Question

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by WanderinTeacher, Aug 8, 2012.

  1. WanderinTeacher

    WanderinTeacher Rookie

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    Aug 8, 2012

    I recently noticed that this site has a good mix of teachers and teachers to be, so I thought I'd ask for some advice:

    I am a prospective teacher that has been subbing for 6 years in SoCal. I've had 5 long term subbing positions, at which one school did hire several new teachers, excluding me.

    My credential expired and I extended it, but it feels like I'm in a rut. I've applied for hundreds of jobs, but gotten only about 10 interviews. Most of the time, I don't hear back. I apply online and in person to the schools around me.

    Do I even stand a chance in getting a job? It seems like people often jobs because of who they know, yet while I've gotten quite familiar with the staff at the schools I work at, I don't get job offers. What am I doing wrong?
     
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  3. ShoelessGal

    ShoelessGal Rookie

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    Aug 8, 2012

    If you post your cover letter here, there are many here that will be nice enough to give you some tips on it. :)
     
  4. acl1974

    acl1974 Companion

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    Aug 8, 2012

    I agree with posting your cover letter. It's something I need to do as well. I have seen some great feedback when other people post their cover letters. So many helpful people on this board. Good luck!
     
  5. WanderinTeacher

    WanderinTeacher Rookie

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    Aug 8, 2012

    Here's my cover letter! Thank you :)

    Name
    Address
    Date

    [ ] (Name, position)
    School Address

    Dear [ ],
    I would love to work at [ ] Elementary because of my aspirations to work in a district in a tight knit community. I noticed that the staff does an excellent job collaborating with one another while substituting at [ ] Unified. I am an instructor that teaches students as individuals, assists children in mapping their own learning, and utilizes technology to provide entertaining lessons.
    After substituting for several years, I was proud to overhear a fourth grade student kindly informing a new student, “That teacher over there is funny, but just follow the rules. She knows all of us and what our teachers do. If we all work well, we may get some fun learning games at the end of the day.” while pointing at me. I am the sort of teacher that will direct students towards working hard and playing hard. Once I have a general understanding of the child, we move towards sharing the reins of learning.
    Once I familiarize myself with students and classes, I present the state and district standards prior to a lesson. Whenever possible, I find time to align students with where they stand and their upcoming challenge. Through seeing the whole picture of where their learning is heading, students and parents feel more in control of the learning process. Besides academic communication with parents, I also keep an eye on student behavior and contact parents when necessary. Oftentimes, parents prefer communicating via email since they can deal with it at a convenient time.
    I often integrate technology into lessons and present student work on my personal website. I started substituting at [ ] Unified at a perfect time when numerous classroom technologies were introduced to students and classes. Through brief lessons from teachers and students, I am able to utilize these tools as well as the regular classroom teachers.
    In addition to my familiarity with the technological tools at [ ] Unified, my ability to speak Spanish will come in handy when communicating with parents and students when needed. Thank you for your time. I included my resume and references. I hope to hear from you soon!

    Sincerely,
    [ ]
     
  6. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    Aug 8, 2012

    I didn't like the cover letter and I can't exactly explain why. I believe your anecdote happened but it comes across kind of phony for me. Also, it seems a little light for a professional letter. You also seem to jump around and mention a lot of thoughts rather than expanding a key ideas. I would probably start over rather than editing this one.

    There are better reviewers on this board. I would post a new thread labeled something like Cover Letter for Review so people can specifically read the post for that purpose.

    Good Luck in your search.
     
  7. miakakim

    miakakim Rookie

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    Aug 9, 2012

    I kinda have to agree with this comment. it seems a little light. I think in a cover letter, you should mention your qualifications and strength, and i don't really see that here.

     
  8. Rainbowbird

    Rainbowbird Groupie

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    Aug 9, 2012

    I agree. Shorten it and focus on a few quality points. It seems awkwardly worded in places, too. The flow is not good. Having worked in the translation business, it sounds to me that it is written by a non-native speaker. Once you get the letter fixed, I would spend more time highlighting your Spanish skills. It should be a huge selling point and strength for you, not just because you can communicate effectively with the Spanish population, but you will also have a cultural understanding and connection there. Good luck!
     
  9. geoteacher

    geoteacher Devotee

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    Aug 9, 2012

    Get rid of the anecdote. Focus on real examples of what you have done in the past and on the specific skills set you can bring to enhance a classroom.
     
  10. msvateach

    msvateach Rookie

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    Aug 9, 2012

    I agree with other pp that it seems jumbled and does not convey your unique personality well. What I ended up doing on mycover letter was putting bullets instead of parageaphs. These are the main ideas of my bullets, and I expanded on them with specific examples from my experiences.

    education and license
    teaching experience aka overview of my long term sub jobs
    strengths with differentiation and integrating subjects
    team teaching

    Philosohyon communication and involvement with parents
    technogylogy

    lastly quick synopsis of y im a teacher and what I can provide my students
    another suggestiin, drop thenames of specific math, reading andbehavior programs u have used, esp if the school usrs them!
    Redo ur cl and post it back hete, good luck
     
  11. WanderinTeacher

    WanderinTeacher Rookie

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    Aug 9, 2012

    I really appreciate all the feedback! I will rewrite my cover letter and post an edited version!
     
