Need URGENT cover letter help!!!

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by Exclaimation Po, Jun 25, 2008.

  1. Exclaimation Po

    Exclaimation Po Habitué

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    Jun 25, 2008

    Ok, there's this district near me that I would loooove to work for. I've applied to every single social studies position there in the past 3 years, but no luck. I applied to a high school position on monday and a middle school position was just listed. I really, really, really, really want to get this job.

    Please review my cover letter:

    I am writing to express interest in the Middle School Social Studies position listed at EdJoin.org. This school year I have been a teacher Too Far Away Middle School in Tiny Little School District. I had a rewarding year teaching 8th Grade Language Arts. This year allowed me to better myself as a teacher and I am thankful for all the opportunities that have been given me.

    I am very passionate about teaching history/social studies. I have encountered some students who don’t like history or who think social studies is boring. I want to change their minds. In my classroom I work really hard to make social studies personal to students. If they can't understand the perspective of people from whatever time period we're studying, they'll never understand the relevance.

    This year I had the opportunity to speak with a 7th grader who was failing his social studies class because he just didn’t understand why it was important. I asked him if he knew the names of his grandparents, where they were from, and his ethnicity. He said he did. When I told him that this was social studies, knowing who we are and where we are from, I could see the understanding dawn on his face. I changed his feeling about social studies in less than five minutes. This is why I teach social studies.

    I welcome the opportunity to give every student a quality education and to encourage them to become productive members of society. If given the opportunity, I will focus all my hard work and dedication toward Beautiful Cherry Blossom Unified School District. I hope for an opportunity to discuss my qualifications with you.
     
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  3. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Jun 25, 2008

    Good luck!
     
  4. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Jun 25, 2008

    The phrases I would change are in orange and some suggestions are in blue:


    I am writing to express interest in the Middle School Social Studies position listed at EdJoin.org. This school year I have been a teacher Too Far Away Middle School in Tiny Little School District. I had a rewarding year teaching 8th Grade Language Arts. This year allowed me to better myself as a teacher and I am thankful for all the opportunities that have been given me. This sounds too humble. I would replace it with something specific that you accomplished; ie, I was very successful in honing my classroom management skills, or something. I am very passionate about teaching history/social studies.
    I have encountered some students who don’t like history or who think social studies is boring. I want to change their minds. I am committed to making social studies come alive for my students through various methods such as ____ (put in whatever you think - integrating art, drama, genealogy, a museum, etc.) In my classroom I work really hard to make social studies personal to students. If they can't understand the perspective of people from whatever time period we're studying, they'll never understand the relevance. I'd take this out.

    This year I had the opportunity to speak with a 7th grader who was failing his social studies class because he just didn’t understand why it was important. I asked him if he knew the names of his grandparents, where they were from, and his ethnicity. He said he did. When I told him that this was social studies, knowing who we are and where we are from, I could see the understanding dawn on his face. I changed his feeling about social studies in less than five minutes. This is why I teach social studies. I'd save this anecdote for the interview.

    I welcome the opportunity to give every student a quality education and to encourage them to become productive members of society. I am committed to providing quality education and to engaging and inspiring students. Therefore, I look forward to meeting with you to discuss the opportunities at ____ school and the ways in which I can be a member of your team.
    If given the opportunity, I will focus all my hard work and dedication toward Beautiful Cherry Blossom Unified School District. I hope for an opportunity to discuss my qualifications with you. I'd take out.
     
  5. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jun 25, 2008

    Your letter is too informal, Exclaimation Po; you want the district to understand that you can use (and therefore teach) formal written English, and this isn't it. remove the contractions (instead of "don't like", use "dislike").

    I disagree with Upsadaisy about the anecdote: I'd leave it in, because it's a good attention-getter, and leave out your history at the middle school.

    Can you identify something about the district or the middle school that makes you want to teach there? - some tidbit that will show you've done your homework in researching the district? That would go in your first paragraph after the first sentence. In other words, make the first sentence about the district's or school's felt needs. No need to specify that you learned of the opening on EdJoin - specify source only when it could open a door for you (as in name-dropping).

    Then follow with something like 'daisy's first big rephrasing:

    I am passionate about history, and for this reason I seek to make social studies come alive for everyone by any means possible, from field trips down to their own personal experiences. For example, the seventh-grader son of a friend was failing social studies because he could not see why it mattered to him. I asked him if he knew the names of his grandparents, where they were born, and his ethnicity. When he said that he did, I explained that this is social studies: knowing who we are and where we are from. Understanding dawned on his face, and his attitude toward social studies changed.

    It is for that change in and growth of understanding that I teach.

    Then something like 'daisy's last sentence. Though I need to warn you that, if you use my paragraph wholesale, you WILL need to phrase the rest of your letter more formally, or it won't fit.
     
  6. newtothis2006

    newtothis2006 Rookie

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    Jun 25, 2008

    Here's my 2 cents:

    The first paragraph should be just an introduction with no meat until the 2nd paragraph. For example: I am interested in xxx position you have available for 2008-2009 school year. As well as applying on-line, I wanted to contact you personally to extend my interest. I would be delighted to meet with you for an interview.
    That's it for 1st paragraph- do not tell anything about yourself until the 2nd paragraph. Next begin paragraph 2 like this: Let me tell you a little about myslef. I graduated from XXXX (if it's an education degree or realted) with xxxx degree. Then I earned my certifications in EC-4 Generalist (or whatever your's is) I have taught Language Arts to 8th grade students in xxxx district. I really enjoyed teaching language arts for xxxxx reasons. I am also passionate about Social Studies. Talk a little about why. Talk about how you feel about kids maybe that grade level. Put some heart warming feelings in there about you.
    BUT, do not put that story in your cover letter. It's way too long. You'll loose your reader. They want the gist of who you are and what you can do for them. They want to read that letter and imagine how you might fit into their school. If it's too long, they'll loose interest. That story is something to share during the interview. So, take out the 3rd paragraph. The last paragraph is okay. Rework it and post it and we can offer new suggestions. I hope that helps.
     

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