You’ve tackled building a powerful resume, now it’s time you craft a complementing teacher cover letter!
You may think these are a thing of the past. But cover letters are the best way to set yourself apart from other job candidates by going that extra mile.
Boost your chances of getting hired by following our step-by-step guide, complete with pro tips and examples.
Here’s what you’ll find out in this guide:
- Look at a sample cover letter for teachers to get an idea of how to write yours.
- How to talk about your own teaching style, the subjects you're best at, and any special training you have.
- How to showcase times you've really helped in the classroom, like improving student behavior, grades, or activities.
- Learning to explain how your approach to teaching fits with what the school you're applying to believes in and wants to achieve.
In case you want to learn more about writing a specific teacher cover letter, or you want to refresh your resume, here are a few guides to bookmark for later:
- Teacher resume
- English teacher cover letter
- Math teacher cover letter
- Special education teacher cover letter
- Elementary teacher cover letter
- High school teacher cover letter
- Substitute teacher cover letter
- Teacher assistant cover letter
Teacher cover letter example
- Tailored approach: The cover letter specifically references the teaching methodologies of "Dazzling Discoveries/ Skill Mill NYC," indicating that the applicant has researched the institution and understands its values.
- Highlighting relevant achievements: The mention of raising the retention rate at Hudson High School showcases a tangible impact the applicant had in a previous role, making it a compelling point for the prospective employer.
- Demonstrating initiative: By emphasizing the extracurricular sessions initiated by the applicant, the cover letter portrays a proactive approach to teaching, which is a valuable trait for an educator.
- Clear call to action: The closing paragraph effectively invites further discussion, signaling the applicant's keen interest in the position and openness to further engagement.
How to format a teacher cover letter
Regardless of the teaching position you’re pursuing, your cover letter shouldn’t be longer than a single page.
Even though you’re expanding on your resume, you still have to be straightforward and succinct.
So, before you start writing:
- Go over the job description again and take note of the role-relevant keywords.
- Cherry-pick some of the resume achievements and skills that overlap with your findings.
- Consider adding other noteworthy milestones you haven’t had the chance to include on your resume.
Then, create the outline of your teacher cover letter. Don’t forget to factor in where you want to fit each accomplishment from the list.
If you’re not sure how to kickstart the writing process, here is a basic structure you can follow:
Something to always keep in mind when writing your cover letter is to not copy your resume word for word.
The purpose of the letter is to elaborate on the experiences you’ve already shared with the principal or hiring manager.
But be selective about which achievements and skills you reference. While the breadth of your teaching expertise is important, principals are usually concerned with specific issues.
This means your cover letter can’t be a one-size-fits-all.
Odds are, you’re applying for numerous teaching positions. In order to stand out you’ll have to prepare a different resume for each individual role. The same goes for your cover letter.
So, the best way to get noticed is to personalize. A powerful teacher cover letter includes:
- A few words about what motivated you to become a teacher: this is especially important if you don’t have much professional experience.
- Your reasoning for choosing to apply to that particular school.
- A few of your core skills and top achievements.
- Your knowledge of the school’s history, culture, and present challenges.
- Notable awards and recognitions you’ve received over the course of your career.
Imagine the school you’re applying to has students with diverse linguistic backgrounds. You’ve already mentioned your college minor in Spanish on your resume.
To really make an impression on the school’s principal, don’t rely on merely showing you know how to speak Spanish.
Detail the relevance of your minor and everything surrounding your learning experience.
For example, you can describe how you’ve learned about Spanish and Latinx culture through organizing get-togethers with native speakers.
Not only does this prove your linguistic prowess, but also your self-starter attitude and ability to work well in a multicultural environment.
Start your teacher's cover letter with the right salutation and a powerful introduction
Salutations can be hard to figure out, especially if you’re not sure who’s going to review your resume.
If this is the case and there is no way to find out the name through research, you can use the generic “To Whom It May Concern”. But keep in mind that this greeting may seem too formal in some instances.
So, consider who your potential employer is and what type of culture they’re fostering.
If you’re applying for a kindergarten or a preschool teaching position, you can use the more casual “Greetings”.
Yet, if you’ve done your research and know exactly who’s hiring for the role, go for the classic “Dear [name of principal/hiring manager]”.
Afterward, talk about what inspired you to become a teacher and how that relates to the available role.
Go back to the list of accomplishments and pick out the one you’re most proud of. Cite it in the introduction.
Remember, you must point out why the achievement makes you the perfect candidate for the job.
Create a highlight reel of your key teaching milestones and talents in your cover letter body
Think about what type of problem the school is presently trying to address. Apart from finding an educator, that is.
Usually, teachers are tasked with much more than planning lessons and grading papers.
Their work directly affects:
- The school’s reputation with both parents and students
- Annual budget planning and investor relations
- Potential partnerships with other educational institutions
So, make sure you relate to the challenges the school faces by describing how you’ve solved similar issues in the past.
The best way to do this is to thoroughly research the school, its history, and culture. Check its blog or related media articles for clues.
Remember, principals are very careful when vetting new teachers. They want to make sure you have the students’ best interests at heart.
So, demonstrate how your values match the school’s. Showcase your knowledge of its mission and goals. Describe how your experiences align with the school’s future plans.
Prove that you’ll be a great culture fit.
Shine the spotlight on situations, where you’ve:
- Built communities and fostered relationships
- Paid special attention to students with learning disabilities
- Helped struggling students catch up with the rest of the class and graduate with their peers.
- Won awards for your past employers because of outstanding work on your part.
What’s more, explain how you plan to implement your talents and expertise to the benefit of your future employer.
How to write a cover letter for a teaching job without experience?
Don’t worry if you don’t have much teaching experience. Even if you’re switching careers, there are certainly ways to be relatable.
Refer to some of your transferable skills. Discuss how you’ll use them to help the school reach its goals.
Technically speaking, you weren’t employed as a teacher. But you’ve been responsible for the career development of your junior colleagues.
More importantly, you know what it’ll take for them to be successful within the industry. And you know how to use your skills and expertise to get them there.
Better yet, if you have any volunteering or summer camp background, definitely mention it. Explain how you will apply all the knowledge and experience you’ve accumulated so far.
Express your gratitude to the school’s principal in the closing paragraph
Finally, craft a short closing paragraph to complete your teacher's cover letter.
There are three main points you must cover here:
- Thank the person who’s responsible for reviewing the job applications.
- Let principals and hiring managers know when it’s most convenient to contact you.
- Prompt the reviewer to call you and arrange an interview to discuss your credentials.
And don’t forget to proofread your cover letter before you submit it.
- Review the job description again and pick some role-related keywords.
- Align a few of your top achievements and abilities to the selected keywords.
- Research the school’s history and the current challenges it faces.
- Make sure to outline how your expertise will benefit your future employer.
- Don’t hesitate to talk about your transferable skills or any awards you’ve won.