Special Education Cover Letter: Example and Writing Tips

Female teacher and young schoolboy in classroom
•••

Jamie Grill/Getty Images

If you're applying for a special education job, you'll most likely need to include a cover letter in your application. 

Don't look at writing this cover letter as a chore. Instead, consider it an opportunity to make your case for why you're a good candidate for the role at hand and impress the hiring manager. You'll want to demonstrate your knowledge and experience, as well as showcase your skills. 

Write a Custom Cover Letter

The key to writing a great cover letter is to personalize it. Your letter should be written specifically to someone, if you can find a contact person, and should be an introduction of yourself as a special education teacher to the school where you want to work.

Ready to get started? Review these tips for what to include, a sample special education teacher cover letter, as well as advice on how to write an interview-winning cover letter.

What to Include in Your Cover Letter

  • Use the first paragraph to mention the school district, the specific position you are applying for, and highlight a reason or two why you would be the ideal candidate. It's common in this section to mention where you saw the job listing. If someone referred you, make sure to mention the person by name in the first paragraph. 
  • The second paragraph is where you can mention where you went to school, your previous experience, and skills that make you stand out from the other teachers applying for the job. When possible, provide examples. 
  • Within the third paragraph, you can talk a little about your character. Express what kind of team member you will be with the other faculty, how you work with students as individuals, and how you plan to communicate with the student’s families. You may want to talk about your patience with students, your professionalism with peers and families, and similar attributes in this paragraph.  
  • Close your letter with an upbeat, positive tone. Express your readiness to speak to them either over the phone or in a face-to-face interview. Be sure to thank them for taking the time to review your resume and considering you for the position.

Throughout the letter, you'll want to make sure you speak to the specific role, and demonstrate your knowledge of what the role requires as well as any insight you have into the specific school. A targeted cover letter will always outperform a generic one. 

Your cover letter should not duplicate your resume. Instead, use your cover letter to highlight your most important and relevant qualifications and skills.

Not sure what to highlight? Review the job description closely. That way, you'll know precisely what qualities the school is looking for, and will be able to highlight them within your letter. 

Special Education Teacher Cover Letter

Here's an example of a cover letter for a special education teacher. Download the special education teacher cover letter template (compatible with Google Docs and Word Online) or see below for more examples.

Screenshot of a special education cover letter
 @ The Balance 2020

Special Education Teacher Cover Letter (Text Version)

Isabel Applicant
123 Main Street
Anytown, CA 12345
555-555-5555
isabel.applicant@email.com

October 26, 2020

Karen Lee
Director, Human Resources
Acme Middle School
123 Business Rd.
Business City, NY 54321

Dear Ms. Lee,

I would like to express my strong interest in your special education teacher job opening. My former coworker and your current media specialist, Melissa Jones, alerted me to the opening, believing that I am an ideal candidate for the position. My extensive experience in special education and curriculum development would make me a strong special education teacher at Acme Middle School.

I have been working in special education for over ten years. I have taught diverse groups of students with ADD/ADHD, autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, learning disabilities, speech impairments, and non-compliant behavior. My skills in differentiated instruction, assistive technology, and multi-sensory lesson planning allow me to meet the needs of every student.

My years of experience have taught me the value of patience and encouragement in the special education classroom. I work closely with each student, providing the individualized support and praise they require. I also make sure to stay connected with family members and any specialists involved, to encourage the success of each student, both in and outside of the classroom. I’ve truly appreciated and learned from every child and every family I have worked with; I cannot imagine having any other job.

I welcome the opportunity to speak with you to discuss how my extensive experience and skills would contribute to Acme Middle School. I have attached my resume and the requested references; I will call you next week to arrange a time to speak together. Thank you for your consideration; I look forward to speaking with you soon.

Sincerely,

Signature (hard copy letter)

Isabel Applicant

How to Address Your Letter

Step one, try to find out who will be conducting the interview or leading the interview team. You may be able to find their name in the contact information within the job listing, or maybe you will need to make a phone call to the school. Sometimes, a visit to the school's website will help reveal the contact information. 

Addressing a person by name in your letter’s greeting and not using a generic term like “To Whom It May Concern" will show it was written specifically for them. 

If you can't locate a contact person, there are other options for addressing your cover letter.

Sending an Email Cover Letter

If you're sending your cover letter via email, list your name and the job title in the subject line of the email message:

Subject: Special Education Position - Your Name

Include your contact information in your email signature, and don't list the employer contact information. Start your email message with the salutation