  12. WanderinTeacher

    WanderinTeacher Rookie

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    Aug 10, 2012

    Here's the updated cover letter! Thank you for all your help!

    PS alwaysattend: I did post a separate thread with just my resume, but since I've received all the responses here, I posted the update here


    Name
    Address
    Date
    [ ] (Name, position)
    School Address

    Dear [ ],
    I look forward to working at [ ] Elementary because I saw the staff’s excellent team work. I can easily fit into the team because I have worked with most of the teachers, students, and administrators on site as a substitute teacher.

    I am capable of engaging every child in learning whenever I get assignments at [ ] Elementary because I know that I am not working alone. While I can help most students on my own, I will never forget the first time I had “Sam” and “Jo” in the same class. I was pulled aside and warned the second I walked in the office. Along the way, others offered their advices or said they were willing to provide support. I had dealt with both students individually and was aware that Sam was active and disliked work and Jo complained and often chooses to ignore the teacher's directions and yells at others. The day turned out much better than I had imagined because I had previously worked with both students. I had little trouble getting around Sam and Jo individually because I knew the tricks that would get them to work. I eventually realized that when the two were near each other, that meant trouble. Once I recognized that, the day flowed by peacefully.

    I am aware that [ ] Elementary sees the importance in helping students excel in all areas including technology. When Elmos and Smart Boards were introduced to the district, I was blessed to have several of the office staff and teachers help me learn to integrate these tools into my lessons. As I got more familiar with using these, I was able to make powerpoint presentations and worksheets to assist student learning. To help the students have a sense of pride in their work, I even created a website to display their work online!

    Knowing that there is a large Hispanic population, my knowledge of Spanish and the culture will be useful in assisting students and informing them of resources like my website. I appreciate your time and consideration. I included my resume and references and hope to hear from you soon!

    Sincerely,
    [ ]
     
  13. Rainbowbird

    Rainbowbird Groupie

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    Aug 10, 2012

    Phrase everything positively. Instead of saying that you rarely have trouble engaging every child, tell them that one of your strengths is reaching and engaging every child, or something to that effect.

    "helping students sense pride in their work" is not grammatically correct. Helping them to develop a sense of pride sounds better.

    The story of Sam and Jo could be told more diplomatically. Saying that a student has an attitude doesn't convey your compassion and understanding of troubled youths.

    That is all I have time to write for now....hopefully others will chime in.
     
  14. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Aug 10, 2012

    If you've had 10 interviews, then I would look to sharpening those interview skills.
     
  15. WanderinTeacher

    WanderinTeacher Rookie

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    Aug 10, 2012

    Thanks for the advice. I do have a hard time being at ease at interviews, so I have practiced and practiced, and I'm still practicing. Also, some of those interviews were for long term substituting, which I got, but they have ended.
     
  16. Luv2TeachInTX

    Luv2TeachInTX Comrade

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    Aug 11, 2012

    How about some of these revisions:

    Dear [ ], I am submitting the following resume in application for a teaching position with ABC Elementary due to the overwhelming positive experiences I have had working at this campus as a substitute. I absolutely love the students, staff and administration!

    What impresses me most about this campus is the incredible amount of support you receive as a staff member, the excellent curriculum the students receive and the success these students achieve as a result of the dedication and passion of the educators that serve them.

    I don't have the time to revise more, but there are a few grammatical errors and sentences that are awkwardly worded. One, sentence,"along the way, others offered their advices" should say advice, not advices. I hope others have the time to chime in and help-cover letters are tough and need to really be polished to make you shine and look your best. Good luck!


     
  17. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Aug 11, 2012

    People of goodwill can disagree on whether a cover letter must include one's qualifications. I'm in the camp that says that qualifications are best left in the resume and that the point of the cover letter is to get readers interested enough in the writer that they WANT to read the resume and all.

    The cover letter must begin with its reason for being, however, and for most writers that means beginning with "I am applying for the _____ position at ____ School" or language to that effect.

    WanderinTeacher, have you got an anecdote in which a child gets unstuck through your efforts? If so, tell it here, please.
     
  18. WanderinTeacher

    WanderinTeacher Rookie

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    Aug 13, 2012

    TeacherGroupie: I have several anecdotes, but adding it seems to make my letter to long. I will try to edit and update again.




    Thank you Luv2TeachInTX, Aliceacc, Rainbowbird, and TeacherGroupie for the responses!
     
  19. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Aug 13, 2012

    I didn't mean for you to put it in the letter: I meant for you to tell it here on A to Z.
     

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