How to write an English teacher cover letter (with template)
Updated 23 January 2023
When applying for open positions, English teachers can benefit from writing strong cover letters to send to potential employers. These documents communicate your interest in positions and emphasise your candidacy, linking your motivations, experience and skills to the job you're applying for. Knowing how to write an effective cover letter, including how to structure one and what to include, can help you bolster your job applications and generate interest from employers. In this article, we discuss what an English teacher cover letter is, explore its components and offer a template and an example to guide you when writing one.
What is an English teacher cover letter?
An English teacher cover letter is a document these professionals send to potential employers to support job applications. They're pieces of persuasive writing with a structure like conventional letters, and their purpose is to convince employers to hire you because of your unique expertise, experience and motivations. They tell employers why you want to work for them and what you can bring to the role, providing supporting evidence where necessary, such as details of your formal qualifications and experience working in similar roles. Taking the time to write a cover letter can show your determination to get the job.
In addition to establishing contact with the potential employer and summarising the key information in your CV, a strong cover letter can demonstrate your communication and letter-writing skills. This means adhering to the structural conventions of formal letters, with a professional introduction, a main body of text and a valediction. A cover letter can also be a useful tool when your CV lacks something or requires additional explanation. For example, if you don't meet the essential experience level but still think you can do the job, you can explain why.
How to write an English teacher cover letter
Having a strong cover letter to send to educational institutions can help you stand out from other English teachers and generate more interview invites. Here are some steps you can follow to ensure you include the right information and follow an appropriate structure:
1. Create a header
As with formal letters, begin by writing a header. Headers include your name, degree, phone number, email address, city of residence and the date. This enables recruitment managers or headteachers to contact you if they have questions or want to pursue your application. Give your professional contact details if you have them, as this helps you separate personal and business calls and respond appropriately. Check your calls and inbox regularly so you can respond quickly to messages from recruiters.
2. Write an introduction
Below the header, address the letter to the hiring manager or use the recipient's name if you know it. You may find the hiring manager or headteacher's name on the school's website or in the job description. Introduce yourself and give a reason for writing the letter. Express your excitement about the job opening, why you want to work at this school over other schools, your motivations for seeking the job and how the position aligns with your career objectives.
3. Describe your motivations
Communicating your motivations effectively can often help you get jobs, as it shows your passion and commitment to teaching and why you want to work for a particular employer. Consider researching the educational institution you're applying to work for so you can personalise your motivations and convey authenticity, such as researching and mentioning the institution's rating. Here are some questions to ask yourself when thinking about your motivations:
What attracts you to this school over other schools in the area?
How does getting this position fit in with your career plans?
How do you plan to positively impact learners?
What do you know about the institution's reputation?
Does the school's ethos resonate with you?
Showing genuine motivations and giving specific examples can help distinguish you, as recruiters often look for individuals whose motivations go beyond financial compensation. Displaying motivation also communicates your willingness to work hard and make a difference.
4. Emphasise your candidacy
In the main body of the letter, emphasise your candidacy by describing your relevant teaching experience and qualifications, but don't repeat exactly what's in your CV. Outline your credentials, such as a bachelor's degree in English and a teacher training certificate, and your work history as an English teacher. Provide examples of your most impressive achievements in past jobs, giving data and evidence where possible to illustrate the extent of your accomplishments. Mention your key skills, such as:
knowledge of classroom management
excellent verbal and written communication
extensive knowledge of English language and literature
understanding of learning theories
Link your skills, experience, qualifications and achievements to the job to show recruitment managers why you'd be a good fit for the position. Review job adverts to identify keywords, which are important terms and phrases that employers look for, and include them in your letter. These may be skills or a specific amount of experience, and identifying and including them can help make your letter more striking.
5. Add a call to action
A call to action is a persuasive writing technique that seeks to solicit a specific behaviour from the reader, such as calling you back or providing an update on the application. Use a simple and friendly call to action, like Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have questions or would like to pursue my application further. Provide your preferred contact method or inform the reader to use any of the contact details you've listed. Finally, thank them for considering your application.
6. Sign off with a valediction
A valediction is a formal expression of goodbye, and it's a key component of formal letters and cover letters. Use a valediction such as sincerely or kind regards, with your name or signature below it. Before you submit the application and cover letter, proofread it to check for spelling and grammar mistakes, as these can reduce the letter's quality and potentially harm your application. You can also invite a friend or colleague to review the letter for the same reason.
Cover letter template for an English teacher
Here's a template you can use as a guide when writing your cover letter:
[First name] [Last name], [Degree or certification if applicable]
[Phone number] | [Email address] | [City]
Dear [Hiring manager's first name] [Hiring manager's last name],
[Express excitement for the position including the role title and the company name]. [Introduce yourself by explaining why you're applying for the job and how the job aligns with your career goals and what specifically draws you to the company].
[Explain your relevant experience and qualifications without repeating what's in your CV]. [Highlight one to two relevant achievements with facts and data when possible]. [Explain why you'd be a good fit for the company].
[Express gratitude]. [Summarise qualification]. [Restate interest in role]. [Call to action + availability and preferred contact method]
Cover letter example for an English teacher
You can refer to this example to help you write your letter:
Lydia Parker, BSc English Literature
07753 345635 | firstname.lastname@example.org | Hull
Hull High School
Dear James Evans,
My name is Lydia Parker. I'm excited about the English teacher position that recently became available at Hull High School, as your institution's English faculty has an outstanding reputation. I'm a great fit for the position because I have both the training and experience to excel in the role. I aim to be the head of an English department within the next five years, and I believe this job can help me achieve that goal. I want to work for this school in particular because of its consistently high Ofsted ratings.
I have three years of experience working as an English teacher. I hold a bachelor's degree in English, and I've completed my teacher training. In my previous role, I significantly improved the average grades of my students prior to their GCSEs, which directly translated to higher results and better prospects for them. I believe I'm a great fit for the school's ethos. Having been a student at this school myself, I'm confident that I can have a positive impact on student growth.
Thank you for considering my application. As a highly trained English teacher with a passion for helping young people, I look forward to putting my skills to work in this role. Please contact me using the above details if you have any questions or would like to schedule an interview. I'm available every morning on weekdays.
Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.
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