Why am I not getting interviews? - ProTeacher Community





itz2bad itz2bad is offline
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Why am I not getting interviews?
Old 06-09-2010, 12:19 PM
 
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I have two years of experience at two different schools because both schools had to RIF me. This is my third summer spent job hunting. I had a fairly good turn around my first year applying for jobs right out of college. Last summer was brutal, and this year isn't looking much better. I can narrow it down to three possible problems:

1. The economy. In which case, I can't really do too much about it.

2. Follow ups. I'll admit, I don't follow up with school districts after I send out applications. I never know exactly what to say, so any advice on this would be helpful!

3. My cover letter. I wonder if my cover letter is too long or not highlighting the right criteria. I see that some other people have posted their cover letters for review, and if anyone would be willing to look at mine and give me feedback, I'd sure appreciate it! Here it is:


P.O. Box __
City, State 00000

June 9, 2010

Mr. _____ ______
________ Public Schools
P.O. Box ____
City, State 00000

Dear Mr. _______:

I am applying for the fourth grade teaching positions you advertised on the __________ website. Having successfully taught fourth grade, I find the grade level of this position to be of particular interest to me. Furthermore, having taught at small schools the past two years, I am drawn to the small class sizes of your school, as well as the size and location of ________ itself.

Your position requires knowledge of core subjects, as well as the understanding of current teaching practices; it also demands the ability to form positive relationships with students and other staff members. My knowledge and experiences match these job requirements well, as evident first through my academic endeavors. I’ve earned various academic honors: high school valedictorian, Magna Cum Laude, and Departmental Distinction. These honors reflect not only my knowledge of content but also my hard working nature. I set high standards for myself; therefore, I am continuously striving to improve my teaching through self reflections, research, and professional development.

In the classroom, I strive to motivate students and keep their attention by showing my enthusiasm for the subject matter and through structured learning activities that use a variety of hands on materials and technology resources, such as interactive whiteboards, to engage students in meaningful learning. Furthermore, while teaching in multiage classrooms these past two years, I effectively maintained a respectful classroom environment cohesive to learning because I hold developing a good rapport with students in high regard, and I believe setting clear classroom procedures is essential to sustaining a structured environment. Though both school districts couldn’t rehire me due to budgetary reasons, I received positive teacher evaluations for establishing student rapport, classroom management, and maintaining student attention through dynamic teaching style.

Mr. ___________, I am genuinely interested in working for the _______ School District, for your school suits my career goals, and I aspire to continue teaching in a small school district. Furthermore, my experiences and background have led me to feel confident that I can perform this job successfully. I have detailed these other qualifications in the enclosed resume.

Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to talking with you. Please feel free to contact me by calling (000)000-0000 or leave a message at (000)000-0000.

Sincerely yours,

_____________ _______________


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Old 06-09-2010, 12:39 PM
 
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These are just a few thoughts, take them or leave them. Overall, I think it's a very well written and well thought out cover letter.

I would take out the part about high school honors-no offense but no one cares what happened in high school. Take out the 2nd paragraph altogether because I don't think it really relates to teaching and just adds lenghth.

I would also take out the part about not being rehired. They don't care about WHY you weren't rehired-they just see not rehired and stop reading. Take out the last sentence in the 3rd paragraph completely.

Also, it might help to give specific examples of HOW you created hands-on activities. Maybe give an example of a lesson you did.

In the second to last paragraph, don't talk about how their school district suits you, talk about how you can help them. IE: My experiences have helped honed my teaching skills.

I hope this helps. Good luck in your search.
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Short but Sweet
Old 06-09-2010, 01:38 PM
 
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I agree with the previous poster. Tell what you can do for them, not what they can do for you. Cut down the length some and take out the rehire part.

Good luck!
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Old 06-09-2010, 07:04 PM
 
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I am tired and heading to bed, but I'll try to get some time tomorrow to finish reading and offer some advice.

