Please read my cover letter

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by uncleal, Oct 23, 2011.

  1. uncleal

    uncleal Rookie

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    Oct 23, 2011

    Hi! I have been getting back into job application-mode. I have a short-term stint at an awesome elementary school and I want to get in more into this district, but still keep my name out there.

    Note: I have changed names and locations to protect anonymity.

    Dear Ms. XOXOXO

    I want to work for the ABC School District.

    I am applying for the special education positions at the ABC School District. My name is UNCLEAL and I am a graduate student at the California State University with a mild-to-moderate intern teaching credential that is transferrable to another school district. I want to help your school district teach the state standards while encouraging students to become lifelong learners. My goal is to finish the remaining year that I have left on my intern credential so I can become a full-time SPED teacher.

    My experiences in various special education classrooms will be beneficial for the position. Most recently, I am a short-term substitute special education teacher at ABCDE Elementary School in ANYTOWN. I am enjoying my experience teaching seven grade K-2 students with mild/moderate learning disabilities. In this classroom, I manage classroom behaviors and teach intervention math and language arts curriculum, including Imagine It! and California Math. I also helped oversee the IEP paperwork and meetings of two students. I also had a six-month teaching internship as an English Resource Specialist for XYZ High School in the 12345 School District. I managed four English core and elective classrooms and developing lesson plans that combine technology and hands-on learning to help address the state standards. I also wrote IEPs and hold annual meetings. These students showed me their true abilities when 61 percent of my class passed the English portion of the high school exit exam on their first try.

    In addition, I have at least two years of experience in special education as classroom volunteer and substitute teacher and teacher assistant. I started out my educational journey in January 2010 as a volunteer for an SDC elementary school classroom with students who have autism, learning and behavioral disabilities. Since then, I have worked for both OVER THE MOON District and the County Office of Education in mild-to-severe classrooms in alternative, special and correctional education teaching students from grades K-12.

    For your consideration, I am attaching my resume, teaching philosophy, letters of recommendation and credential information. I hope that you and your school district will give me the opportunity to interview for this position. If you have any questions, please contact me.

    Sincerely,
    UNCLE AL

    P.S. – If you would like to interview me for this position, please contact me ahead of time because I am currently at short-term sub position.

    Thank you everybody! :thumb:
     
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  3. penguinpc

    penguinpc Comrade

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    Oct 24, 2011

    I would leave out the PS. I think anyone would understand that you are a working person and would need to schedule an interview.
     
  4. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Oct 24, 2011

    It's rather wordy.

    You really don't need to tell 'em what your name is: that's at the bottom of the letter, after all. You needn't explain your credential, since that should be set out in the materials you're sending. You should avoid talking about your goals: the district wants to know what you can do for it, not what it can do for you.

    uncleal, have you got a nifty lightbulb-moment story or two? Feel free to use fake names for the students involved... but tell it in a post here and let us help you weave it into your letter.
     
  5. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Oct 24, 2011

    I don't like your opening sentence.

    I realize what you're trying to do: be memorable by stating baldly that you want to work for them. But I think it comes off as abupt, bording on rude. I would rephrase it.

    To be honest, they probably don't care what YOU want. Your cover letter should give them some insight into why you're what THEY want.

    And I agee with Teacher Groupie-- tell a story about why THEY should want YOU.
     
  6. ciounoi

    ciounoi Cohort

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    Oct 24, 2011

    In addition to the other posters, I would recommend reading your letter for grammar - I spotted several verb tense issues in my read-over.
     
  7. uncleal

    uncleal Rookie

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    Oct 25, 2011

    Thank you guys! I am going to work on another draft of my cover letter and post it up real soon. Right now, I am busy subbing for that elementary school SDC classroom and having a great time.
     
  8. uncleal

    uncleal Rookie

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    Nov 2, 2011

    Okay, here's my revision

    Dear Ms. XXX

    I am applying for the special education position at ABC High School in the ABC School District. I want to help your school district teach the state standards while encouraging students to become lifelong learners. My goal is to finish the remaining year that I have left on my intern credential so I can become a full-time special education teacher.

    With my two years of experience in the field, I am prepared to develop curriculum and teach students with mild/moderate disabilities. I would manage my class with creative curriculum that is fun and innovative while helping students meet the state standards and their own personal IEP goals. For my adapted high school mythology class at TPA High School, I taught students how to understand the components of plot by making comic book versions of the myths that they read in class. Their comic books highlighted each component of plot from the stories that they read in my class. The comic books were fun for the students to create while they learned reading comprehension skills.

    With my knowledge and experience in the special education field, I am prepared to take upon the additional roles required. Within two days of my short-term substitute position in a special education classroom at HES Elementary School in the K12 Unified School District, I helped run a pre-scheduled IEP meeting. I worked closely with the district’s speech therapist to make the proper changes in the online Special Education Information System program. I believe that the IEP meeting went very smoothly because I was professional and organized. During my, I held three more IEP meetings. I also managed and held the annual meetings of 18 students when I was a special education high school teacher at TPA High School.

    For your consideration, I am attaching my resume, teaching philosophy, letters of recommendation and credential information. I hope that you and your school district will give me the opportunity to interview for this position. If you have any questions, please contact me.

    Sincerely,
    UNCLE AL

    What do you think? :)
     
  9. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Nov 2, 2011

    You have the beginnings of two useful anecdotes about yourself, but this not your final version. There's at least one omission ("During my, I...") You're still telling the district very early on what you want it to do for you ("My goal...") Of your four paragraphs, two begin with "With my", and your vocabulary suggests a rather hesitant tenth grade writer. The first two sentences of your second paragraph make you sound like you don't have classroom experience; you can remedy that by elaborating a bit on your account of the myths assignment (did any of your students have a "lightbulb moment" from that? How did you know they had fun and learned (or practiced?) reading comprehension skills?)

    The sentence "Within two days of my short-term..." is unclear: do you mean that you completed a short-term stint and two days later helped run an IEP meeting somewhere else, or that the meeting occurred two days into your stint? If the latter, you can make a bit more of the preparation that you would have had to do to be ready for it.

    A point of grammar: "I believe that the IEP meeting went very smoothly" tells us you're not sure it went smoothly. Assert that it did run smoothly, if it did, and move "I believe" to the part of the sentence in which you're speculating. Better yet, if someone else commented on your professionalism and organization, put the words in that person's mouth.
     

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