People need to show how their values are aligned with the school they're applying to, says Harry French, principal at Greenwood Academy. "Do your research and show how you're going to add value to the school."
"The most impressive applications are from people who've been on the school's website, read our prospectus, read our Ofsted report – and they can talk excitedly about the things we're doing," adds Phil Mellen, principal at Stanley Grove primary.
Structure your letter
If you're stuck on how to structure your letter, use the government's teachers' standards or follow the structure of the person specification, says Dr McKenna, director of initial teacher education programmes at Northumbria University.
Bullet points and short paragraphs can help emphasise points, while an inspirational quotation can give your introduction more impact, according to @teach_psych. Starting sentences with adverbs or adverbial sentences can also "get your meaning moving", says @glennmalcolm.
Don't leave any blanks
"Fill all of the sections in," says Mellen. "Sometimes we get applications where bits have been left blank. Everyone's done professional development of some kind. Even if you haven't done the latest trendy bit of training, put in that you've done your first aid training and been a Scout leader."
"Don't think that your skills are irrelevant. If you play the piano, mention it," says Mellen. "It might be that we have a piano sitting in the corner of the hall and no teachers who can play it. We won't give you a job on that fact alone, but it might help draw attention to your application."
Don't forget the kids
"The one thing that we have quite regularly is that people tend to talk about themselves an awful lot and not about the students as much as they could," advises French. "Show an awareness of the students' needs and the local community."
Prove you can have an impact
Focus on the impact that you've had in previous positons, says @train2teachchat: "What have you actually done and what did this achieve?"
Don't get the name of the school wrong, advises Mellen, who says they often get get letters applying for job adverts which aren't theirs. Reread, use a spell check or even get a member of the senior leadership team to check it for you, suggests @Sharon_Bingham
Keep it concise
Dr McKenna recommends that, after tailoring your application letter, it should not exceed two sides of A4.
Applying as an NQT?
"Provide details of your training course, including the age range and subjects covered, and any special features, such as intervention placements, early years placements or family and community placements," says Dr McKenna.
"Tell the reader what year groups you have taught and the subjects you have covered. Give examples of how you planned and delivered lessons; monitored and evaluated learning outcomes – including differentiation and behaviour management.
"Particular emphasis should be paid to your experience of working with teaching assistants and/or parents in your class. This is not only a requirement of the Teacher's Standards, it is of increasing importance to schools under the new Ofsted inspection requirements.
"You will be asked about your philosophy of teaching and learning. Ensure that you can articulate your vision and beliefs about early years/primary/secondary education."
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The below cover letter template was crafted for the position of English Teacher, however it’s general layout and professional format can easily be used for all types of teaching jobs. Simply download the template and replace the placeholder information with your own. So feel free and go ahead and copy the style of our professional resume writers, we won’t tell!
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The cover letter template (right) below was written specifically for the matching English Teacher resume sample on the left.
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English Teacher CL Templates
Dear Mr. /Mrs. /Ms. (Manager’s Name)
I was pleased to learn of your need for an English Teacher. I have ample experience in applying appropriate teaching and assessment methodologies, and am expert at designing and developing educational objectives and preparing teaching material. I am prepared to become an immediate team player within your organization.
The following are highlights of my skills and accomplishments:
- Presently working at Pathways Primary School as an English teacher relied upon to assess and look after 150+ students throughout the term.
- Possess an ability to communicate complex information in an understandable way students can easily comprehend.
- Prior experience of adopting distinctive teaching methodologies, documenting all lessons, organizing healthy group discussions, and mentoring troubled students.
- Previously employed with Mount Hill Secondary School where I successfully increased the writing and reading comprehension test scores by 16% over three years.
My strong initiative and exceptional organizational skills, combined with my ability to work well under pressure, allow me to play a crucial role in fast-paced teaching environment. Furthermore, I am capable of simplifying lesson plans to achieve curriculum objectives, without sacrificing quality. I believe I will reach and improve upon your school’s education standards.
Enclosed is my resume for your review. I welcome the opportunity to discuss with you personally how my skills and strengths can best serve your institution.
T: Phone number
E: email address
The number of “key bullet points” you include on your cover letter should be between 2-4 and should not exceed 5
Including numerical quantification is a great way to make both resumes and cover letters stand out to readers. The above sample does this by stating that test scores were “increased by 16% over three years”. Consider reviewing your work history and trying to find an achievement that can be represented in numbers.
Note many of the above key bullets begin with targeted action verbs. Starting with action verbs is key in grasping HR attention and holding it through the duration of the bullet point. Consult this complete list of action verbs for ideas on how to start your own bullet points.
Wrap your key bullet points with an introductory paragraph, an optional descriptive paragraph or two, or several key bullet points, ending with a closing paragraph and request for follow-up interview.
Other Useful Teacher Cover Letter Guides & Tips
Monash University Australia Sample Cover Letter
Western Washington University Career Services Resumes & Cover Letters for Educators