A letter of intent is a cover letter that a prospective teacher writes to school districts or principals expressing an interest in current or upcoming job openings. An effective letter will usually contain four brief paragraphs stating the position of interest, your job credentials, special skills and teaching philosophy. As an applicant, you should keep your audience in mind while composing this letter, and include only relevant information, with a courteous tone that conveys sincerity.
Letters of intent serve as an introduction from a job candidate to the principal or school district hiring officer. This letter is usually accompanied by the submission of a resume. It is a statement of interest in a position that may be available now or in the near future. A letter of intent is especially effective when you're responding to a newspaper advertisement or an Internet job posting.
Letters of intent are important because they provide the first impression that an applicant makes before a personal interview. Principals or superintendents that recommend people for teaching jobs can come to a number of conclusions before even meeting with you just by reading your intent letter. For example, a wordy letter that divulges too much personal information, or one that is disorganised and rambling, may lead to a negative impression that carries forward to the interview, or may negate the interview entirely.
Letters of intent are beneficial to the applicant and the person hiring teachers. With a well-written, brief summary of certification and experience, you can assert your interest and present your skills positively. Principals can use letters of intent as a way to screen applicants before interviews are scheduled. This is a great time saver, as principals are usually hard-pressed for spare time.
A letter of intent should consists of pertinent information only. Personal details should be kept to a minimum and include name, phone number(s), and mailing and e-mail addresses. The first paragraph should be a statement of interest and inquiry about a specific position or subject area. The second and third paragraphs should give information regarding teaching certification credentials and relevant experience. The concluding paragraph can include a brief statement of your education philosophy, and special skills and strengths that you will bring to the school.
As an applicant for a teaching position, remember that a letter of intent is not meant to be a long narrative. The actual district application is the appropriate document for the listing of references, college degrees and educational history.