Please help with my cover letter

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by penguinpc, Feb 5, 2017.

  1. penguinpc

    penguinpc Comrade

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    Feb 5, 2017

    Writing cover letters gives me fits. I am not certain that my rough draft below is any good at all. I do know that it is too long. Please give me your recommendations for how I can improve it, up to and including scrapping it and starting over.

    Thanks for your help!


    Dear Ms. Principal,


    I am writing to express my interest for job number 3333, Teacher - 3rd Grade, posted on the district website. I will bring several strengths to my team, including flexibility, adaptability, and excellent classroom management skills.


    A good teacher is flexible. As a long term substitute in a first grade classroom, I was teaching a math lesson on bar graphs. The students were required to survey all of the other students by asking them their favorite flavor of ice cream. We were beginning to run short on time so I considered bringing the kids back to the carpet before every student could survey every other student and just using what we had so far. However, the kids were having so much fun that I let them finish, even though it meant shortening another lesson. I felt the sacrifice was worthwhile having fun learning encourages greater learning.


    A good teacher is adaptable. As an intervention tutor, I worked on reinforcing specific math concepts with first graders. The students were learning about money and specifically about how many quarters equal dollar. The two students I was working with were having trouble remembering that four quarters made one dollar. I knew the students had studied fractions a few weeks before and were familiar with the idea that four equal sections of a circle equaled a one whole circle. I related this to the fact that four quarters equal one dollar which helped the students understand the concept successfully.


    A good teacher has strong classroom management skills. Managing children comes down to two key elements: providing structure by establishing routines and clearly stating expectations. From the beginning of the year I introduce classroom routines and make sure the children know them. I clearly state expectations at the beginning of each day and at the beginning of each new activity. I repeat as necessary and wait for compliance from the students before moving on. I strive to maintain a relaxed but patient demeanor. Part of classroom management is adhering to routine and taking as much time as necessary for the students to learn them. Once they have learned classroom routines, they are ready to learn.

    I would appreciate the opportunity to speak with your regarding the 3rd grade opening. I am certain that I can be an effective teacher at your school and provide the students with the education they deserve.


    Sincerely,


    Teacher Guy
     
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  3. viola_x_wittrockiana

    viola_x_wittrockiana Companion

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    Feb 5, 2017

    You've got some usable parts, but it needs work. You can shorten the statement of purpose easily. I usually use, "I am interested in pursuing the vacant _____ teaching position at _____ school," and that's the end of that. If it were me, I wouldn't do the repetitive "A good teacher" thing. You're following the rule of three, which is good in a speech, but not so much in writing. You also have the right idea with backing up your claims of certain qualities with stories, it's just too long and clunky here.

    My letters follow a format with the first paragraph explaining my experience, training, and skills, i.e. I've taught xyz. I'm trained in xyz methods. I also have xyz potentially useful side skills. My second paragraph is a little bit more about my teaching style and my academic background. Paragraph three is an anecdote from teaching, which your quarter thing would fulfill. I end with either, "Thank you," or, "Thank you for your time" or "Thank you for your consideration."
     
  4. ktmiller222

    ktmiller222 Cohort

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    Feb 12, 2017

    I would shorten it---maybe take out one large paragraph. It reads more like a college essay then a cover letter. I agree to take out " a strong teacher is...." " a good classroom...." stuff like that and make it sound more personal. Add your contact information in your last paragraph "i can be reached at....."
     
  5. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Feb 12, 2017

    That the letter promises three chief points and then delivers on them is, I think, a strength rather than a weakness. I agree with some of the previous commenters that the letter is rather wordy; some of the detail is unnecessary and some can be phrased more compactly, so you might try the poet's trick of taking out a word here and a word there while ensuring that the result still flows.

    The letter also exhibits some jarring lapses in sentence structure, though that might be a fact about copy-pasting it here.
     
  6. penguinpc

    penguinpc Comrade

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    Feb 22, 2017

    Here is my revised letter. I am not sure I am happy with the classroom management paragraph. Perhaps I should take it out and replace it with something relating to the school or district's mission statement, etc.


