Teacher Cover Letter Formats

How to Convince the School You are the Ideal Candidate

Writing an attention-grabbing teacher cover letter to go along with your teacher resume can often be a frustrating and stressful task. Using a standard cover letter template as a fallback can sabotage a winning resume. Even worse, not including a covering letter will look as though your computer applied for the teaching position. True, deciding what to include and what to leave out can be a difficult task, yet you must make the effort if you want an interview invitation.

If putting your cover letter together is bringing you stress, read our "A-Z Cover Letter Writing Tips" for teachers and administrators It shows you how to structure a winning cover letter for a teaching position.

teacher cover letter formats

Using the Sections of a Cover Letter to Target Teaching Jobs

Once you have chosen a format for your teacher cover letter and are comfortable with the layout, it is easy to tweak it to suit different teaching jobs. Let's get started! Your cover letter should be divided into three distinct parts: the introductory paragraph, the body of the letter, and your closing paragraph. Here are some user-friendly tips on what to include in each section:

The Cover Letter’s Introductory Paragraph

The introductory paragraph of your letter is incredibly important because it is your first chance to gain your reader’s attention and make a great first impression. You should try to address your cover letter to a specific person, if possible. You can do this by inquiring about the hiring manager’s or human resources manager’s name. Make sure to double check the spelling of the person’s name. You don’t want to ruin a first impression by spelling their name incorrectly!

Your first paragraph should clearly state the position name and posting number for the teaching job you are applying to. As well, if you have been referred to the job opening by an existing teacher, it’s important to state this information as well, as this can often go in your favor.

Alternatively, you may be submitting your documents when there is no formal job posting. In these cases, you want to convince the principal that it is worthwhile reading your cover letter and resume and, ideally, be placed in the follow up stack for consideration as a future hire.

Generic letters are five times less likely to get a response. For each job position, tailor your cover letter to the position advertised. Do not leave connections to chance. Make the match for the reader!

This elementary teacher cover letter sample makes a direct match to the elementary school teacher job qualifications in the opening sentences of the first and second paragraph. First, the education match is made. The candidate has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Elementary Education. Immediately following, we learn she has 15 years of classroom experience.

A hit! An experienced elementary school teacher – let's read on!

The second paragraph introduces her commitment 'toward the empowerment of elementary school children,' followed by her experience and teaching approach.  

The Cover Letter's Body

The cover letter’s body is where you try to show the reader how you are the best teaching candidate for the position. In these paragraphs, you must capture the principal’s interest, so they want to read on to your resume. You can make a strong cover letter body by focusing on your related achievements, skills, and education that are related to the position you are applying to. By demonstrating your talents in these areas, you will show the reader that you are an excellent fit for the job.

Even if you are writing a cover letter as a new teacher with no experience, there is valuable information from past work experiences, internships, practiums, and college courses you can incorporate. You will need to dig for these and find a creative way to communicate your relevant skills and experience as a beginning teacher. It takes time and deep thought to write an excellent cover letter for an experienced teacher or a first year teacher - so allocate the time necessary to get it right.

This math teacher cover letter sample provides numerous examples of how the teacher facilitates math learning at all levels of student ability. Try and avoid simply listing attributes. Make connections for the reader and tell a story.

"By incorporating class discussions, open-ended questions, and cooperative learning, I am able to facilitate a highly interactive and inquisitive classroom atmosphere."

The job candidate and author of this secondary school teachercover letter example provides a thoughtful and impactful philosophy of teaching statement:

"I have found the method of facilitating rather than dictating to be a highly beneficial style of teaching. I have learned that if students construct their own learning experiences they will not only retain information longer, but they also will become more confident in their abilities."

The hiring managers, however, want to see examples and evidence. She could have included qualitative and quantitative examples of learning outcomes produced as a direct result of this teaching approach:

"My empowered class of learners has increased their reading and math scores by 12% percent, and has become self-initiated learners. For example, they check out twice as many books from the library."

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Do Your Due Diligence: Research the School

Doing your research can yield excellent results. Learning about the school district can help you tailor your cover letter to what the school district is looking for. You can find information on both the school district and the specific school you are applying to by visiting their website. Take your time to read through it and gather pertinent information.

Discover what programs, projects, and potential issues are at the forefront for them. By bringing these issues up in your cover letter and showing that you have the necessary skills and experiences they are seeking, you will most likely impress the principal reading your letter.

Try and put your own stamp on your cover letter; let your personality and passion for the job shine through. Tell the principal why you are interested in the position and how you can contribute to the school community. If you can communicate how your teaching skills and experiences can benefit the school, you will have a good chance at being called for an interview.

The Cover Letter’s Concluding Paragraph

Your cover letter should end by re-stating your enthusiasm for the position. It should also state your interest in being called for an interview. Specify how the reader can get in touch with you and thank them for their time and consideration.

In this section, you may find the use of original language to be challenging. The biggest risk in a cover letter is using repetitive, formulaic language. The reader sees these same statements over and over again, and thus tends to gloss over them with glazed eyes. The challenge is to draw on your own experience to provide an original hook. Try to not only open your cover letter with a hook, but also end it with a hook to keep the reader interested.

This music teacher cover letter sample wakes up the reader by adding a call to action that requires action on his/her part.

"In closing, I look forward to meeting you to discuss in greater detail how I can contribute to the continued success of your music program. If you have any questions, or would like to set a time to meet, please feel free to contact me at the number listed above."

Let's add a more compelling ending.

"I will leave you with this short video clip of me on the piano teaching the music scales and singing Christmas carols with my special education class – a fun activity we all thoroughly enjoyed."

This additional sentence packs a powerful punch. You have provided an example of you in action as a teacher, engaging the students and having fun while learning. I challenge you to come up with a list of original ways of ending your cover letter – ideally ways that demonstrate evidence of your teaching ability.

After you write your cover letter, it is important to have it proofread by someone else. Even if you think it’s perfect, it’s always a good idea to have a fresh pair of eyes look at it. Sometimes you can be blind to your own mistakes. So, it is always recommended to have it double checked before you send it off.

Check out these 6 common mistakes NOT to make on your application letter and information you should always include in an education cover letter when searching for a teaching job position. Read a recent blog post about how to highlight your skills and strengths in your teacher resume and cover letter.

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