A step by step guide to writing a professional resume for substitute teacher. Use our substitute teacher resume sample and a template.
You’re ready to grab your students’ attentions and guide them through their formative scholastic years.
But, before you can do that, you’ve got to grab the principal’s attention in a similar way—
—with the perfect teacher cover letter.
That means treating it like a crucial final exam instead of an inconsequential pop quiz.
With this guide, you'll make a teacher cover letter on which they’ll put an A++ and a big smiley face at the top.
This educational cover letter guide will show you:
- Teacher cover letter examples better than 9 out of 10 other cover letters.
- How to write a cover letter for a teaching job that will land you more interviews.
- Cover letter examples for teachers on how to grab the principal’s attention.
- How to sell your candidacy on a cover letter for teaching jobs to get any job you want.
Want to write your cover letter fast? Use our cover letter builder. Choose from 20+ professional cover letter templates that match your resume. See actionable examples and get expert tips along the way.
Sample Teacher Cover Letter —See more cover letter templates and create your cover letter here.
This guide works for elementary school and high school teachers—be they experienced or new first year teachers, substitute teachers, or TAs!
What’s the Best Structure for Teacher Cover Letters?
You've created a great teacher resume, and now it's time to write a cover letter for teaching jobs to attach alongside.
However, remember that your cover letter is still a formal letter. There’s a recommended layout to be followed. But what does that structure look like, and what should you include on a teacher’s cover letter?
Here’s what should be included on teacher cover letters:
- your contact information, including the date you're writing it,
- the school’s (addressee’s) details,
- a greeting / salutation (e.g., Dear Principal Johnson,),
- an opening statement that grabs their attention,
- short paragraph on why you’re perfect for the school,
- short paragraph on why the teaching position is perfect for you,
- closing statement that seals the deal
- complimentary close (e.g., Regards, Sincerely) and your name
- a postscript (P.S.).
Here, we’re following our recommended structure on the elements of the perfect cover letter for teaching jobs. To read more about the method behind our madness, see this article: What to Include in a Cover Letter
How to Address Your Teaching Cover Letter
A teaching cover letter begins at the top with the heading area. This is where you’ll put your personal information, and its look and design may vary depending on the cover letter template that you use.
First, add your contact info at the top of the cover letter. Must-haves include your name, email address, and phone number. Optional items are your mailing address, social handles, and a LinkedIn profile URL. As the addresser, your address can be aligned to the left, center, or right; I’d suggest sticking to the design of your resume.
Inserting the date of writing is necessary on any formal letter such as an educator’s cover letter.
The School’s Details
Next, add the addressee, which, if you can find it, is the specific name of the superintendent or principal. Follow that with the school or academy you’re applying at and its address.
Here’s what the finished cover letter address area could look like:
Not addressing your cover letter correctly is just as detention-worthy as not including one at all. Make sure you get yours right, whether it’s a teaching assistant cover letter, substitute teacher cover letter, or other such letters of interest: How to Address a Cover Letter
Starting Off Your Cover Letter for Teachers on the Right Foot
Learning how to open a cover letter for teachers is super important to get right, as its top location gets the most eye time.
Greeting / Salutation
On your teaching cover letter, call them by name. Something like “Dear Principal Jackson,” works just perfectly, but you can also segue from the formality in the address area by calling them by their first name: “Dear Jacqueline,”.
Now, what about that “Dear” part? Dear is one of the best cover letter salutations, but there are alternatives. Read: How to Start a Cover Letter
Like the first line in a well-written novel for a book report, the opening paragraph should hook the principal immediately in a way that makes them want to hear more.
Let’s look at an example of a great elementary teacher cover letter opening:
As a veteran elementary school teacher and tutor, I was excited to see the opening for a tenth-grade world history teacher at Smith High School. With my experience as a top fourth-grade instructor at Smith Elementary, I know I can use my teaching skills and knowledge to become a valuable member of the Smith HS faculty.
The sample teacher cover letter introduction is written to the school, specifically (notice the school's name mentioned).
It also works because it gives them an inkling of why you'd be the perfect teaching addition to the department.
Pro Tip: As you called out their name in the address, mention the school’s name in the opening paragraph, as well. It feels more personalized, and it assures the principal that they’re reading a dedicated cover letter.
For other ways to go about your introductory statement, see: How to Write the Perfect Cover Letter
When making a resume in our builder, drag & drop bullet points, skills, and auto-fill the boring stuff. Spell check? Check. Start building your resume here.
When you’re done, Zety’s resume builder will score your resume and tell you exactly how to make it better.
The Middle of Your Teacher Cover Letter: You + School = Perfect Partnership
Time to sell them on why you’re the perfect teaching candidate out of that stack of 250 others the way your best pupils perform in the school fundraiser.
