Teaching is a challenging yet rewarding profession. If you’re just starting your career and have little or no experience, you may be looking for ways to flesh out your resume and cover letter. A key element of this approach will be to emphasize transferable skills from other positions you’ve held and explain why they’re relevant to the new role you’re applying for.
If you have the credentials to teach, it must mean you’ve completed some degree of student teaching as part of your previous coursework. Highlight this experience on your resume and indicate the specifics of the grades you taught, the subjects you covered and any other elements of the role that provide substance to your experience. Example:
Marion Elementary, Anytown, USA
Responsible for providing math and emergent reader instruction to third grade students from economically disadvantaged district. Other duties included:
- After-school tutoring
- Worksheet development
- Running daily activity labs
Westburg Middle School, Anytown, USA
Responsible for providing course instruction on American History. Other responsibilities included:
- Course syllabus creation
- Daily class plans
- Developing progress reports
- Participation in parent-teacher conferences
Include the dates you worked as a student teacher to demonstrate your classroom time.
Highlight Other Skills
You likely have other professional skills that will transfer to your teaching resume. In developing your resume, list other jobs you’ve held, but tweak the job descriptions to focus on roles and responsibilities that gave you experience applicable to a classroom setting. This might include organization, patience, communications or working with students or children. Examples:
Provided swim instruction for youth ages 2-12 and held weekly water safety training sessions for parents of toddlers.
Spent four years of college breaks working as a camp counselor and recreation leader at a camp for deaf children. Responsibilities included program planning, oversight and supervision.
Anytown USA Clinic
Pediatric care desk receptionist
Responsible for checking in patients, discussing symptoms with parents, escorting children to exam rooms and following up after discharge. Special focus on strong communication skills, explaining sometimes complex discharge instructions, and personally interacting with patients to ensure their comfort.
Your Cover Letter
Your teaching cover letter is a great place to elaborate on the skills applicable to the teaching job you’re seeking. Tailor the verbiage to the specific school and specific job you’re seeking, and do some advanced prep work to learn about the school’s demographics.
I was very excited cited to learn that CYZ School District is hiring a fourth grade teacher. As you will see from my resume, while I am a new graduate, I have extensive student teaching experience, and previous to that, worked with young people in a variety of professional capacities.
Play up the traits you possess that make you a good candidate for a teaching position.
In my experience, students need both empathy and encouragement. I pride myself on treating each student as an individual with their own unique personality and learning styles. I recognize that one size does not fit all, and I have a good deal of patience when it comes to recognizing and addressing students needs.
End your letter by noting attachments, such as your resume, teaching certificate or references, and expressing a desire for an interview