6 Professional Substitute Teacher Cover Letter Examples for 2024

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Your substitute teacher cover letter must convey your versatility and readiness to fill in at a moment's notice. Highlight your adaptability to different classroom environments and teaching styles. Demonstrate your ability to quickly engage students and maintain classroom order. Show that you have the skills to ensure continuity in students’ learning experience, even in the absence of their regular teacher.

All cover letter examples in this guide

Embarking on your job search, you've likely discovered that a standout substitute teacher cover letter can be as crucial as your resume. While your resume lists your experience, your cover letter should weave a compelling narrative around your proudest professional moment without spilling over into cliches or a simple resume rehash. Remember, brevity is key—a single page will do. Let's guide you through crafting a cover letter that captures your unique story and teaching passion, setting you apart in the crowded field of education.

Check out our substitute teacher cover letter guide to find out how to:

  • Write a substitute teacher cover letter that helps you stand out (and get the job);
  • Understand how to start and end your substitute teacher cover letter with the appropriate greeting;
  • What to include in the body of your substitute teacher cover letter to put your best foot forward;
  • Your most important achievements - how to present them as part of your substitute teacher cover letter.

And if you want to make your life even easier, simply drag and drop your substitute teacher resume into Enhancv's AI cover letter generator, and it will write your cover letter for you in just a few moments.

Substitute Teacher cover letter example

Andrew Clark




Dear Hiring Manager,

In the realm of education, the real measurement of a teacher’s success lies in the impact they have on their students' growth and engagement. The story of how I revamped the curriculum for grades 3-5 at ABC Learning Center underlines this ethos. My approach blended innovative pedagogy with compassionate student-teacher relationships, resulting in an 80% improvement in student learning and fostering an environment where young minds flourished.

As evidenced by the achievements in my career so far, my commitment to fostering an enriching learning atmosphere aligns with the values of your institution. I am deeply interested in contributing to your team and am confident in my ability to create positive outcomes through my professional practice.

I am eager to bring my background to your respected school and am looking forward to discussing how my commitment to education can seamlessly integrate with your team's objectives. Please consider this as an enthusiastic application for the Substitute Teacher position. I am available at your earliest convenience for an interview to elaborate on how I can contribute to your academic team.

Andrew Clark

Substitute Teacher
What makes this cover letter good:

  • Highlighting quantifiable achievements ("an 80% improvement in student learning") demonstrates the candidate's effectiveness and provides a clear metric of success.
  • Expressing alignment of personal values with the institution’s values ("My commitment to fostering an enriching learning atmosphere aligns with the values of your institution") helps establish a cultural fit and shows that the candidate understands and appreciates the school's mission.
  • Mentioning a clear willingness to contribute to the team's objectives ("I am eager to bring my background to your respected school") emphasizes the candidate's team-oriented mindset and readiness to be a collaborative staff member.
  • Providing a call to action for an interview ("I am available at your earliest convenience for an interview") shows proactivity and a serious interest in the position, which can encourage a prompt response from the hiring manager.

What are the basics of the design or format of your substitute teacher cover letter?

To start, here's a reminder for you: the Applicant Tracker System (or software that is used to assess candidate profiles), won't be reading your substitute teacher cover letter.

Recruiters enjoy reading substitute teacher cover letters with a standardized format that uses:

  • the same font as the resume (e.g. modern ones like Raleway or Volkhov are prefered over the clichéd Times New Roman or Arial);
  • single spacing to keep the content concise and organized (this is all ready for you in our cover letter templates);
  • a one-inch margin to wrap around the text, like in our cover letter builder;
  • PDF as a file format, as it allows your design (and visual element) to stay the same.

Finally, we can't go on without mentioning the key sections of your substitute teacher cover letter.

In the top one-third, make sure to include a header (with your contact information, name, role, and date), a salutation, and an introduction.

Next, follows the heart and soul of your substitute teacher cover letter or its body.

End your substitute teacher cover letter with a closing paragraph and, if you wish, a signature.

