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  #1  
Old 03-27-2013, 09:45 AM
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Cover Letter-- Critique Please!

I know that this is very lengthy but I am bad about cutting out material. Any advise would be greatly valued.


February 18, 2013
Dear :
I am interested in applying for general education teaching position at [Elementary]. As a May 2011 graduate from [College], I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education along with a minor in Psychology.
Currently I am an interventionist and technology instructor at [Elementary] in [district]. As an interventionist, I work with three small groups on reading and writing skills. I develop lessons and evaluate the students daily. This allows me to know what skills to focus on in the next lesson. By continuously assessing and adapting lessons based on the students’ needs, I am able to help them grow, not only in reading and writing, but also in their confidence to pursue these tasks.
As the technology instructor, I have been honored to create a new curriculum and to develop integrated lesson plans for all of the kindergartners in the district. Every class has brought a unique set of learning styles and personalities. In this position I have not only had to differentiate my lessons for individual students but also from class to class. This position has challenged me and taught me so much about teaching.
Before this position, I student taught at [Elementary] in [District] where I had the pleasure of teaching a diverse group of 4th grade students. I developed a variety of lessons and assessments to meet the needs of the students’ different learning styles. Student teaching reaffirmed my passion for teaching.
Through these experiences, I have realized that a school is not solely a place for learning. It is a community. Everyone is interconnected from the administration to the students, faculty, staff, and parents. The individuals that I have interacted with have provided me with learning opportunities from helping me to develop and implement incentive programs to creating differentiated lesson plans. Every experience and interaction during student teaching and my current position have reaffirmed my theory that being a teacher is not only about teaching but also about learning. I hope to share these skills and to become a part of your learning community at Elementary.
Enclosed is my résumé, and I have requested my credential file be sent to you from [College], enabling you to better understand my abilities from the view of my supervisors.
I may be reached at the contact information listed above should you have further questions or would like to schedule an interview. I look forward to hearing from you and having an opportunity to work within the [Elementary] community. I appreciate your time and thank you for your consideration.
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  #2  
Old 03-27-2013, 11:02 AM
TeacherGroupie TeacherGroupie is offline
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Your letter begins with a wordy fib: you write, "I am interested in applying", but instead please use "I am applying".

Note the point of a cover letter is neither to recapitulate one's resume nor to discuss one's philosophy of education, but rather to entice people who are in charge of hiring to read the rest of the packet.

Many A to Z members find it easier to write a compelling letter when they tell one or two anecdotes in which they make a difference to an individual student. The reason this works is partly that, as the creative-writing boffins say, they're showing rather than telling.

So tell me some stories, hm?
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  #3  
Old 04-01-2013, 06:11 PM
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I am applying for a general education teaching position at Elementary. With a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education from College, I am certified to teach K-6 in Indiana.

After student teaching in fourth grade, I have been honored to create the technology curriculum for Liberty Early Elementary School. Along with typing and navigation skills, I strive to make the lessons cross curricular by including the core subjects. Throughout the year, the classes complete two research projects: a country study and a habitat study. The students create PowerPoint slides to share what they have learned from the research. I believe that it is essential to create engaging and integrated lessons.

My teaching experiences have allowed me to work with diverse students. I have learned the importance of evaluation and the value of flexibility. In my intervention groups, evaluation is constantly occurring. I use this information to find innovative ways to address reoccurring struggles and to establish what the students need to learn next. My goal as a teacher is to provide a safe and supportive environment for all students to exceed their highest expectations and to create lifelong learners.

I may be reached at the contact information listed above should you have further questions or would like to schedule an interview. I look forward to hearing from you and having an opportunity to work within the (school/distrct) community. I appreciate your time and thank you for your consideration.
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  #4  
Old 04-01-2013, 06:39 PM
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giraffe326 giraffe326 is offline
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I am by no means an expert (look at my own mess of a thread for proof!). However, I am MUCH better at editing than writing. So, here goes....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tech Teacher View Post
I am applying for a general education teaching position at Elementary.
Is this in here because it will be edited, or do you plan on wording this way. For example, if there is a 4th grade position, I'm assuming you will change it to "I am applying for the fourth grade position at ELEMENTARY." My question is more- what happens if it says position/location TBD- do you plan on leaving it this way? If so, I'd suggest making it "I am applying for an elementary position at Elementary." Your certification will ensure that it is a regular teaching position, not a 'specials' or SpEd position.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tech Teacher View Post
With a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education from College, I am certified to teach K-6 in Indiana.
Are you in Indiana? Did you graduate from a college in Indiana? If you answered yes to one (or both) of these questions, then you probably do not need the last statement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tech Teacher View Post
After student teaching in fourth grade, I have been honored to create the technology curriculum for Liberty Early Elementary School.
Is this your student teaching job? Is this a new job? I'm confused. If this happened during student teaching, it should be "While student...." or "After completing my student teaching assignment, they (principal?) selected me to create...."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tech Teacher View Post
Along with typing and navigation skills, I strive to make the lessons cross curricular by including the core subjects.
So this IS a new position. I did not read this through before I began typing. However, I think this is more helpful- if I am confused, whoever is screening your application will be confused, too. A few suggestions- instead of "Along with", use something like "In addition to"
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tech Teacher View Post
Throughout the year, the classes complete two research projects: a country study and a habitat study.
Each class completes two research projects annually....
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tech Teacher View Post
The students create PowerPoint slides to share what they have learned from the research. I believe that it is essential to create engaging and integrated lessons.
Presentation, not slides. Instead of 'share what they have learned', 'demonstrate their knowledge'. WHY do you think it is essential to create 'engaging and integrated lessons'?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tech Teacher View Post
My teaching experiences have allowed me to work with diverse students. I have learned the importance of evaluation and the value of flexibility. In my intervention groups, evaluation is constantly occurring. I use this information to find innovative ways to address reoccurring struggles and to establish what the students need to learn next. My goal as a teacher is to provide a safe and supportive environment for all students to exceed their highest expectations and to create lifelong learners.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tech Teacher View Post
I may be reached at the contact information listed above should you have further questions or would like to schedule an interview. I look forward to hearing from you and having an opportunity to work within the (school/distrct) community. I appreciate your time and thank you for your consideration.
I would restate your preferred method of contact. I can be reached at 555-555-5555 or emailadress. I think "having the opportunity..." is unnecessary. Of course you want the opportunity- you are applying for it.