But don’t worry. The next two areas (we suggest a paragraph for each) of your cover letter for teacher's position give you plenty of real estate to make your case. Though they’re opposites, these sections have a symbiotic, yin-yang-type relationship, like a compass and protractor.
Why You’re Perfect for Them
You’ve got them hooked. Time to reel them in with your teacher cover letter.
Show them how you are the perfect fit for the school and faculty.
Here’s what an applicant might say on a sample school teacher cover letter:
In my previous position with Smith Elementary, I’ve had many responsibilities and achievements that would serve me well as an educator of world history at Smith High. I created lesson plans for world history at Smith Elementary using a format similar to the one at Smith HS, and it has now been adopted by 19 out of 22 school districts in our state. On top of that, my 98.5% passing and graduation rates there were among the best in the school district, and I’m sure that I could garner similar results at Smith High School.
See that? With that paragraph, you show that your acquired skills and experience would make you the ideal new hire for the teaching job offered.
Pro Tip: Remember using keywords on your resume to ensure that it’s tailored? Add them on your teaching cover letter, as well. Oh, and make sure you use the best cover letter fonts so they can read it!
Why They’re Perfect for You
You told them why you’re the best possible future faculty member, so now it’s time to explain why this school is the perfect choice for you:
Obtaining the world history teaching position at Smith High School would be my dream come true. I’ve long been a fan of your teaching values. In fact, several members of the Smith HS faculty were the ones who initially encouraged me to become an instructor. Though I love teaching students with all my heart, there is no other school that would make me as happy to work for. I know, should I be honored with the position, that I’d be the envy of the school board!
How about that? You praised the learning institution and explained why they are the center of your educational universe - who can resist that?
We’ve got a wealth of tips on these two central paragraphs and on writing a cover letter for teaching jobs that will let you stand out: 35+ Successful Cover Letter Tips, Advice & Guidelines
Pro Tip: Say you want to apply at a school, but there are no academic jobs listed. This is when you send what’s called a letter of interest for teaching positions, also known as a letter of inquiry. A teaching letter of interest is a specific type of teacher’s cover letter that inquires about possible availability in the school without the awareness that an open teaching position exists.
If you are a teacher who needs to write a letter of interest, have a look at this guide: How to Write a Letter of Interest [Complete Guide & 15+ Examples]
Add a Compelling & Strong Finish to Your Cover Letter for Teachers
You started off strong, and you kept that momentum going throughout.
Now, don’t quit just yet—it’s time to summon a second wind and cross that finish line in first place with a powerful closing statement of your teacher cover letter.
Use a closing sentence or paragraph to briefly sum up:
I would welcome the chance to discuss your current world history syllabus and show you how my successes at Smith Elementary can translate into success at Smith High.
See that? You bring it to a satisfying end by summarizing your academic cover letter and then leaving the ball in their court.
Add a closing sentiment and your name, and then you can let out a sigh of contentment at your accomplishment, like one of your kids when they finally finish their homework for a three-day weekend.
Here’s how easy that is:
Not much to it, right? That closing sentiment (“Sincerely” in this case) is called a complimentary close (or complimentary closing), which is then followed by your name to end the cover letter.
Closing strong on a cover letter for teaching positions is just as critical as an attention-grabbing beginning. Read this for more examples: How to End a Cover Letter: Sample & Complete Guide
Don't Forget to Add a Postscript to Seal the Deal (Teacher Cover Letter Hack)
I know, I know, I said that was it. But hear me out for just one final moment, if you will.
Adding a P.S., though not necessary, is a great hack when writing a cover letter for teaching jobs. Every great teacher cover letter should include a postscript.
Let me show you what I mean:
P.S. I’d love the opportunity to sit down with you and go over how I can bring similar results (45% reduced tardiness) to Smith High School, as well.
What do you think? A P.S. (postscript) at the bottom of your cover letter for teachers always draws the attention of the reader, even if they don’t read the rest of it. It’s a clever way to get one last word in edgewise before they finish.
As you can see, writing cover letters for teachers is certainly not as complicated as you thought—and definitely nowhere near as tough as the magic you’ll perform each day on the job.
Remember to follow these key points for a successful teaching cover letter:
- Start with a bang - Your opening statement on your cover letter for teaching jobs is important because it’ll determine if the principal reads on.
- Show you belong together - Use the majority of the body area to show that you’re a perfect fit for the school and they’re the ideal workplace for you.
- Finish strong - You held their attention till the final bell, but use a strong ending so they’ll be sure to move on to your resume and an academic interview.
Now, just email your resume off and prepare for the interview!
Any questions on how to write a teaching cover letter? Not sure how to address a cover letter, start your body paragraphs, or end your cover letter in a strong way? Get at us in the comments below, and we’ll answer your question. Thanks for reading!