Elementary Substitute Teacher Cover Letter

XX Everett Avenue
Fort Worth, TX 76135
(000) 555-5555

June 27, 2014

Ms. Susan Smith
Smithcity High School
Fort Worth, TX 76135

Dear Ms. Smith,

Advertised Position for Substitute Teacher at Smithcity High School

I wish to express my interest in the available position for a substitute teacher and enclose my resume. Please note that my training level and a number of years’ experience both meet the requirements in your job description. I would also like to draw your attention to the fact that I have previously been employed as a substitute teacher at Jonestown High School, and a reference from the principal is attached to my resume.

My teaching experience has been gained at a variety of schools catering to different age groups, and I believe that my diverse skills as an educator would be able to make a meaningful contribution to both the student and teacher community at your school. I focus on discovering my students’ strengths and engaging their interest while paying strict attention to the curriculum. In this way, I find I can maximize their potential and obtain their full co-operation in maintaining discipline.

I specialize in teaching English and history, but I am able to cover most humanities subjects, as well as math in the lower grades. My personal interests include sports, music, and live theater, and I would be willing to assist with extra-curricular activities in these areas if required. I am available for interview at any time that suits you. Please call me on 555-555-5555.


(Your signature)
Sam Smith

Enclosures: Resume; Reference(s)

If your well-crafted teacher resume is your passport to interviews for elementary teacher jobs, your teacher cover letter is your first handshake with the interviewer.

The first step is to ensure that your cover letter is tailored for each new job application.

Research before writing

Start with a little online research on the school district's website to determine:

  • What makes the school unique?
  • The school's mission statement (if they have one)

What you might find on a school website

Think: How could this help you tailor your cover letter?

The goal of the staff at Simpson Elementary is to provide the best possible educational program for every student. A child’s success in school is highly dependent upon the relationship that exists between child, parent and teacher.

The Simpson community works together for the students at our school. Site based decision making has been implemented at Simpson through the Site Council which is instrumental in bringing the students, parents, teachers and members of our community together on behalf of our children.

Not a lot of details (which is common) but you can infer the high value they place on community. If you were applying to Simpson Elementary, you teacher cover letter should highlight this aspect of your past accomplishments.

And there's one final piece of important information:

  • What socio-economic community do they serve?

That item can often be determined from the percentage of free- and reduced-price lunches provided to the students. If this statistic is not listed on the school district's website, it can often be found on the state's department of education website.

Government resources for research

You can Google your state's name and “report card” (ex.: “Iowa report card”) to find the Department of Education site that will tell you nearly anything you need to know for your cover letter.

Taking a few minutes to do this simple task will help you set your cover letter apart from the competition… and (bonus!) enable you to tailor your interview responses to fit the school.

Video: Teacher cover letter tips

Consider the grade level

Next, consider the position to which you are applying. A 1st grade position requires different skills than a 3rd/4th combination room. Can you highlight different elements of your experience in your cover letter to better match the criteria?

Create a resume that gets your ideal job!

A well-crafted resume and matching cover letter is a huge confidence builder.

Read and listen as I walk you through how to do it step-by-step in my Easy Teacher Resumes course. Ready-to-use Word templates included.

Just like resumes, teacher cover letters evolve over time as your experience changes. New teachers will rely more on volunteer, college and student teaching examples. More experienced teachers will rely on classroom and professional training examples.

Finally, consider how the application process works. Sometimes you may be sending your cover letter and resume directly to the interviewer. If that is the case, address it accordingly.

More often, however, you will likely be placing your information on file with a human resources contact person, or even uploading your documents to a posting website.

Take note: If most of your applications are for the same school district, you may not be able to update your cover letter for each new posting, so you will have to keep it broader in content.

Examples to Build On

Here are three samples from my past to consider (open as PDF's):

See the differences? My experience changed over time as I moved into different elementary teacher jobs, so I could continually remove non-teaching examples (such as being a school secretary) and add more student-focused content.

My formatting changed over the years as well, just because I felt like it. By the way, two of these cover letters did not result in jobs…sometimes people just can't appreciate your sterling qualities, no matter how well you craft your cover letter!

Resume templates for any grade level!

Don't obsess over your teacher cover letter's content. Keep it simple and straightforward and do not exceed one page. You can use these two Microsoft Word copies to create your own. The only difference is the formatting.

Note: The two documents are embedded in a Zip file. If your computer does not automatically open the folder, download the Zip file then unzip or double-click it to gain access.

TIP: Style points for formatting your cover letter similar to your resume!

Oh… one more thing. Just like your elementary school teacher resume: NO TYPOS ALLOWED! This includes grammatical errors. Ask two friends to read your teacher cover letter over before you finalize it.

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