Cover letter look over

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by msrosie, Feb 2, 2015.

  1. msrosie

    msrosie Rookie

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    Feb 2, 2015

    Hello all! I've just revamped my cover letter and I was hoping that you all would be willing to look it over and give me some constructive criticism. Thanks!


    I am interested in applying for blah blah elementary teaching position(s) at Blah Blabber Elementary School for the 2015-2016 school year. I am confident that my two years of combined experience as a substitute teacher and an Illinois PEL and my commitment to ensure that all students are being pushed to achieve greatness will make me a great asset to the staff at Blah Blabber Elementary School.

    Substitute teaching allowed me to work with a diverse population of students at varying grade levels. It has been through student teaching that I have been able to gain valuable experience administering assessments in order to collect data on students, as well as using the data to ensure that students were getting all of the support and interventions necessary for their academic growth. It was during substituteteaching that I also gained experience with Common Core standards and standards-based report cards.

    My greatest strengths include inspiring and motivating students. I actively engage students’ minds by incorporating a variety of opportunities to work with their hands and with other students in the classroom. I always try to tailor lesson plans to meet the diverse needs and interests of all students in the classroom, as well as connecting those lessons to everyday life. Teaching is not only about being able to work with students but parents play an important role as well. I am in frequent contact with parents so they are able to hear about the successes that their students are having in the classroom and are able to reinforce education at home.

    As a lifelong learner, I am constantly evaluating myself in the classroom to determine what I can do in order to be the best teacher for my students. I have used a variety of professional development opportunities offered for substitute teachers within the Blah Blabber School District in order to continue developing and learning as an educator. During the last year, I have been working to make each classroom I step into a safe space for all students where they know that their thoughts and opinions are heard.

    I have thoroughly enjoyed watching all the students I have worked with learn and grow. I hope to continue my teaching journey within this community, where I know I can cultivate a classroom filled with lifelong learners who are passionate about the things they are learning and create real world hands on learning experiences for the students. I look forward to hearing from you, and hope that I am able to join your team.
     
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  3. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Feb 3, 2015

    Long letter, lots of buzzwords, kind of wordy but not much sense of who YOU are as a teacher.

    Look: Have you got any nifty stories about how you've made the difference for a stuck student? Tell me here, not in the letter, please - several stories if you can.
     
  4. msrosie

    msrosie Rookie

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    Feb 3, 2015

    Not really nifty.

    While in a long term assignment, I had a student who was very unmotivated to do work and things in class and out of class. So since his bus was one of the last called daily, I sat with him at the end of the day and worked on his homework for him. He got that sense of accomplishment and the issues that a lot of other teachers had, I didn't have with him.

    I come from the private daycare world so I'm use to taking lots of breaks and finding creative ways to get to students. But I don't have much actual elementary experience besides one LTS.
     
  5. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Feb 3, 2015

    What do you think that story shows about you that a principal or district would want to know? (Hint: See if the job description or the organization's Web page contains anything useful.)

    If you don't have actual elementary experience, you can still spin the experience you do have. Tell me some stories of reaching the littler ones.
     
  6. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Feb 3, 2015

    The top sentence is long, can you split it up? Also, does everyone know what PEL means in Illinois (I don't)?

    In the second sentence, you have substitute teaching combined.
     
  7. msrosie

    msrosie Rookie

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    Feb 3, 2015

    I think that story shows that I'm dedicated to helping my students succeed. That I'm willing to take whatever step and do what's necessary for them to be successful.

    With the little ones, it reaching them was a lot of getting down on their level, talking to them, playing with them, etc.

    For example, I had a child who came into my class at the beginning of last school year who was behind his peers developmentally - he didn't know how to play with toys appropriately, he had aggressive outburst (think throwing chairs), he wasn't really able to speak clearly and he wasn't potty trained. Because I had an aide in the room, my aide and I worked together to connect to this child, we found that he really responded to music and touch (squeezes). He moved a couple months before the end of the school year, but at the point when he moved, he was no longer having as many outburst (down to one or two a week from about 3 a day), he was willing to do the academic work and he was actually empathizing with the other children. It's my biggest accomplishment to date.

    I can absolutely split it up. My space bar sticks sometimes that's honestly probably why those two words are together. I'll absolutely clean it up much more before I send it to anyone.

    Everyone in IL should know what PEL means. Our state switched from teaching certificates to professional educator licenses last year. Basically the same thing, but a more fancy name.
     
  8. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Feb 3, 2015

    You elaborated a bit more in the story about the kid with the outbursts: good. Now tell me, here, what that story says about how you'd handle kids in the classroom to which you're applying.* Be specific and keep it to a sentence.

    Then rewrite it to be even more specific.

    Make sure you're keeping the district's interests and needs in mind. Telling a district it's providing a wonderful opportunity for you is not very compelling: you need to keep your eye on how the district will benefit. (If you've ever done sales, this point will make more sense.)

    *For the record: if one is writing a cover letter, one isn't "interested in applying": one simply is applying.
     

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