Is my cover letter too "out there?"

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by eternalsunshine, Apr 14, 2014.

  1. eternalsunshine

    eternalsunshine Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2009
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 14, 2014

    Hi everyone. I would truly appreciate it if you could take a minute to critique my cover letter. I am really trying to personalize it but am wondering if it is too out there? Thank you so much for you time. :)


    To Ms. ________ _________,

    Please accept my application for an elementary teacher position at ________________. I am especially interested in _________ because its mission truly embodies high expectations for all students and does so through a creative mission that allows students to connect to their education.

    In ____________, I received my Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from ___________________ where I completed two student teaching assignments that prepared me for my subsequent positions at ___________________ and________________. My experience at _________________ allowed me to gain valuable experience developing curriculum for an enrichment course that centered around critical thinking about literature. I used the same stories for Kindergarten through second grade by differentiating and modifying the lessons to meet the needs of students in each of the grade levels. Activities and discussions were aimed at comprehension as well as allowing students to identify with the story and participate in activities that utilized higher level thinking. Students were learning the basics of story elements and reading comprehension through my lessons, but they were also learning about themselves through the connections they were making with these stories and characters.

    I enjoyed developing lessons that veered off into higher level, creative thinking. Just as important however, was building a strong foundation of basic knowledge that would help my students get to that higher level thinking. I was constantly finding creative ways of breaking down a subject so that students could understand the fundamentals in the clearest way possible. For example, during my student teaching, to introduce a lesson on angles, I showed a clip of a Pac Man video to the class. I explained that measuring angles was like measuring how wide Pac Man opens his mouth. The video illustrated the objective of the lesson in a clear way that sparked excitement and interest in my students. I received a card from a student from that class that said, “When you teuch us I undestand.” To me this is the highest compliment from a student and always my goal no matter what level the student is at.

    I believe that my educational background, my experience, and my desire to learn and grow would be a great asset to your school. I would appreciate the opportunity to speak with you regarding an elementary teaching position. Please feel free to contact me at your earliest convenience at (___) ___-____ or at _____@____.com. Thank you for your time and consideration, and I hope to hear from you soon.

    Sincerely,
     
  2.  
  3. Ellybean

    Ellybean Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2011
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 15, 2014

    No, your cover letter is not too "out there". You want your cover letter to have personality. More cover letters should have personality.

    Your paragraph discussing the Pac Man thing is the best paragraph. You should include more specific examples like that.

    Lose the sentence "I have my Multiple Subject Teaching Credential and did student teaching at...." They will see this when they look at your resume. It's redundant. You want to use your cover letter to talk about things your resume doesn't (like the Pac Man story).
     
  4. eternalsunshine

    eternalsunshine Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2009
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 15, 2014

    Thank you so much Ellybean! I made a few changes to the second paragraph. Does this sound a little bit better? Does my letter seem too long? Thank you!!




    To Ms. ________ _________,

    Please accept my application for an elementary teacher position at ________________. I am especially interested in _________ because its mission truly embodies high expectations for all students and does so through a creative mission that allows students to connect to their education.

    My experience at _______ _________ ______ allowed me to gain valuable experience developing curriculum for an enrichment course that centered around critical thinking about literature. I used the same stories for Kindergarten through second grade by differentiating and modifying the lessons to meet the needs of students in each of the grade levels. Discussions were aimed at comprehension as well as allowing students to identify with the story and participate in activities that utilized higher level thinking skills. For one particular lesson, I used the book The Hueys in the New Sweater by Oliver Jeffers. Our discussion revolved around the importance of being an independent thinker. For the rest of the school year, we would analyze characters from other stories to see if they were being independent thinkers. Even my Kindergarteners were able to discuss why or why not. Students were learning the basics of story elements and reading comprehension through my lessons, but they were also analyzing character and theme on a deeper level.

