applying to Simpson Elementary, you teacher cover letter should highlight this aspect of your past accomplishments.
And there's one final piece of important information:
- What socio-economic community do they serve?
That item can often be determined from the percentage of free- and reduced-price lunches provided to the students. If this statistic is not listed on the school district's website, it can often be found on the state's department of education website.
Government resources for research
You can Google your state's name and “report card” (ex.: “Iowa report card”) to find the Department of Education site that will tell you nearly anything you need to know for your cover letter.
Taking a few minutes to do this simple task will help you set your cover letter apart from the competition… and (bonus!) enable you to tailor your interview responses to fit the school.
Video: Teacher cover letter tips
Consider the grade level
Next, consider the position to which you are applying. A 1st grade position requires different skills than a 3rd/4th combination room. Can you highlight different elements of your experience in your cover letter to better match the criteria?
Create a resume that gets your ideal job!
A well-crafted resume and matching cover letter is a huge confidence builder.
Read and listen as I walk you through how to do it step-by-step in my Easy Teacher Resumes course. Ready-to-use Word templates included.
Just like resumes, teacher cover letters evolve over time as your experience changes. New teachers will rely more on volunteer, college and student teaching examples. More experienced teachers will rely on classroom and professional training examples.
Finally, consider how the application process works. Sometimes you may be sending your cover letter and resume directly to the interviewer. If that is the case, address it accordingly.
More often, however, you will likely be placing your information on file with a human resources contact person, or even uploading your documents to a posting website.
Take note: If most of your applications are for the same school district, you may not be able to update your cover letter for each new posting, so you will have to keep it broader in content.
Examples to Build On
Here are three samples from my past to consider (open as PDF's):
See the differences? My experience changed over time as I moved into different elementary teacher jobs, so I could continually remove non-teaching examples (such as being a school secretary) and add more student-focused content.
My formatting changed over the years as well, just because I felt like it. By the way, two of these cover letters did not result in jobs…sometimes people just can't appreciate your sterling qualities, no matter how well you craft your cover letter!
Resume templates for any grade level!
Don't obsess over your teacher cover letter's content. Keep it simple and straightforward and do not exceed one page. You can use these two Microsoft Word copies to create your own. The only difference is the formatting.
Note: The two documents are embedded in a Zip file. If your computer does not automatically open the folder, download the Zip file then unzip or double-click it to gain access.
TIP: Style points for formatting your cover letter similar to your resume!
Oh… one more thing. Just like your elementary school teacher resume: NO TYPOS ALLOWED! This includes grammatical errors. Ask two friends to read your teacher cover letter over before you finalize it.