Cover letter

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by SarahJ, Dec 30, 2007.

  1. SarahJ

    SarahJ Companion

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    Dec 30, 2007

    Hi

    Could someone read through and crit my cover letter please?

    Thanks

    Sarah

    To Whom It May Concern:

    I am a qualified Foundation Phase teacher with several years experience in the early childcare and education field.

    I am applying for a position as a Foundation Phase teacher and have attached my CV for you to peruse. I really enjoy teaching Foundation Phase as I find it exciting and fun as well as challenging. It is during these years that there is such a phenomenal rate of growth and learning and as a teacher it is a privilege to be a part of that.

    Since I started working with children, I have been exposed to so many different situations and children. I’ve learnt that even though the problem is the same, each child needs an individual approach and this has assisted me in my teaching. I’ve worked with children as young as a few hours old to pre-teen; those full of life and those suffering from illness, disability and broken homes; hyperactive and introverted. I am very interested in working with children with additional learning needs and especially interested in early intervention and inclusive education.

    There is so much you can teach young children, not only about their colours and numbers and nursery rhymes, but about the whole world around them and the marvellous opportunities that await them. I am looking forward to being able to help children discover a love of learning and a positive attitude to school and life.


    Yours truly,

    Sarah R
    <insert contact details)
     
  2.  
  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Dec 30, 2007

    Hi Sarah,

    It may be a regional thing, (like "colour" and "color") but I'm pretty sure that the word in the US would be "learned", not "learnt."

    Also, I know it's commonly called a "CV", but you may want to look up the Latin Phrase (or ask Teachergroupie; she's sure to know) and avoid the abbreviation.

    Last paragraph-- change it to "There is so much I can teach..." or "There is so much young children can be taught..." YOU are the one applying for the job, so keep yourself as the primary focus.

    Also, can you find the names of the people to whom you're sending this, to replace that opening line? A little time spent online makes the letter so much more personable!!

    Best wishes!
    Alice
     
  4. SarahJ

    SarahJ Companion

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    Dec 30, 2007

    Tx, changed the opening line to a general one...will alter for specific schools when using it :)

    Will check the grammar...not 100% sure...quite a few differences between USA and SA :)

    Appreciate the time you took to read it for me
     
  5. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Dec 30, 2007

    Absolutely. And add to that the fact that I teach math, not grammar, and you'll know to trust your own instincts before my suggestions!

    You're welcome:D
     
  6. in2it

    in2it Rookie

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    Dec 30, 2007

    Greetings, Sarah!

    Thank you for sharing your cover letter with us.

    There are some things in your letter that I really like:

    • your upfront statement of qualification for the position you seek
    • your discussion of the range of children with whom you have worked
    • your evidence of understanding (and your embracing of) inclusion
    • your demonstrated appreciation of the need for differentiated instruction/learning opportunities
    • the enthusiasm and energy that comes across in your letter

    I have learned some things from other links at this website that might help make your cover letter even stronger. These include:

    • address your letter to a specific individual - this may require some research on your part
    • if you are unable to obtain the name of a particular person, try to at least identify the job title or function of the person who will read the letter and then address it as appropriate (e.g., Dear Human Resource Director or Dear Recruiter)
    • specifically ask for an interview, perhaps as a final paragraph before your closing (e.g., Given the close fit between your needs and my qualifications, I would like to interview for a Foundation Phase teaching position. I can be flexible in the timing of this interview to meet the demands of your schedule. It will be a pleasure to speak with you directly about our mutual objectives.

    These are just some personal thoughts that you should weigh against your own judgement.

    Good luck with the job search!

    EDIT: I was busy typing while Aliceacc posted. I see that you've already discussed the question of whom to address your letter. Sorry for the duplication.
     
  7. SarahJ

    SarahJ Companion

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    Dec 30, 2007

    Tx in2it! Appreciate the time you took to read and respond :)
     
  8. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Dec 30, 2007

    Hi Sarah,
    I am finding your cover letter the same as everyone elses. You need to do something to make yourself stand out. Check out some of Adam Waxler's advice on this site. I tried to fix it a little. But it is rather long.



    Dear Mr. So and So:

    I would love the opportunity to be interviewed for the Foundation Phase teacher. I am qualified as a Foundation Phase teacher and have taught for several years.
    I enjoy teaching as I find it exciting and fun as well as challenging. It is during these years that there is such a phenomenal rate of growth and learning and as a teacher it is a privilege to be a part of that.

    Since I started working with children, I have been exposed to many diverse situations and children. I’ve learnt that even though the problems are the same, each child needs an individual approach and this has assisted me in my teaching. I’ve worked with children as young as a few hours old to pre-teen; those full of life and those suffering from illness, disability and broken homes; hyperactive and introverted. I am very interested in working with children with additional learning needs and especially interested in early intervention and inclusive education.