    I enjoyed developing lessons that veered off into higher level, creative thinking. Just as important however, was building a strong foundation of basic knowledge that would help my students get to that higher level thinking. I was constantly finding creative ways of breaking down a subject so that students could understand the fundamentals in the clearest way possible. For example, during my student teaching, to introduce a lesson on angles, I showed a clip of a Pac Man video to the class. I explained that measuring angles was like measuring how wide Pac Man opens his mouth. The video illustrated the objective of the lesson in a clear way that sparked excitement and interest in my students. I received a card from a student from that class that said, “When you teuch us I undestand.” To me this is the highest compliment from a student and always my goal no matter what level the student is at.*

    I believe that my educational background, my experience, and my desire to learn and grow would be a great asset to your school. I would appreciate the opportunity to speak with you regarding an elementary teaching position. Please feel free to contact me at your earliest convenience at (___) ___-____ or at_____@____.com. Thank you for your time and consideration, and I hope to hear from you soon.

    Sincerely,
     
  5. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,682
    Likes Received:
    1,109

    Apr 15, 2014

    The specificity is appealing. The letter's rather wordy, however (for instance, your "For one particular lesson, I used the book The Hueys in the New Sweater by Oliver Jeffers. Our discussion revolved around the importance of being an independent thinker." could be "A lesson on The Hueys in the New Sweater by Oliver Jeffers stressed the importance of independent thinking."). In addition, the syntax and sentence rhythms are repetitive - all but one paragraph and remarkably many sentences begin with "I" - and you're overusing "used" and "allow".
     
  6. Ellybean

    Ellybean Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2011
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 16, 2014

    That is great. No, I don't think it is too long. Love the specific examples!

    The only thing I could suggest is that, I could see this potentially being used as a cover letter for any elementary school in California -- it talks a lot about what you did, but not a lot about the school. You want to be sure when you are writing cover letters, that you mention why you are applying to THIS particular school, and why you would be a great fit for THEM. Cover letters should never be in a form.. they should be personalized each time. Hope that helps.
     
  7. eternalsunshine

    eternalsunshine Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2009
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 16, 2014

    Thank you for the suggestion Teacher Groupie. I will definitely go back and change things around and condense it down.

    Ellybean, thanks for pointing that out. I think I will use the first paragraph to talk about the school and the last paragraph to say why I would be a good fit for them.

    Your help is greatly appreciated.

    :)
     
  8. abat_jour

    abat_jour Companion

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2014
    Messages:
    189
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 21, 2014

    I ask the same question to myself on almost every aspect when I submit something I write. Nothing I read hinted at being out there. I have only seen example template dull CLs though. I thought it was great.
     
  9. willow129

    willow129 Comrade

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2013
    Messages:
    284
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 21, 2014

    "I am especially interested in _________ because its mission truly embodies high expectations for all students and does so through a creative mission that allows students to connect to their education."

    I feel like this sentence could be better constructed...the words mission and students are used a lot so it sound repetitive.

    "I am especially interested in _____ because its creative mission embodies high expectations for all students and allows them to connect to their education."?

    The other thing is, talking about having letters connect to the school, I struggled with this for a while but this is what I've come up with: sprinkle in bits about how you SPECIFICALLY connect to their school throughOUT the letter... for example the sentence above doesn't really tell me that you read their mission and know specific aspects of the school's philosophy. I feel like you could say this about any school. What I do when I'm writing letters is I look at different parts of the mission/vision that I can connect to in my teaching...I don't have a specific paragraph about the school, I have a couple of different paragraphs about what I do and how it fits in with the school.

    So like for example I might say "I value XYZ's commitment to diversity." (if that's something that's mentioned in the job description or mission statement) then I talk about how I accommodate diverse students in my classrooms.

    Or "Having grown up in the small town of such and such, I know what it is like to live and learn in places where every student is known and valued" then I talk about building community in my school or whatever (if that is something that is emphasized in the description)

    So basically, I have a bunch of different paragraphs that I can put together depending on what the job description and mission statement emphasize. I think you can do this too with what you have above. Start or conclude your paragraphs with how the style that you teach in connects with the school's philosophy/needs. Create a couple of different paragraphs emphasizing different points that you can piece together to tailor your letters to different schools.

    Hopefully that makes sense! I had a friend rewrite one of my cover letters to help me get an interview in her district, and she kind of did that and it made things so much smoother
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. Ms.Holyoke,
  2. MrsC,
  3. waterfall,
  4. Ima Teacher
Total: 371 (members: 6, guests: 345, robots: 20)
test