Question about emailing a principal and cover letter advice

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by newbiebutnot, Jun 28, 2016.

  1. newbiebutnot

    newbiebutnot Rookie

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    Jun 28, 2016

    Hi, so I spent quite a bit of time redoing my cover letter only to submit it after the closing date of a position I was interested in. Literally 15 minutes past midnight and the position was gone :( Should I e-mail the principal? (position is in the north shore area of Chicago, if that makes a difference) What should I say.... I guess I at least have a cover letter I finally like. I'm also going to post it to see if there is anything I should change or reword. I've reread it a 100 times but if any grammatical errors please let me know. Also, when I mention the MyPath program, it's a different district that I subbed in than the district I'm applying for. Thank you guys!

    Dear xxx

    With over six years’ experience in early childhood education, I am the ideal candidate for the kindergarten position at your school. I have ample experience teaching to a variety of learning abilities and recognize students all have different styles of learning. I am confident in my ability to provide all students with a quality education, and know I could be a valuable asset to your team.

    XXX Elementary School is of particular interest to me because it encourages students to take the lead in the classroom and promotes equality among students. Together, my students and I build a classroom community to promote positive social skills and academic achievement. I accomplish this by having classroom meetings as a way to facilitate discussion and allow the children to share ideas and information as well as work on problem solving skills. I also make sure my classroom is an environment in which the students feel safe and welcomed.

    I recognize children at this age thrive when they can work independently and with small groups of their peers. Having experience as a substitute in District xxx MyPath program, I have taught and seen firsthand what a classroom of K/1 students looks like when they are given instruction and then provided the opportunity to work independently and with each other. Differentiated instruction was prevalent in the activities the students were doing. They made detailed observations in their science log, used Legos to solve math problems, and conversed with one another to create their own written story. After giving direct instruction, I played more of a guiding role in their learning and only provided support when necessary.

    My own classroom is similar to this in that I use many different ways of learning to teach my students, often guiding them in their learning and in problem solving. In my classroom, you may see students creating a mural using leaves, designing a Venn diagram to discuss with a peer, or using manipulatives to solve story problems. Reading informational texts, whole group and small group instruction, and classroom centers are also some ways in which I develop student’s learning along with using the Common Core and the State Learning Standards.

    As an early childhood educator, it is not only important for me to keep up with the ever-changing world to learn and grow with my students but also recognize children learn through exploring their environment. I would welcome the opportunity to further discuss how I can contribute to your educational program. Thank you for your time and consideration.

    Sincerely,

    xxx
     
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  3. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jun 28, 2016

    As to the deadline, it would seem that you missed it.

    As to the letter, please read the thread "Cover letter advice", at the top of this forum. I wrote it in 2014, yes, but the advice still holds.

    You're claiming to be "the ideal candidate" for the job. That's a very hard claim to sustain. Try making your assertion a bit milder.

    Your letter makes few deal-breakingly major errors, but the accretion of minor faults will set readers' teeth on edge even if they couldn't begin to say why. If you have a friend who writes well, please have that friend read over your letter, after reading "Cover letter advice".

    I'm seeing, among other things,

    - insufficient variation in sentence rhythm: practically every sentence is compound or complex or compound-complex. To see why this is a problem, launch a recording app on your computer or smartphone and read your letter aloud.

    - faults in parallelism/coordination: for instance, if you're going to coordinate two predicates under one subject "I", they really must be more similar syntactically than are "am confident in..." (copula + adjective + prepositional phrase) and "know (clause)" or "could be an asset" (modal verb + BE + noun phrase)

    - odd sequence of events in your third paragraph: three sentences about your activity in instruction are interrupted by a sentence on the children's successful activity that would work beautifully as the conclusion. (The three sentences on instruction should be just two: the sentence that begins "Differentiated instruction" as phrased is there solely to give exercise to a buzzword.)
     
  4. Srhhwtt

    Srhhwtt Rookie

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    Jun 28, 2016

    I honestly like how it sounds. I'm not great at technical writing though! I have found that some people are more critical than others, but I do recommend having a friend or relative read it and see their thoughts.
    As for the missed deadline, I still think you should email the principal and let him know you missed the deadline but you would like to be considered..and be sure to attach resume.
     
  5. RainStorm

    RainStorm Aficionado

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    Jun 28, 2016

    Please take this in the spirit in which it is intended. I think your first paragraph comes across in a way you don't intend. It seems boastful and a bit pompous. I'm sure that is not what you intend.

    "Over six years"... is it six years, or seven? or more?

    Saying you are "the ideal candidate" is a conclusion they should draw, not a statement you should be making. It seems like a huge statement to make -- one that the rest of your cover letter does not support. Again, write a cover letter that leads them to that conclusion rather than making it a statement.

    I'm sorry, but "ample experience" again seems like an assertion they should be making. The word "ample" does not portray the imagine you intend. It reminds me of saying someone has an ample behind. Sorry, but that's the imagine I immediately think of.

    You do come across as "confident," so that sentence seems fine.

    I would also make it a bit shorter. You lose the reader when a cover letter is too long.

    I do wish you the best of luck in your job search.
     
