Please Review My Cover Letter

Discussion in 'Job Hunting & Interviews' started by bdteach, Mar 7, 2007.

  1. bdteach

    bdteach Companion

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    Mar 7, 2007

    I'm at the point where it just isn't making a whole lot of sense anymore. I've been reading other reviews and trying to take that advice, but by all means, please tear it apart. It's on the longer side, but does not go beyond one page.

    THANKS!

    I am writing to express an interest in an elementary teaching position in your school district. I will be completing my Master of Arts in Education, Cross-Cultural Teaching (CLAD) with a Preliminary Multiple Subject Credential in May 2007 with a 4.0 GPA. I am Intern Qualified to teach via National University. I believe I will be an asset to your district because of the maturity and life experience I bring to the classroom.

    After seven years in the business world, I realized what I really wanted to do was teach. Prior to returning to school to earn my teaching credential, I was a partner in a literary management business representing screenwriters—a position not unlike teaching in that I provided constant feedback involving teamwork, multitasking and indeed patience, as writers can be childlike!

    Additionally, I have over six years experience as a volunteer coach, referee and commissioner of the boys’ divisions for youth soccer from ages 4 ½ to 10. My biggest challenge was half the boys I coached didn’t want to be there and the rest were at varying skill and interest levels. This is where I learned firsthand that everyone learns in different ways. My “lesson plan” for each session included teaching the basic skills in an engaging manner while still challenging the stronger, more interested players. My proudest moment as a soccer coach came when every single player on my team scored at least one goal during the season. Showing enthusiasm for the game, teaching fundamental skills, and helping the players to be confident and believe in themselves was my coaching soccer method, and this carries over into my classroom.

    This year I’ve gained invaluable experience working as teaching assistant in a 2nd grade classroom. The lead teacher has 25 years experience and has been very generous with her time, knowledge and materials. She has provided me the opportunity to teach my own lesson plans, handle classroom management issues, direct reading groups and work with students one-on-one in math, science and social studies. I have particularly enjoyed working with one student in math who had fallen behind her classmates. Finding she was a competent math student whose confidence was lacking, I helped her realize it’s okay to make mistakes, and encouraged her to go with her instinct. Now this student is among the first to raise her hand and share her answers.

    I’ve chosen teaching as a profession because I enjoy hard work and helping others find success. I believe all students have the potential to succeed in the right environment, and understand it is my goal as an educator to provide that environment. My philosophy of education is based on a student-centered classroom in which I use a variety of teaching techniques to meet the students’ various learning styles. In my classroom, students will be active participants rather than passive learners. I want my students to experience meaningful, challenging learning that applies to their lives, extending far beyond their time in a classroom with me.

    I will be in town the week of March 26-30 and would love to discuss the possibilities within your district.

    Regards,
     
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  3. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    Mar 8, 2007

    Hi

    I don't have much time but I thought I would give you some feedback.

    I thought the last big paragraph was great. The one about your teaching experience is good tooo but if you want to cut it back a bit, you have a whole sentence devoted to the other teacher.


    I'd get rid of the whole soccer paragraph because it is too long and something that can be talked about in the interview.

    "After seven years in the business world, I realized what I really wanted to do was teach." can you beef this up a little?maybe .... After seven years in the business world, there was no denying that I really needed to persue my true passion, teaching. (I'm not saying to use that but just something other than realized

    I'm sure others will have a different take on this and I hope they do but I don't like the rest of that paragraph. I don't like the fact you state someone is "childlike". It could be taken as you were above those people or you are putting those people down. Do you see what I am saying? It's basically name calling and using a child as the name. Since you are writing in a letter you don't know what a readers reaction might be --- in an interview you could get away with it. What if a reader knows a lot about screenwriters and disagrees with you or is married to one?!! LOL (guess they might agree with you!)

    I hope this helps in some small way. I really do love those last few lines-perfect
     
  4. bdteach

    bdteach Companion

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    Mar 8, 2007

    Thanks, Lemonhead. Those are exactly the things I needed to hear.

    Anyone else?
     
  5. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Mar 8, 2007

    I agree.

    I would also drop some of the info from first paragraph--your GPA and the National Universtiy mention. Both can be found in your resume.

    You can also drop some from your fifth paragraph-- your philosphy of education and how you'll run your classroom. That way, when the questions come up in an interview, you don't have to remember how you phrased them in your cover letter.

    I agree too about calling the writers childlike. I know the joking tone you were trying for, but your interviewer may very well write in their spare time.
     
  6. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Mar 8, 2007

    Ok I tried to help you cut it down. This is in no way close to being done. And I'm sure others may have better advice. But I have come to realize that everyone starts their letters with.
    I am writing to express interesting blah blah blah.

    Dear Mr. Smith,

    After seven years in the business world, I realized I needed to pursue my true calling, teaching. I would love the opportunity to interview for an elementary teacher position at (name of school/district here). I will be completing my Master of Arts in Education, Cross-Cultural Teaching (CLAD) with a Preliminary Multiple Subject Credential in May 2007 with a 4.0 GPA. I believe I will be an asset to your district because of the maturity and life experience I bring to the classroom.

    Prior to returning to school to earn my teaching credential, I was a partner in a literary management business representing screenwriters—a position not unlike teaching in that I provided constant feedback involving teamwork, multitasking and indeed patience. Additionally, this year I have gained invaluable experience working as a teaching assistant in a second grade classroom. Within, this classroom I have had the opportunity to teach my own lesson plans, handle classroom management issues, direct reading groups and work with students one-on-one in math, science and social studies. I have particularly enjoyed working with one student in math who had fallen behind her classmates. Finding she was a competent math student whose confidence was lacking, I helped her realize it is okay to make mistakes, and encouraged her to go with her instinct. Now this student is among the first to raise her hand and share her answers.

    I am choosing teaching as a profession because I enjoy hard work and helping children. All students have the potential to succeed. I understand it is my goal as an educator to show the students the way. In my classroom, students will be active participants rather than passive learners. I want my students to experience meaningful, challenging learning that applies to their lives, extending far beyond their time in a classroom with me.

    I will be available for an interview the week of March 26-30. I look forward to meeting with you.

    Regards,
     
  7. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    Mar 9, 2007

    You are welcome bdteach. It's not easy is it? I had way too much in mine. Alice and JeanMarie helped me a lot.

    Also, you may want to see what the district's beliefs or motto is so that you can peak interest by addressing those things. For my district it was "independent, life-long learners"

    Good luck!!!
     

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