I'm in need of help here. Feeling a little crazy about how to write my cover letter and resume. Background: I'm a "nontraditional" (56 yr old) first year teacher. I started working toward a teaching degree in the early 80s. I got married, did not finish my degree (bad move). Fast forward, in 2000, I started substitute teaching a few days a weeks to supplement income. I knew I would be eventually moving out on my own and began working as a paraprofessional/classroom aide in a very large ESE classroom. After working there a while, I decided to go back and finish my degree, which I did this past May. Most of my schooling was paid for by grant money through an ESE program, so I have the obligation to work 4 years in ESE, in Florida. During my 8 years as a teacher's aide, I work about 6-1/2 years in ESE in some capacity. The last two years were in a general ed K and 1st grade. As part of my schooling, I had a 100 hour field experience in fifth grade (gen ed) and 100 hour field experience in HS Special ed. My student teaching was in a 3rd grade general ed class, which contained a couple of students doing RTIs. Thank you for listening this far. I knew there would be a few ESE openings in our district (a very small district), and I thought I would easily get one of them because I have a good reputation within the district, I had good grades, good references, etc. I messed up a little; I had no cover letter and waited a bit long to send a thank you. (inexperience) Still, both interviews that I had seemed to go very well. (one inclusion elementary teacher and one ESE teacher at the middle school, possibly a resource room) The elementary one has called to say they selected someone else. This discouraged me a little as this was where I did my student teaching. Still waiting to hear from the middle school who has "not yet made a decision." Now, I am realizing I need to be applying out of the district, and it is getting so close to the school year. My main problem is pulling together the cover letter and resume. I've been looking at jobs in a district that has about 15, which I would qualify for (Special Ed, elementary and m.s.) My bottom line trouble is I don't know how to present the experience I've have as a teacher's aide in a cohesive way that highlights transferrable skills that my future employer may be looking for. My subbing and 8-1/2 years as an aide I thought would be a great plus, but my experience has been spread out over K-5; how do I try for middle school? I'm certified, but not much experience with that level. Also, I have my reading endorsement. My dream job at this point would be reading and language arts. I am sorry this is so long and scattered, but I would appreciate any and all advice possible. Feeling very unsure of myself at this point, but trying to stay positive.