Writing Your Resume and Cover Letter to Meet District-Specific Ideals and Standards

When developing any resume or cover letter it is crucial to tailor your documents for a specific audience. Before crafting any career-related document, as well as planning for an interview, you must do your research. Once you have chosen a school district you are interested in, find out what its goals, philosophy, and standards are. Districts tend to focus on different key issues such as literacy, multiculturalism, inclusion, special needs, outreach programs, etc. Find out the one or two main concerns that the district concentrates on and adapt your resume and cover letter accordingly.

Lets start off with the resume. If a learning community is most concerned about incorporating literature in the classroom, you can showcase related competencies in your areas of expertise section. For instance, you might include items such as Reading Strategies, Interdisciplinary Reading, Literature Circle, Writer’s Workshops, etc. In the main body of your resume, under teaching experience, you should highlight literature-based activities and units you have previously implemented. Make sure you describe the results. For example, “Developed a fun thematic unit on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and integrated correlating units that examined key themes throughout the book. This unit sparked students’ interest and imagination, left them wanting to learn more, and helped instill a love for reading and writing”. You do not need to explicitly dwell on the topic of literature, as you want to demonstrate that you are well-rounded, but make sure you touch on it as much as possible.

Your profile near the top of your resume should reflect the same ideals. Explain your commitment to X issue and convey why you feel it is important that it is incorporated in the classroom. Again, do not solely focus on the one or two main concerns of the district. A potential employer needs to see that you are committed to addressing the same concerns that they have, as well as tackling the regular issues that most schools face (i.e. attendance, discipline, appropriately challenging the students).

The cover letter needs to keep the same ideals in mind and match up with the resume. In a cover letter it is a bit easier to convey your passion and dedication to the school community. Take advantage of this opportunity and make your personality and commitment come to life. If you know for a fact that the school district you are applying to is, for example, very culturally diverse, explain how you have incorporated multicultural elements, celebrated cultural diversity, and promoted inclusion in your past teaching positions. Also reinforce that you seek to bring these same ideals to your new job.

However, make certain that your cover letter highlights your other outstanding traits and effective teaching methods as well. Always sell yourself as a versatile and adaptable individual who is not simple a one trick pony, but rather an educator who is willing to face new challenges and employ innovative methods to cultivate a supportive and nurturing school community.

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