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The top sections on a substitute teacher cover letter

  • Header: This section should include the substitute teacher's contact information, the date, and the recipient's details, establishing professionalism and ensuring the letter reaches the right person.
  • Greeting: A personalized salutation addressing the principal or hiring manager by name shows the substitute teacher has researched the school and is genuinely interested in the position.
  • Introduction: The introductory paragraph should mention the specific substitute teaching position applied for, how the candidate learned about it, and a brief statement about their enthusiasm and qualifications for teaching.
  • Body: This section must highlight the substitute teacher's relevant experience, classroom management skills, adaptability to different learning environments, and ability to quickly implement lesson plans, which are crucial for a substitute's role.
  • Closing: The closing paragraph should reiterate the substitute teacher's interest and fit for the position, include a call to action such as requesting an interview, and thank the reader for their consideration, leaving a positive and professional final impression.
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Key qualities recruiters search for in a candidate’s cover letter

  • Adaptability to different learning environments and student needs: Essential for smoothly transitioning into various classrooms and effectively managing diverse student populations.

  • Strong classroom management skills: Critical for maintaining order and a productive learning atmosphere, especially when jumping into a new classroom where established routines might not be familiar.

  • Subject matter proficiency in various areas: Valued for the ability to competently substitute across a range of subjects and grade levels, providing continuity in education.

  • Excellent communication skills: Necessary for clearly conveying lesson plans, engaging with students, and providing feedback to regular teaching staff.

  • Positive and approachable demeanor: Helps in establishing a comfortable learning environment quickly and gaining the trust of students and faculty alike.

  • Experience with special education or differentiated instruction: Beneficial for addressing individual student needs, adhering to Individualized Education Plans (IEPs), and ensuring accessible learning for all students.

Personalizing your substitute teacher cover letter salutation

Always aim to address the recruiter from the get-go of your substitute teacher cover letter.


  • the friendly tone (e.g. "Dear Paul" or "Dear Caroline") - if you've previously chatted up with them on social media and are on a first-name basis;
  • the formal tone (e.g. "Dear Ms. Gibbs" or "Dear Ms. Swift") - if you haven't had any previous conversation with them and have discovered the name of the recruiter on LinkedIn or the company website;
  • the polite tone (e.g. "Dear Hiring Manager" or "Dear HR Team") - at all costs aim to avoid the "To whom it may concern" or "Dear Sir/Madam", as both greetings are very old-school and vague.
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List of salutations you can use

  • Dear Hiring Manager,
  • Dear [School Name] Team,
  • Dear [Principal's Name],
  • Dear [HR Director's Name],
  • Dear [Superintendent's Name],
  • Dear Members of the [School District Name] Board,

How to start your substitute teacher cover letter introduction

The opening paragraph of your substitute teacher cover letter can seem like a real enigma.

Where do you start writing?

In your substitute teacher cover letter introduction, focus on yourself by stating what:

  • gets you motivated and excited about the role;
  • you like best about the company, from culture to awards.

Write no more than two sentences, which are both authentic and show your enthusiasm for the opportunity.

Intro Paragraph
I am writing to express my interest in the Substitute Teacher position at ABC School, a place renowned for its innovative teaching methods and commitment to instilling a lifelong love of learning in students. My teaching philosophy mirrors your school's holistic approach to education, aiming to cater to the diverse needs of every student.

What to write in the body of your substitute teacher cover letter

Now that you've got your intro covered, here comes the heart and soul of your substitute teacher cover letter.

It's time to write the middle or body paragraphs. This is the space where you talk about your relevant talent in terms of hard skills (or technologies) and soft (or people and communication) skills.

Keep in mind that the cover letter has a different purpose from your substitute teacher resume.

Yes, you still have to be able to show recruiters what makes your experience unique (and applicable) to the role.

But, instead of just listing skills, aim to tell a story of your one, greatest accomplishment.

Select your achievement that:

  • covers job-crucial skills;
  • can be measured with tangible metrics;
  • shows you in the best light.

Use the next three to six paragraphs to detail what this success has taught you, and also to sell your profile.

Body Paragraph
Distinguished as the lead substitute teacher for a local high school, I orchestrated a collaborative project that engaged a class of 50 students in environmental science, achieving a 95% passing rate on the subsequent assessment, a 20% increase from the previous term. This success illustrates my ability to engage students effectively and improve academic outcomes.

Two ideas on how to end the final paragraph of your substitute teacher cover letter

Closing your substitute teacher cover letter, you want to leave a memorable impression on recruiters, that you're a responsible professional.

End your cover letter with how you envision your growth, as part of the company. Make realistic promises on what you plan to achieve, potentially, in the next six months to a year.

Before your signature, you could also signal hiring managers that you're available for the next steps. Or, a follow-up call, during which you could further clarify your experience or professional value.

Closing Paragraph
I eagerly anticipate the opportunity to discuss how my skills align with the needs of your school. Please contact me to arrange an interview at your earliest convenience.

