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Special Education Teacher Cover Letter Example

A special education teacher cover letter allows you to showcase the personality and passion that is such an important part of your role. What will you write about?
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Special Education Teacher Cover Letter Example
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Working as a special education teacher is an immense privilege. Your students have a range of special learning, mental and physical disabilities, and you accompany them on their journey of discovery for a while. Your sense of purpose is as big as your heart, so when it comes to finding a new job, you need to find a medium for sharing it.

 

A resume is a functional document that does not always lend itself to such emotional stories, so the special education teacher cover letter needs to convey your passion and ability to get the most out of your students. Every student is different, and you will likely have enough success stories to fill a book, but share those that are most relevant to your future employer.

 

The free-flowing nature of a cover letter allows a special education teacher to write what they really care about. Maybe you have some teaching methods that you find effective, or you can boast certain qualifications? Quantify your successes as well as relying on individual stories. Offer a sense of how many lives you have touched.

 

While being a special education teacher is a unique profession, the basics of selling your story are common to any job seeker. When you come to write your cover letter, it is worth looking at different sources of inspiration. Our cover letter examples library contains letters for hundreds of different roles. What would work for you? In this guide and the corresponding special education teacher cover letter example, we cover:

 

  • Selecting a format that will put your educational achievements first
  • How to weave both facts and emotions into your career story
  • Writing a special education cover teacher cover letter with no experience
  • Mistakes to avoid – attention to the smallest detail matters in your job

Best format for a special education cover letter

While you will have so many unique stories to tell in your cover letter, you should stick to the standard one-page format for your special education cover letter and restrict yourself to a few paragraphs of prose and maybe a few bullet points to highlight your accomplishments. It is better to explore a couple of stories in more detail and hint that there are more to come during an interview. The standard format of a cover letter looks like this:

 

  • The cover letter header
  • The greeting/salutation
  • The cover letter intro
  • The middle paragraphs (body of the letter)
  • The ending paragraph of your cover letter (conclusion and call-to-action)

 

The key consideration for the whole letter is that it should reflect the demands of the role that you are applying for. What sort of special needs will your kids have? How will your specialist experience make a difference to them? What sort of teaching methods will work best for them? The hiring manager wants to interview someone who understands what is involved, so make sure that you do as much research as possible. 

Once you have an idea of what content you wish to share, there are plenty of other considerations when it comes to creating a cover letter. Our comprehensive cover letter guide goes into minute detail about fonts, visuals many other small matters that can all add up to how the cover letter is perceived.

 

Our special education cover letter sample may give you an idea:

Adaptable cover letter sample

Dear Principal Cass,

 

I have admired your special education department for many years. After we met at the KnowHow Conference, I felt compelled to apply for your latest teaching position. We relocated for family reasons and there is no school that I would rather join.

 

At Horton Academy, I was responsible for an average of 40+ special needs students of high school age. While 60% of the students were taught in learning groups, I worked closely with parents and teachers to integrate the other students into regular classes as seamlessly as possible. It is this integration that brings about the greatest personal development.

 

I am accomplished at planning adaptations and accommodations for each student, studying their individual needs, and creating a bespoke IEP that will also fit with the needs of the class. I love the creativity that goes into imagining how every student will respond. There is nothing more satisfying than helping these amazing young people to learn in their own way. I enclose a portfolio with examples of my IEPs – I know that you have very high standards.

 

Integrations into mainstream classes increased by 32% during my time at Horton. As one of only two special education teachers during this time, I take personal pride in a 54% increase in students. As a result, we received the budget to recruit two assistants.

 

I hold a Master of Special Needs Teaching degree and have completed over twenty courses covering various learning disabilities such as dyspraxia, dyslexia, speech impairment, and deaf-blindness, as well as regular courses on mental health and wellbeing.

 

I cannot wait to hear more about your wonderful department. Job satisfaction is enhanced when you work with dedicated people – I hope to prove myself worthy of your team.

 

Sincerely,

 

Hope Trasker

Copied!

Cover letter header

The header of the cover letter is the first thing that the hiring manager will look at. You know how important visuals are in your job, so keep it simple and share all the required information. Provide your full name, email, and phone number in the header section – they will be repeated from your resume, but you never know when the decision to invite you to an interview might come.

 

Avoid taking up too much space by leaving out your full home address (you can share this at the offer stage). You can write the “inside address” of the school if you wish, but this is only if you want to be particularly formal.

Cover letter greeting 

The greeting of a cover letter should not be so tough to get right. Starting with the salutation of “Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms. Surname” is the normal convention. Have a look at the job description to find out the name of the principal or maybe look at the school website to find out.

 

There is no excuse for not finding an addressee. It may be acceptable to write “to whom it may concern” if you are applying to a big company, but not for a school where a principal should be a visible public figure.

Cover letter introduction

The introduction of a special education teacher cover letter should firmly focus on what you do for the children in your classroom. What are their challenges and how do you meet their needs? What successes can you share that may be relevant for your next school? Share an example of your educational impact in context.