  6. IloveSF

    IloveSF Rookie

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    Jun 29, 2016

    This is why I paid someone to write a CL for me. After 3 years, I'm done trying to analyze my own.
     
  7. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Jun 29, 2016

    Ditto.
     
  8. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jun 29, 2016

    I could write cover letters for people, but I'd rather they learned to write their own. It's partly that teachers need to (and should) be able to write effectively, but it's mostly that a cover letter really does need to be in the job candidate's authentic voice: when there's a clear disconnect between the voice in the cover letter and the voice that comes across in an interview, interviewers tend to notice.

    Promoting candidates' own voices is the reason I keep recommending that cover letters be organized around authentic anecdotes about helping real students get unstuck. That's far from the only right way to write a cover letter - but, over the years, it has proven a reliable way to bring out candidates' voices.
     
  9. IloveSF

    IloveSF Rookie

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    Well, I am a strong writer but apparently not with these things since I have gone three years without a job. I'm tired of getting nowhere, so I hired someone to write a CL and resume for me. I'll tweak them as I see fit, I'm sure.
     
  10. newbiebutnot

    newbiebutnot Rookie

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    Jun 30, 2016

    Thank you guys. I am tweaking things here and there as I see fit. There are things I would've changed after looking at it with fresh eyes. I just wanted an outside opinion as well, I appreciate the positive vibes though.
     
  11. newbiebutnot

    newbiebutnot Rookie

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    Jul 2, 2016

    How does this sound :p
    Dear xxxx,

    It is with enthusiasm and interest that I am applying for the kindergarten teacher position with XXXXX. I have my professional educator license in early childhood and elementary education with an approval for early childhood special education. I am confident in my ability to provide all students with a quality education, and could be a valuable asset to your team.

    XXXX is of particular interest to me because of its focus on providing unique educational opportunities and promoting equity among students. I recognize young children thrive when they can work independently and with small groups of their peers. Having experience as a substitute in District XXX MyPath program, I have taught and seen firsthand what a classroom of K/1 students looks like when they are given instruction and then provided the opportunity to work independently as well as with each other. They made detailed observations in their science log, used Legos to solve math problems, and conversed with one another to create their own written story. After giving direct instruction, I played more of a guiding role in their learning, providing support only when necessary.

    My own classroom is similar to this in that I use many different ways of learning to teach my students, often guiding them in their learning and in problem solving. Together, my students and I build a classroom community to promote positive social skills and academic achievement. My students may be seen creating a mural using leaves, designing a Venn diagram to discuss with a peer, or using manipulatives to solve story problems. Reading informational texts, whole group and small group instruction, and classroom centers are also some ways in which I develop student’s learning along with using the Common Core and State Learning Standards.

    As an early childhood educator I recognize children learn and grow by being allowed to explore their environment using a variety of learning experiences. I would welcome the opportunity to further discuss how I can contribute to your educational program. Thank you for your time and consideration.

    Sincerely,

    I'm sure there are still sentences that can flow better, and I couple I still question myself but I think I am getting closer and at least have a letter that describes me more. Maybe one day I'll write cover letters at a decent hour.
     
  12. WindyCityGal606

    WindyCityGal606 Enthusiast

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    Jul 2, 2016

    Update on the job hunt? Did they call you in? This cover letter reads very nicely!
     
  13. RainStorm

    RainStorm Aficionado

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    Jul 2, 2016

    This letter is so much better. I have one comment, which is nit-picky -- I would say "The students" rather than "they" in the sentence quoted above. It is fine if you've already sent it out, but for future versions, I would make that one minor change.

    Best wishes on your job search!

    -Rain
     
  14. newbiebutnot

    newbiebutnot Rookie

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    Jul 12, 2016

    Thank you! I'm glad it sounds better :) Yes I actually have an interview Thursday. It's for a school and position that was not my first choice but I'm excited! Any advice? What to bring? It's been a good five years since I've done this.
     
  15. RainStorm

    RainStorm Aficionado

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    Jul 12, 2016

    Good luck! I'm sure you'll do great!
     
  16. justwanttoteach

    justwanttoteach Cohort

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    Jul 12, 2016

    I am guessing that this interview is for sped Kinder? I have interviewed for both Gen Ed and Sped positions here is what I was asked.

    1: Why do you want to (grade/sped)?
    2: How do you communicate with parents and how often?
    3: If a parent/Admin were to walk into your classroom what would they observe?
    4: How do you accommodate or reach students at all levels?
    Or How would you differentiate for Sped students/ EL students/ Gate students
    5: What makes an IEP goal a good one?
    6: How do you work with instructional aides
    7: What do you know about case management and the IEP process?
    8: What do you know about Behavior Intervention Plans or Functional Behavior assessments
    9: what steps do you take to motivate students to push through activities that may be challenging or overwhelming

    They also threw in scenario type questions for example:

    How do you handle a kid who is disruptive in class be it physically or verbally
    Johnny is a student who is regularly late to school and falls asleep in class what steps would you take to support him?

    Good Luck!! Speak slowly and confidently! Don't let the idea that you are new intimidate you! The people interviewing you have NO idea what you know. They may see that you haven't had a ton of expirience but that isn't a bad thing...you are someone they can invest in and hells develop you as a teacher!!
     

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