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The average income for a substitute teacher is $31,510 a year according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. If you want to land a career in this flexible role you’ll need a cover letter that highlights your skills in adaptability, structure and lesson plans. Check out a substitute teacher cover letter example from Hloom’s extensive library and use our expert writing tips to create a cover letter that impresses employers and lands you the job.
The most common sections you’ll see on a cover letter include:
Cover Letter Sections
The heading of your cover letter is where you place your name, city, state, professional email and phone number. By professional email, that means one that is a clean reflection of your name, no nicknames or anything silly.
Start the greeting of your substitute teacher cover letter with a title such as Mr. or Ms. followed by the employer’s last name, which can sometimes be found in the job posting. If you don’t know who posted it, you should review the website of the school district or school to find the name of the superintendent or principal, call to ask if necessary. As you can see in the above example Linda did her homework and addressed her letter to Allison Stein.
The goal here is to introduce yourself and express your interest in the substitute teaching position. As you notice in the above example Linda makes the case that her interests and values are aligned with the school’s, thus giving the indication that she would be a good value asset as a substitute.
Keep this section of your substitute teacher cover letter fairly concise. About three to four sentences is best to tailor your experience and skills to this specific teaching job. Include any applicable state-wide teacher certifications you might hold, or continuing education courses you completed. In the example, Linda makes a good case for herself by citing the fact that she worked at 12 different schools. Using numerics is a great way to give a concrete sense of your experience to an employer.
In this section, thank the principal, superintendent or hiring manager by name. Express a desire to take the next step by inviting them to call you for an interview. As Linda does, express your interest to talk in person at an opportune time. That puts it in the employer’s head that they should contact you.
End the letter with a professional salutation, such as “Sincerely,” “Regards” or “Best.” Type your name, and if mailing, include your handwritten signature.
This template is perfect if you’re seeking a bold visual statement, and also demonstrates that you are as up-to-date as your potential employer.
With its striking fonts and vivid coloring, this cover letter template helps you make a strong impression with hiring managers.
For job seekers who want to show off strong qualifications and experience without distracting bells and whistles, this clean cover letter example fits the bill.
The classic cover letter template is a good choice for job candidates with minimal experience who want to project a professional image.
This sharp layout places emphasis on job experience and major achievements, highlighting your abilities as a top-level manager.
This cover letter example is easily adaptable across many professions, allowing you to detail your experience, leadership skills, and technical expertise.
This clean template emphasizes your progressive, up-to-date experience and achievements -- the qualities that pioneering, cutting-edge companies seek.
This solid template lets you get to the point with your credentials, and why you are a good fit for the job.
When you need to get all the important details about your capabilities across without wasting space, use this compact, well-organized template.
Many other individuals may be applying for the same substitute teacher job, so it’s important to make sure your cover letter stands out from the rest. You can do this by including job-specific action words or phrases to show your impact in the classroom and your strengths as a teacher. They’ll make your resume engaging to the reader. Consider these action verbs listed below:
Execute: Mention that you can execute lesson plans left by the teacher.
Create:Use this to show you can create and maintain a respectful classroom environment.
CommunicateThis indicates that you’re able to communicate positively and respectfully with parents and students.
Keep/Maintain:Show a potential employer that you can keep records on attendance, incidents and accidents.
Protect:This is often used to refer to the safety of students, equipment, materials and facilities.
Many school systems use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to filter out qualified job applicants from the less-qualified. These electronic readers typically scan cover letters and resumes for substitute teacher-related keywords and phrases to identify qualified candidates.
It’s important to read the job description and include the exact language of specific keywords listed in the posting. Other words you might see are: complete, prepare, monitor, support and lead. An example of how to include keywords for a substitute teacher might look something like:
“Followed teachers’ instructions to the note in 11 different schools I worked for in the Warren Township School District. Monitored class behaviors while completing lesson plans and supporting students.”Build a Cover Letter
The best substitute teacher cover letters complement the resume. Together, these professional documents help school officials see a complete picture of you as a teacher. Your cover letter lets you expand on the skills and teaching accomplishments listed in brief detail on your resume. The main difference is that in your cover letter you can add details and a narrative to the bullet points.