As I said, I am no expert. TeacherGroupie is
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  #5  
Old 04-01-2013, 07:39 PM
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Thank you for all of your help! I have trouble editing my own work.

How does this sound?
I believe that it is essential to create engaging and integrated lessons because learning should be fun and mimic the real world.

Is that too vague?
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  #6  
Old 04-01-2013, 07:52 PM
TeacherGroupie TeacherGroupie is offline
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Tech Teacher, I'm seeing a lot of buzzwords, but they're not very connected and they're not producing much buzz. In paragraph 2 I'm seeing a bunch of words (curriculum, typing and navigation skills, cross curricular, core subjects, PowerPoint slides, engaging and integrated); in paragraph 3 I'm seeing another bunch (diverse students, evaluation, flexibility, intervention groups, innovative, safe and supportive environment, exceed their highest expectations, create lifelong learners) - but I'm not seeing you as teacher.

Please tell us - I mean, here on A to Z - one or two "lightbulb moment" stories: stories about times when the proverbial lightbulb switched on for one of your students. I'd prefer one about a lightbulb on for a student doing one of the projects you've assigned and one about a lightbulb on for a student in one of your intervention groups.

(By the way, if you were hired to create the technology curriculum, that's way more impressive than being honored, and if you volunteered, that's also more impressive; "cross curricular", since you're using it as an attributive adjective, should be hyphenated; and "reoccurring" should be "recurring".)
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  #7  
Old 04-01-2013, 08:20 PM
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Thank you! I really value all of your advice.

I teach 450 students and another 15 specifically for interventions. I find it really hard to pin point one story

During the country project, each class chooses 3 topics to research. They have researched everything from sports and candy to water. One class was researching America. We learned how to do a line dance. Another class learned how to play an Italian children's game. I love to just be the guide as they explore the world.

One of my intervention students started kindergarten in October. This automatically put her behind the curve. She was quickly put into my intervention group. I have watched her go from not knowing how to write her own name and few letters to reading level C books (with help) and writing full sentences. Seeing her smile because she accomplished a new skill without my help, that is why I am a teacher.

I can tell stories. I just know how to say in few words.
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  #8  
Old 04-02-2013, 09:03 AM
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Sorry my last message was little jumbled. I was exhausted last night.

Dear:

I am applying for an elementary teaching position at Elementary. With a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education from College, I am certified to teach K-6.

After student teaching in the fourth grade, I accepted the position as technology instructor at Liberty Early Elementary, a centralized kindergarten. Starting with a blank slate, I have created the technology curriculum. Along with typing and navigation skills, I strive to make the lessons cross- curricular by including the core subjects. Throughout the year there are two research projects. In the fall each class learns about a different country. While learning about American dance, one class asked to learn a dance. We found a video and everyone was line dancing. Another class learned a little Italian. The lunch ladies were asking me what “ho fame” means. I simply smiled and said "They are hungry". Later in the spring everyone learns about a habitat. The students demonstrate the knowledge they gain by creating their first PowerPoint presentations. I believe that it is essential to create engaging and integrated lessons because the more involved the students are the more they will learn.

My teaching experiences have allowed me to work with diverse students. I have learned the importance of evaluation and the value of flexibility. With my intervention groups, evaluation is constantly occurring. I use this information to find innovative ways to address recurring struggles and to establish what the students need to learn next. One of my intervention students started kindergarten in October. This automatically put her behind the curve. She was quickly put into my intervention group. I have watched her go from knowing few letters or how to write her own name to reading level C books (with help) and writing full sentences. Seeing her smile because she accomplished a new skill without my help, overwhelms me with joy and reminds me why I love teaching. My goal as a teacher is to provide a safe and supportive environment for all students to exceed their highest expectations and to create lifelong learners.

I may be reached at 123-456-7890 or email should you have further questions or would like to schedule an interview. I look forward to hearing from you and having an opportunity to work within the (school/district) community. I appreciate your time and thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,
xxx
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  #9  
Old 04-02-2013, 11:40 AM
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giraffe326 giraffe326 is offline
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Checking to see if I can post...
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  #10  
Old 04-02-2013, 11:50 AM
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I hope the moderators don’t put up all three posts. Oops
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