    (this paragraph probably doesn't need to be here)
    There is so much you can teach young children, not only about their colours and numbers and nursery rhymes, but about the whole world around them and the marvellous opportunities that await them. I am looking forward to being able to help children discover a love of learning and a positive attitude to school and life.

    I am excited about the possibility of a personal interview to further discuss my qualifications with you. I can be reached at my number. Enclosed is a copy of (insert what you are sending here). Thank you for taking the time to review my credentials and to consider me for employment with your district.


    Yours truly,

    Sarah R
     
  9. awaxler

    awaxler Comrade

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    Dec 30, 2007

    Hi Sarah,

    Try to think of your audience when you write you cover letter. The chances are they are reading many, many cover letters at once. Possibly for many different grade levels and subject areas. You want to make sure your cover letter stands out amongst the competition...you don't want it to just blend in with all the others.

    Remember, you cover letter is NOT supposed to get you the job...it IS supposed to get you an interview.

    A couple of suggestions about your cover letter...I may not have read past the "To Whom it May Concern". That indicates to me right away that you did not research our school...you are not writing to me directly and may be using the same cover letter for every school you apply to.

    Also, one big thing that stands out to me is that you never actually use the cover letter for what it is meant for which is to ask for the interview. Make sure your last paragragh specifically asks for an interview.

    I have several articles on cover letters that you can read here:
    http://www.TeacherInterviewTips.com/teacher_interview_articles.htm

    and more here:
    http://www.Write-Impressive-Resumes.com/job_search_articles.htm

    Hope that helps...

    Good luck!

    --Adam

    P.S. Thanks Jaime :)
     
  10. SarahJ

    SarahJ Companion

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    Dec 30, 2007

    Tx guys. I've never had to actually apply for an interview before. All my positions I've been 'head hunted' so its a different world for me :)

    Will keep all your suggestions in mind when I re-write it. As I mentioned earlier, the heading would be changed to which ever school etc I was applying to, and the details in the letter adjusted as needed, I just needed something general for here.
     
  11. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Dec 31, 2007

    Don't get discouraged. I rewrote mine last year at least 15 times. Just ask Alice.
    :D
     
  12. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Dec 31, 2007

    CV spelled out (or spelt out) is curriculum vitae.

    The spellings are spot on for English of the Commonwealth.

    SarahJ, have you got a heartwarming success story of making a key difference in the life of a child?
     
  13. SarahJ

    SarahJ Companion

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    Jan 1, 2008

    Not really, I don't know if they'd be considered heartwarming!

    I've worked with a little boy aged 5 who had been in hospital many times and recently had a MAJOR heart operation. He would do nothing but watch TV. His parents were going through a VERY rough time and separated, got back together, divorced, back together, moving, not moving over the period of a year. He was very emotionally unstable and would cling to me every day at 5 when I had to leave and beg me to stay until his mom got home (which was usually around 7). He would not play with his friends, acted out, school work started suffering etc. I got him outside and playing and climbing tree's and riding his scooter etc and we worked on developing his interest which was art. We encouraged him to develop a friendship with a neighbour who also went to his school and provided as much stability in his life as posisble. He is a FANTASTIC and talented artist and is now nearly 12yrs old.He is sociable and friendly and very active outdoors. The family is still together and they've all worked through their issues.

    Worked with a baby who at 10 mnths old could not sit. In 3 months I had her sitting, crawling, walking and the day I left she ran across the room to me!(as much as toddlers can run! :lol: )

    Currently working with a 4yr with a severe developmental delay - she is emotionally, physically, cognitively, socially 18 months old. She is learning so much every day. She had forgotten how to count and her colours and nursery rhymes but her mum says she has started remembering these things and they are so happy :wub:

    My favourites are:
    Working as an assistant in a grade 1 classroom. A little boy was really battling and I was able to help him figure out the basics for maths. The look on his face when he got his work back and the teacher had given him a smiley face sticker - his first ever - was amazing. I stayed with him most of the year, just assisting him gently (he had a mild learning difficulty and possibly ADD and I know the mum was dyslexic so perhaps that was a contributing factor too). He did transfer to a school with a remedial unit.

    Also in a grade 1 classroom, a little girl transferred in mid-year. She had never been to school before and her parents had just been dropping her off at a home daycare since she was a baby (strange family set up). Eventually the daycare told them to take their child to school. She could not do ANYTHING. Didn't know colours, numbers, shapes etc. Barely spoke English. I didn't do much with her but I did help her learn to count to 10 during the maths lessons - no point in doing addition if you can't count! She was so proud of herself. She will be repeating the year. By rights they should have put her in the Kinder class, but not sure why not and I was also discouraged from giving her too much individual attention. It was 'suggested' that I move on to another classroom.

    I think the last 2 are why I am so keen to go into remedial education and spending time wiht my 4yr old has given me an insight to special ed so I'm very keen to do more in that field.
     

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