    Dear Ms. Principal,


    I am writing to express my interest for job number 5420, Teacher - 3rd Grade posted on the district website. I will bring several strengths to my team, including flexibility, adaptability, and excellent classroom management skills.


    When I was a first grade long term substitute, I taught a lesson on bar graphs. The students were to survey all of the their classmates to determine each student’s favorite flavor of ice cream. We began to run short on time so I started to call the students back to the carpet and use the incomplete data they had collected. However, the kids were having so much fun that I let them finish, even though this took time away from the next scheduled activity . I felt the sacrifice was worthwhile because having fun gave them more incentive to participate and learn.


    As an intervention tutor, I worked on reinforcing specific math concepts with first graders. The students I was working with were having trouble remembering that four quarters made one dollar. I knew they had studied fractions a few weeks before and were familiar with the idea that four equal parts of a circle equals one whole circle. I related this to the fact that four quarters equal one dollar which helped the students understand the concept successfully.


    As a substitute teacher my classroom management skills earned me recognition and repeat bookings from several schools. I was an effective classroom manager because I clearly stated expectations at the beginning of each day and at the beginning of each new activity. I repeated as necessary and waited for compliance from the students before moving on. This, along with establishing routines at the very beginning of the year, prepares students to be ready to learn.


    I would appreciate the opportunity to speak with your regarding the 1st grade opening. I am certain that I can be an effective teacher at your school and provide the students with the education they deserve. (Reader should see my contact info in the heading. Do I need to add it down here as well?)


    Sincerely,
    Teacher Guy
     
  7. ktmiller222

    ktmiller222 Cohort

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    Feb 23, 2017

    I think the letter is better! I'm not a big fan of the second paragraph. Although the graph activity was a positive, the statement of time being taking away from the next period/subject wouldn't sit well with some principals (they might think: "well, if they are having so much fun in recess, are you going to give them extra recess time every day and miss most of the next subject (i.e. math). Does that make sense?
    What I would do is take out the second paragraph and expand the first paragraph. In your first paragraph you talk about your strengths. Maybe add some of your goals as a teacher (i.e incorporating more hands-on activities, project based learning, use interest boosting techniques, etc.). Give them a vision of who you are or what you would to become as a teacher. Since this is a younger grade, maybe you can add something about your behavior management plan!
    I usually add my address and date on topic of the letter and add my phone number and e-mail address in the past paragraph....but that's just my style.
    Good luck!
     
  8. penguinpc

    penguinpc Comrade

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    Mar 19, 2017

    Here is a completely revamped letter :

    (Contact info and date will be up here)

    Debbie Downer
    Principal
    Advocair Elementary School
    111 Herbalife Drive
    Plexus, TX 123456

    Dear Ms. Downer,

    I am writing to express my interest for job number 5420, Teacher - 3rd Grade posted on the district website. I will bring several strengths to my team including an enthusiasm for new ideas, flexibility, and excellent classroom management skills.


    I am excited to try out new ideas in my classroom. The Daily Five, Fostering Literacy Independence In the Elementary Grades, contains a number of ideas that can be applied to not only literacy, but to math, science, and social studies. Chief among these is that students can and should have an investment in their own learning. This can be fostered by meeting as a group with the teacher on regular basis to keep students on task for each activity, training students to be peer helpers, and teaching students in self-directed learning techniques.


    As an intervention tutor, I worked on reinforcing specific math concepts with first graders. The students I was working with were having trouble remembering that four quarters made one dollar. I knew they had studied fractions a few weeks before and were familiar with the idea that four equal parts of a circle equals one whole circle. I related this to the fact that four quarters equal one dollar which helped the students understand the concept successfully.


    As a substitute teacher my classroom management skills earned me recognition and repeat bookings from several schools. I am an effective classroom manager because I clearly state expectations at the beginning of each day and at the beginning of each new activity. I repeat as necessary and wait for compliance from the students before moving on.


    I would appreciate the opportunity to speak with you regarding the 3rd grade opening. I can be an effective teacher at your school and provide the students with the education they deserve.


    Sincerely,




    Teacher Guy
     
  9. ktmiller222

    ktmiller222 Cohort

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    Mar 19, 2017

    looks great!!!! make sure you add your contact info in the last paragraph! good luck to you!!
     

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