Help with Cover Letters!
Posted by newbie-tchr at 9:46 pm in 1

Since the job search has officially started, I’ve hit my first uh-oh, that being the cover letter. In grad school they had us write one for a sample portfolio, but in all honesty – mine sucked. And now, applying for subbing, I’m kicking myself for not writing something that I can actually use. On the bright side, I have something very practical to write about today!

Looking on the web – there’s not much that’s actually good, but I did find one site from Boston College that gave really great advice for writing a teacher cover letter.  To paraphrase from the site and my scattered notes from seminar, cover letters are a great way to differentiate yourself from the crowd, and provide information about yourself that may not fit in a resume.Not only are you presenting yourself in a cover letter, but you’re showing that you can help work towards that specific districts goals. Where I’m applying, there’s a large emphasis placed on technology and helping every child. (aka they love differentiation) So in my cover letter, it’s important for me to show how my experiences can lend to those causes.

Within that context comes bragging time. I had a hard time doing this in my bad one, but here comes the part where you get to write three paragraphs about how great you are. My brother doesn’t believe this is hard for me, but it is so awkward writing this and not feeling a little pompous in my opinion. But it has to be done – and this is supposedly the part that can set you apart.  The only thing I’m curious about, is who do you write this to when submitting it to the county? The county I’m applying to is HUGE, and you submit a cover letter to them – not just the individual schools you apply to. In grad school we wrote them to individual principals, so now I’m at a little bit of a loss…I guess the superintendent is the best choice for now? But anywho, hope this helps anyone whose in the same boat as I am! Definitely check out the BC link though, they provide a lot of great examples!

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….and we’re back!
Posted by newbie-tchr at 9:17 pm in 1

Student teaching may be over, but as I was cruelly reminded by my new cell phone bill – the time has come for a job. I was lucky enough to finish my program a semester early, so when I said I was done last post – that included grad school. And oh, let me tell ya – am I so glad to be done. Don’t get me wrong, I loved my teachers, cohort, school, etc. BUT, at some point you get really ready to be done paying for school & want to just get your own classroom.

And so begins the hunt to find a job. The other week I went to a job fair for counties all over the state and was lucky enough to get a meeting with a local principal out of it. After following up with him and thanking him for talking with me (Resume conveniently attached with the email) he invited me to come observe a class at his Middle school. Well, what I though would be a brief 20 minute meeting ended up being the BEST 5 hours I could imagine. Not only did I get to meet with him and the Director of Student Services, but I also got to observe 4 different Social Studies classrooms. Now, I’ve been told this isn’t normal, but it’s hard not to get your hopes up when you see a school with a really great faculty and students and they treat you so well. So now begins the fun part – applying to be a sub, and hoping that I get so many sub calls there that they have to hire me for the next school year. From what I’ve heard subbing is VERY different from teaching, or even student teaching.

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I need a nap and a shot of insulin.
Posted by newbie-tchr at 4:41 pm in 1

I can’t believe it, but it’s over. Student teaching is finite – caput – done, done, done! A lot of people in my group are ecstatic, some are sad, and I think I’m a little in between. I am pretty excited to be done doing all the work for free…and paying for the grad school credits. I won’t lie – there’s also a kid or two I’m ecstatic about getting a break from. But for the most part, I am a little sad. It actually doesn’t feel that real yet though. Maybe it won’t hit me until Monday, when I can wake up whenever I want and not go searching for clean work clothes.

But for now, I think I’ll need the weekend just to recover from my last few days. Not recovering from students – but from the massive amounts of sugar they all brought in and that I ate. My C.I. was amazing enough to plan parties for me in every class on the last two days. (Block scheduling means I would need Thursday and Friday just to see every student) We told all the kids to bring food, and some really took it to heart.

What’s funny is that the AP classes barely brought anything, but my low level – Good Lord they know how to throw a party. I had a girl bring in crab legs. Not just crab legs, but crab legs + old bay + melted butter + a side of tylenol to protect me from the “future headache” she thought all the food would give me.  It was awesome. Not to mention the cupcakes, cakes, chips, pizza, dips, sour patch kids (my favorite candy), and Diet coke (my addiction). I may or may not have gained 2 pounds in 24 hours, but I’m not even mad. It was definitely worth it.

My favorite part though was when I got to say goodbye to the kids. For each class I made paper plate awards for all my students, and got to make a big show out of giving them ridiculous awards for things they did through out the semester. Most were jokes, and the best ones were actually in my once atrocious 5th period. I mentioned it previously, but over the course of the semester these kids went from being dreaded, to being my absolute favorite class. Yes, they were chatty and incredibly hard to focus, but they were so good and so funny that it made their bad days bearable. I spent the most time making their awards, from “Most likely to be a lawyer” to “Best impression of Fantasia.” And what was awesome was their reaction.

My other classes liked it, but 5th period acted like I had given them all Grammys. The kids would shush each other while I was talking about each award, and then made a big deal about laughing and clapping when I revealed each winner. I made sure everyone got one too, so by the end they were yelling out names and trying to guess who the winner would be for each. They were also the only class to give me handwritten cards, requested photos with me, and on their way out each and every girl gave me a hug. It was the sweetest and most confidence boosting day I’ve ever had. Any questions of me not being good at this, or not reaching some kids was wiped clean by the end of the day. Especially after 6th and 7/8 pd when two different boys wrote and performed songs about my leaving. (It’s amazing what they can do with the tune of American pie)

The next thing to think about is the job search, but I think for the moment I’m just going to revel in the end of an amazing semester and enjoy the last memories I had with my C.I. and the students. Very rarely do people have a two days that amazing, and I want to enjoy this feeling for as long as it lasts.


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