How to write a compelling special education teacher cover letter

Special education teachers have an incredibly important role to play at any school, providing students with a range of disabilities with lessons and support tailored to their specific needs. To earn a position as a special ed teacher, you need a cover letter that highlights not just your skills and qualifications but also your compassion for your students.

In this guide, we will teach you everything your need to know about writing a special education teacher cover letter. Keep reading to learn:

  • How to format your special education cover letter header & headline
  • Why you need to personalize the greeting on your cover letter
  • What to include in your special education cover letter introduction
  • Ways to showcase your abilities as a special education teacher
  • How to conclude your cover letter with a thoughtful closing statement

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1. How to properly format your special education cover letter header & headline

Your cover letter header and headline are the first key elements to create, as they help to give the document structure and attract the employer’s attention.

For a special education teacher, it is important to include both your professional information and the exact information of the school you are applying to in the header. Additionally, your headline should highlight the most important information found in the letter, such as your compassion for disabled students and your ability to meet their needs.

Below are more in-depth explanations and examples of each of these cover letter elements:

Formatting the header

To format your cover letter, you must make sure to include:

  • Your name and professional title
  • Your professional contact information
  • The name of the school & department you are applying to

Here is an example of a well-formatted special education teacher header

Jane Doe, Special Education Teacher
(123) 456-7890 | janedoe@email.com | linkedin.com/in/jane-doe

To: Collier County High School, Special Education Department
1234 Street Address
Naples, FL, 34109

Writing the headline

The headline of your cover letter is an optional element that can be massively useful in initially grabbing the employer’s attention.

To create this headline, you should always use a keyword related to the position, an eye-catching number or trigger word, a powerful adjective or verb, and a promise.

Here is an example of an effective special education teacher headline, followed by a quick breakdown of its key components

How My Empathetic Approach to Special Education Can Support Your Students’ Needs

Trigger Word/Number: Empathetic Approach
Keyword: Special Education
Adjective/Verb: Empathetic, Support
Promise: Your Students’ Needs – this indicates to the employer that your cover letter is tailored for the specific position you are applying to.

2. How to personalize the greeting on your special education teacher cover letter

A personalized greeting on a cover letter will address a specific person within the school faculty – ideally the school principal or the head of the special education department.

The purpose behind this type of greeting is to show the employer that you have thoroughly researched the school beforehand and know exactly who you are speaking to.

Examples of personalized greetings include

  • Dear Principal Mary Joe
  • To Principal Mary Joe & the Special Education Department,
  • To Mr. Jack Smith, Head of the Special Education Department,

In addition to personalizing the greeting, you should also tailor the rest of your cover letter to the position as well. To do so, you will need to research the school district and its demographics, allowing you to highlight how your skills and qualifications can meet the exact needs of the school’s students.

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3. How to make your special education cover letter introduction stand out

The introductory paragraph of your special education teacher cover letter should be short and sweet while packing a powerful and eye-catching punch. To achieve this, you should aim to include:

  • A brief overview of your professional history and goals
  • A statement on why you are enthusiastic about applying to this company
  • A mutual acquaintance (when possible) – including a mutual acquaintance, such as a principal within the same school district, helps you to establish an immediate professional reference and build credibility right off the bat.

Here is an example of a well written special education teacher cover letter introduction

To Principal Mary Joe & the Special Education Department,

I am a Special Education Teacher with more than 6 years of experience working with students with a wide range of mental disabilities, from mild to severe. Throughout my career, I have worked within your school district and established many crucial connections with parents, students, and faculty alike – including Superintendent Jack Smith, who recommended I apply for this position.

4. How to showcase your abilities as a special education teacher

With your introduction now in place, it’s time to write the body paragraphs of your special education teacher cover letter. To make the body paragraphs well-organized and compelling, you can use bullet points and concise sentences to help create an easy-to-read flow of information.

Key questions to answer in these body paragraphs include:

  • What excites you about working at this school?
  • What key skills do you possess that will benefit the students?
  • What is your experience level working with disabled students?
  • What accomplishments or qualifications make you stand out as an applicant?

Here is an example of how to describe an accomplishment in a cover letter

As a Special Education Teacher, I have worked with high school students with a wide range of unique disabilities. This has helped me to develop a flexible approach to lesson planning, resulting in a 35% improvement in student reading and math scores.

Here are 6 examples of important skills to describe in a special education teacher cover letter

  • Classroom adaptability
  • Special education lesson design
  • Student performance assessment
  • Functional & life skills curriculum
  • Verbal & non-verbal communication
  • Conflict & crisis management

5. How to conclude your special education teacher cover letter with a thoughtful closing statement

You should always put just as much care into your closing statement as you have in the rest of your special education teacher cover letter. A strong and thoughtful closing statement will include:

  • An enthusiastic sentence saying you are looking forward to hearing from them
  • An additional sentence stating you will follow up, including how you will contact them or how they can contact you
  • A formal sign-off

Here is an example of an effective closing statement from a special education teacher cover letter

I am incredibly excited to get to know your students and faculty, and I am eager to further discuss this opportunity and my qualifications. I am available to meet and interview any weekday from the hours of 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will reach back out regarding my application in one week if I have not heard back. The best way to reach me is at (123) 456-7890.

Warm Regards,

[Applicant Name]

If you have ever wondered how a cover letter differs from a resume, this article will tell you everything about the key differences between the two.

Published on April 12, 2022

A journalist by trade, a writer by fate. Nikoleta went from writing for media outlets to exploring the world of content creation with Kickresume and helping people get closer to the job of their dreams. Her insights and career guides have been published by The Female Lead, College Recruiter, and ISIC, among others. When she’s not writing or (enthusiastically) pestering people with questions, you can find her traveling or sipping on a cup of coffee.

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