One note from what I did read...I didn't make it past this statement
Quote:
small schools the past two years
I am sure this is a road block for anybody considering your letter. When you say "schools' plural for only two years of teaching, they may think immediately "Uh, oh, something wrong with her if she has already lost two jobs in two years and is looking for a third." I would get rid of that statement. Tweek it to say "my experience teaching in smaller classrooms I am drawn to your size...blah, blah, blah."

Good luck!! And I'll try to finish later.
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Thank you!
Old 06-09-2010, 11:12 PM
 
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Thank you everyone for your advice! I can't even begin to express my gratitude! I've taken all of your guys' advice and have been revamping my cover letter like crazy, so I can send it off.

Thanks again!


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Old 06-09-2010, 11:25 PM
 
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I like what the others said.

In all honesty, I'm too tired to do a really good job with this right now, but one thing did jump out at me:

Quote:
Furthermore, while teaching in multiage classrooms these past two years, I effectively maintained a respectful classroom environment cohesive to learning
I'm about 99% sure you meant "conducive," not "cohesive," there.
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Old 06-12-2010, 10:45 AM
 
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I have posted my comments and changes into your letter, it seemed easiet this way. I hope you can make out the changes and decipher my suggestions. The bold words are suggested ways of saying things.



Dear Mr. _______:

How about: “Having successfully taught fourth grade in the past, I am very interested in applying for the fourth grade teaching position you have advertised.” I don’t feel the info about the small class size is important….you decide, is it something that makes you stand out….honestly I think we would all prefer small classes over large ones…we could better aid our students to become successful if we only had a few verses 30. Maybe if you choose to leave it you should say something like, “The small size of your school promotes a wonderful learning atmosphere, where there is more time to devote to differentiating lessons and providing intervention as needed for struggling students.”

I’m with other previous posts when it comes to you telling the school about themselves , they know who they are, they want to know who YOU are. Instead tell them how you will meet the need they currently have. You are over thinking it, keep it simple and highlight your qualities as a teacher…WHY ARE YOU UNIQUE? “As class valedictorian of my high school, and having graduated (I assume you mean from college) from college as Magna Cum Laude and with Departmental Distinction, I would bring a wealth of knowledge to your school and put it to use to better the school in such and such manner” What need does the school possess—that’s what you want to include here. Search their website for their improvement plan, how can you help them? These honors reflect not only my knowledge of content but also my hard working nature. I set high standards for myself; therefore, I am continuously striving to improve my teaching through self reflections, research, and professional development.

In the classroom, I strive to motivate students and keep their attention by showing my enthusiasm for the subject matter and through structured learning activities that use a variety of hands on materials and technology resources, such as interactive whiteboards, to engage students in meaningful learning. This paragraph is very wordy and could be condensed to just establish that you feel this type of environment is important and that you have been successful in maintaining it…really don’t need the explanation of why you were not rehired…told even let it be known in your letter that you haven’t been rehired…save that for the interview. Furthermore, while teaching in multiage classrooms these past two years, I effectively maintained a respectful classroom environment cohesive to learning because I hold developing a good rapport with students in high regard, and I believe setting clear classroom procedures is essential to sustaining a structured environment. Though both school districts couldn’t rehire me due to budgetary reasons, I received positive teacher evaluations for establishing student rapport, classroom management, and maintaining student attention through dynamic teaching style.

Mr. ___________, I am genuinely interested in working for the _______ School District, for your school suits my career goals, and I aspire to continue teaching in a small school district. Furthermore, my experiences and background have led me to feel confident that I can perform this job successfully. I have detailed these other qualifications in the enclosed resume.

Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to talking with you. Please feel free to contact me by calling (000)000-0000 or leave a message at (000)000-0000.

Sincerely yours,
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itz2bad itz2bad is offline
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I have an interview!
Old 06-14-2010, 05:24 PM
 
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Thank you, thank you, thank you! Thanks, everyone, for all of your terrific advice! I rewrote my cover letter and just got a call today that I have an interview this Thursday! I know it must have been your cover letter advice! Thanks again!
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Old 06-14-2010, 05:50 PM
 
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Congratulations!! However, if anything to do with you cover letter, I'm sure it was the new confidence you exhibited handing over a letter that you felt truly reflected you. Best of luck on your interview!!
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