Examples of a Letter of Intent for a Teaching Job

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If you feel destined to be standing in front of a classroom, you'll want to accomplish this goal as soon as possible. To get started, write a letter of intent for a teaching job at a school you have identified as a good professional and personal match. A letter of intent is similar to a cover letter, in which you present your interest in and credentials for a job. Since teaching is an inherently personal exchange, enliven your letter with your personality.

A teacher with three school boys in a computer room.
(Jetta Productions/Photodisc/Getty Images)
Step 1

Open your letter on an attention-grabbing note by quickly summarizing who you are and the type of teaching job you want -- in other words, your intention. Highlight your most appealing offerings, even if you lack teaching experience. For example, you might say, “As a chief financial officer of a major corporation and the recipient of an MBA at a Big 10 university, I believe I would impart a wealth of real-world financial acumen to your students as an adjunct professor in your department.” Since letters of intent are often written in a “blind” manner -- not in response to a specific job posting -- it's doubly wise to avoid mentioning specific classes, because you might unwittingly eliminate teaching opportunities you don't know exist.

Step 2

Highlight your relevant work experience, whether or not it includes classroom experience. Your resume will provide a comprehensive picture of your background; think of your letter of intent as a thick yellow marker that focuses attention only on your proudest accomplishments.

Step 3

Make a swift reference to your college degrees, knowing it will be assumed -- though verified -- that you possess the proper credentials. It's more important to point out any distinctions or, to provide a graceful segue to the next paragraph, what happened while you were in college to plant the seed for your teaching aspirations.

Step 4

Enlighten the recipient about the type of teacher you are and your values. Illustrate your points with a brief anecdote about a recent teaching experience. If this would be your first teaching job, share an anecdote that underscores your patience, enthusiasm or skill at instructing others. Express interest in “shadowing” a teacher or administrator at the school for a day to demonstrate your own enthusiasm for learning.

Step 5

Close your letter of intent on a polite and optimistic note. Thank the recipient for considering you as an applicant. Say that you will follow up by phone in a few days so the recipient has time to speak with your references, which gently nudges her in the right direction. Integrate the thought of your references into a memorable last line, such as, “I am confident my references would agree I would make valuable contributions to your students” or “I believe they will attest to my skills and my passion for teaching, which I hope to share with students at your school.”

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