 

The hiring manager will receive plenty of applications, so the introduction of the cover letter needs to speak to one of their most pressing priorities. Look at how the job description has been written. What are some of the top job requirements? Lastly, allow some of your personality into the cover letter – how would you describe yourself in the classroom?

Adaptable cover letter introduction example

Dear Principal Cass,

 

I have admired your special education department for many years. After we met at the KnowHow Conference, I felt compelled to apply for your latest teaching position. We relocated for family reasons and there is no school that I would rather join.

Copied!

Cover letter middle part (body)

The middle of the cover letter is a place to expand on your most relevant accomplishments. The hiring manager will be comparing the cover letter to many others, so make sure that every sentence is doing its share of the heavy lifting. Address the key demands of the job description.

 

As with the introduction, tailor the body of the cover letter to the specific needs of the students in your classes. It might be worth a call to the school before you join to find out a bit more about the nature of the role – especially if the job description is less than detailed.

 

Include your special education qualifications and any aspects of your education that outline your expertise. There is so much that special education teachers can do for their continual professional development, so show that you are keen to keep learning. 

 

Your cover letter should also convey a sense of responsibility and sensitivity. Recruitment for the special education teacher role will be particularly thorough, so these personality traits should shine through.

Expert tip

Schools receive a lot of applications for teaching roles, so they often enlist the help of software to manage their applications. These Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) register the details of the applicants and sometimes even carry out the first selection stage.

 

That is where candidates need to be careful. Make sure that your resume and cover letter contain enough keywords to be viewed positively at this first hurdle. Don’t overdo it, but double check with the job description that it sounds like you are in the ballpark.

It may be the case that you write a little too much in this middle section. Use bullet points to shorten your accomplishments and select powerful action verbs in place of somewhat subjective adjectives. Every sentence matters, so take your time.

Adaptable cover letter middle part example

At Horton Academy, I was responsible for an average of 40+ special needs students of high school age. While 60% of the students were taught in learning groups, I worked closely with parents and teachers to integrate the other students into regular classes as seamlessly as possible. It is this integration that brings about the greatest personal development.

 

I am accomplished at planning adaptations and accommodations for each student, studying their individual needs, and creating a bespoke IEP that will also fit with the needs of the class. I love the creativity that goes into imagining how every student will respond. There is nothing more satisfying than helping these amazing young people to learn in their own way. I enclose a portfolio with examples of my IEPs – I know that you have very high standards.

 

Integrations into mainstream classes increased by 32% during my time at Horton. As one of only two special education teachers during this time, I take personal pride in a 54% increase in students. As a result, we received the budget to recruit two assistants.

 

I hold a Master of Special Needs Teaching degree and have completed over twenty courses covering various learning disabilities such as dyspraxia, dyslexia, speech impairment, and deaf-blindness, as well as regular courses on mental health and wellbeing.

Copied!

How to close a special education teacher cover letter (conclusion and sign-off)

The conclusion of a special education teacher cover letter should offer one last heart-warming teaching story and a promise of many more to come during an interview. Telling stories right up to the last paragraph of the cover letter shows that you are brimming with passion for the role.

 

The last consideration is to mention that you are looking forward to finding out more about the role during a potential interview. This call to action should be hopeful rather than presumptuous. Who wouldn’t be curious about the details of such a great job?

Adaptable cover letter conclusion and sign-off example

I cannot wait to hear more about your wonderful department. Job satisfaction is enhanced when you work with dedicated people – I hope to prove myself worthy of your team.

 

Sincerely,

 

Hope Trasker

Copied!

Special education teacher cover letter with no experience

Not every special education teacher applicant has direct experience for the role. Some applicants may have years of teaching experience and wish to specialize in this area. You have to start somewhere. If you feel that you are lacking experience, a cover letter is a better place to explain your situation than a resume. Consider including the following:

 

  • Talk about the depth of your teaching experience – that still matters.
  • Explore your motivations and career objectives. What is your “why”?
  • Show that you possess all the personality attributes required by the role.
  • Approach the opportunity with an attitude of curiosity rather than certainty.

 

Many hiring managers for special education teachers will give candidates with no experience a chance if they feel that their personality and teaching record are a strong fit. If they are willing to take their qualifications and learn on the job, some schools may take them on.

Basic mistakes in a special education teacher application letter (and how to avoid them)

Special education teachers need a finely-tuned radar and intense attention to detail when working with their classes, so make sure that your cover letter does not contain any of the following basic mistakes. 

 

  • Double check your spelling and grammar with online software such as Grammarly. You could also ask a friend to proofread the letter to make sure it sounds like you.
  • Make sure that you don’t use too much jargon. The hiring manager wants to get to know you as a person, so avoid using too much SEN technical language.
  • Don’t be too formal. Special education teachers should have warm and giving personalities to get the most out of their kids – don’t come across as a robot.
Find the balance between casual and stilted
Find the balance between casual and stilted

Key takeaways

  1. Take as much care with the content of the letter as you do with your students.
  2. Pick only the most relevant career stories from your long list of memories.
  3. Make sure that the cover letter conveys as much personality as possible.
  4. Choose a design that reflects your personality with our cover letter templates.

 

Have a look at other education-related cover letter examples. They may offer some ideas:

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