Cover Letter Development
Career Development Center
350 Murray-Herrick Center (MHC) – St. Paul Campus
Student Affairs Life/Work Center
110 Terrence Murphy Hall (TMH) – Minneapolis Campus
University of St. Thomas
Cover Letters for Teachers
In many cases, your cover letter for a job in a school will receive more
attention than would cover letters in most other industries. Administrators
view your cover letter as an indication of your enthusiasm for teaching and
of your ability to communicate. Cover letters present the opportunity for you
to do several things:
1. Demonstrate that you are interested in applying to that particular
2. Highlight your two or three strengths as a teacher - and reflect your
unique experiences as a teacher.
3. Express your enthusiasm for teaching, for working with young people
and/or for the particular grade level or subject you will teach.
Before you begin actually writing the first rough draft of your cover letter it
is best to:
1. Review what you know about the particular school and position for
which you are applying. Read the position description closely to find
out what certification or degree is needed, experience desired and
skills or personality characteristics they are seeking.
2. Review your own skills, qualifications in light of what the particular
Brainstorm -- any experiences or talents that could be related in
Select those that fit closely with the position description.
Prioritize them according to the position.
Writing the Letter
A well-put-together cover letter will have three basic parts to it:
1. Introduction: This is where you introduce yourself to the reader and
explain the reason you are writing. You should include the title of the
particular position you are interested in and how you found out about
2. Body of the letter: This part of the letter could be viewed as an
advertisement for your resume. It should furnish supporting details
about why you have the qualifications that are best suited to the
position they have open. This is the place to:
Address the needs of the school
Appeal to their self-interests (how you can help)
It is helpful if you can quantify your experiences when relating them to the
qualifications the position requires. (i.e. What situations you faced, how you
handled them and what the results were.)
3. Closing: This section pulls the letter together and summarizes in a
thoughtful and courteous way. If appropriate, you could mention your
interest in an interview or request further information.
These three parts of the letter should flow smoothly together so the reader
stays interested and can easily follow the content.
Professional in appearance (laser copy), with no errors, on good bond paper
-- white or soft neutrals. Be sure to rewrite, edit and get feedback from
others before having your final letter printed.
How do you highlight your strengths?
While your resume presents your background in chronological form, your
cover letter offers you the opportunity to draw your readers' attention to a
couple of your main strengths preferably as they relate to the expressed
philosophy or needs of the district.
The best cover letters use specifics to back up general statements. These
specifics can reflect your unique experiences in the classroom and the
strengths they represent:
"To my practicum teaching experiences I have brought classroom
management techniques that were honed in my two camp counseling jobs,
where I was frequently in charge of 30 to 40 seven- and eight-year-olds,
without any assistance."
"I strongly believe that every child is teachable. This was made real for me
when a first-grader who had been diagnosed with a learning disability, and
with whom I had been working one-on-one for nearly a semester, had a
breakthrough in his reading ability that surprised even his classroom
The point is that your cover letter should emphasize your strengths as a
teacher, which are most effectively demonstrated through positive, concrete
1. Keep a record of all correspondence.
2. The letter should be addressed to a particular individual in the district.
If that person is not apparent from the website, call the district office
for that person's name and title.
3. Use simple, direct language and correct grammar.
4. Use plain bond paper in white, off-white, light beige or light gray. Use
the same paper for your cover letters and resumes, and you can use
matching envelopes, as well.
5. Strive for a "picture frame effect" with your margins. Business letters
are folded in thirds and mailed in long envelopes, about 9 1/2 inches
6. Have a friend carefully proofread your letters for errors.
7. Be sure to sign your letters, and make certain your address is plainly
8. Ask for an interview, and include your phone number and email
address in your closing paragraph.
Sample Education Cover Letter
321 Vista Lane
St. Paul, MN 55105
February 12, 2007
Ms. Susan Principal
Director of Personnel
New Hope School District
St. Paul, MN 55105
Dear Ms. Principal:
Please accept my letter of application for the position of Language Arts teacher at New
Hope High School. With my major in English and secondary teaching certificate, I am
particularly interested in utilizing my skills and knowledge in a secondary setting.
My student teaching experience has enabled me to develop a special rapport with the age
group that I enjoy most: high school students. As co-advisor of the Drama Club during
my practicum, I also gained administrative and organizational skills that enhanced my
perspective and my commitment to the extra-curricular component of the secondary
As a student at the University of St. Thomas, I have excelled academically and worked
part-time at the Career Development Center, where I further developed my interpersonal
and communication skills.
I am especially interested in the New Hope School District because of its demonstrated
commitment to quality education, as evidenced by the favorable student/faculty ratio and
state-of-the-art classroom technology. I would appreciate the opportunity to speak with
you regarding the Language Arts position. Thank you for your consideration. I will
contact you within the next two weeks.