What to write on your substitute teacher cover letter, when you have zero experience

The best advice for candidates, writing their substitute teacher cover letters with no experience, is this - be honest.

If you have no past professional roles in your portfolio, focus recruiters' attention on your strengths - like your unique, transferrable skill set (gained as a result of your whole life), backed up by one key achievement.

Or, maybe you dream big and have huge motivation to join the company. Use your substitute teacher cover letter to describe your career ambition - that one that keeps you up at night, dreaming about your future.

Finally, always ensure you've answered why employers should hire precisely you and how your skills would benefit their organization.

Key takeaways

Summarizing the most important aspects in writing your substitute teacher cover letter, remember to:

  • Create a personalized substitute teacher cover letter for each role you apply for, that includes the recruiter's name in the salutation;
  • Format your substitute teacher cover letter with single-spacing, one-inch margins, and a modern, yet ATS-friendly font;
  • Always start off your substitute teacher cover letter with two sentences that reflect what is most important about your application;
  • Your substitute teacher cover letter body should feature your biggest accomplishments and the job-relevant skills it has taught you;
  • Instead of opting for the "Sincerely yours" ending, close your substitute teacher cover letter with a nod to the future with what you aim to achieve in this potential role.

Substitute Teacher cover letter examples

Explore additional substitute teacher cover letter samples and guides and see what works for your level of experience or role.

By Experience

Entry-Level Substitute Teacher

When aiming for an Entry-Level Substitute Teacher role, highlight any teaching experience, volunteer work with children, or relevant coursework. Showcase your adaptability and ability to quickly engage with various educational materials. Include any specific training, like 'Classroom Management Techniques’ or 'Effective Communication in Education,' and describe the length to underline your commitment. Employ a 'skill-action-result' method to show how your competencies effectively managed classroom environments or improved student learning outcomes.

By Role

Special Education Substitute Teacher

Seeking a Special Education Substitute Teacher position requires showcasing patience, empathy, and adaptability. Highlight any experience working with children with diverse learning needs. Mention specific training, such as 'Behavior Management Techniques' or 'Inclusive Education Strategies', including length to demonstrate ongoing dedication. Illustrate how your expertise contributed to individual student progress using a clear 'challenge-strategy-outcome' framework. Stress your ability to create a safe, supportive environment and how your tailored approaches have fostered student success.

Elementary Substitute Teacher

When applying for an Elementary Substitute Teacher position, it's important to showcase any instructional experience with children. Emphasize your adaptability, patience, and classroom management techniques. Mention your educational background in elementary education or a related field, including any workshops like 'Child Behavior Management' or 'Creative Lesson Planning' you've attended. Describe specific instances where you've successfully managed a classroom or implemented lesson plans, illustrating your 'strategy-implementation-outcome' ability. Highlight your commitment to creating a positive learning environment that supports student growth.

Stip Substitute Teacher

When applying for a Substitute Teacher position, prioritize showcasing your adaptability and classroom management skills. If you have experience in education or relevant volunteer work, detail this to demonstrate you can handle varied teaching environments. Highlight any specialized coursework like 'Child Development' or 'Educational Psychology'. Mention how your organizational skills and ability to quickly implement lesson plans have led to successful classroom outcomes, using a clear 'skill-action-result' format in your cover letter. When looking to secure an Entry-Level Software Developer job, focus on any coding projects or internships. Display your proficiency in languages such as Java or Python and your familiarity with software development cycles. Illustrate how your problem-solving capabilities and attention to detail have contributed to project success. Use a straightforward 'skill-action-result' narrative to explain how you have improved processes or developed innovative solutions in your academic or personal tech endeavors.

Long-Term Substitute Teacher

When applying for a Long-Term Substitute Teacher position, focus on emphasizing your adaptability and classroom management skills. Highlight any previous teaching experience or relevant coursework, like 'Classroom Management' or 'Educational Psychology'. Detail any instances where you've successfully managed a classroom or adapted lessons to fit diverse learning needs. Include examples that showcase your ability to follow lesson plans and engage students over an extended period while ensuring educational continuity. Use a 'challenge-strategy-outcome' framework to demonstrate how your contributions positively impacted previous classrooms.
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Volen Vulkov
Volen Vulkov is a resume expert and the co-founder of Enhancv. He applies his deep knowledge and experience to write about a career change, development, and how to stand out in the job application process.
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