How to Write an Art Teacher Cover Letter
Once you have completed your resume, the time has come to turn your attention to writing an art teacher cover letter that compliments and enhances your resume and your art teacher resume objective. Before sitting down to write your letter, take some time to do background research on the schools where you intend to apply. Understanding the student population, educational foundation, as well as the people you will be working with and for, will help you structure your letter to appeal to that specific audience.
Many middle schools and high schools desire an art program that will develop students to be eligible or become recipients of scholarship awards. Some large high schools have art teachers that concentrate on a specific medium. Your focus of experience and mastery and caliber of teaching ability needs to meet the employer’s expectations. Your teaching philosophy should mirror or closely relate to the schools philosophies and mission. Statements of committee or community involvement in the arts can also be beneficial.
Art Teacher Portfolios
Art teachers require more than a standard cover letter. Art teachers have an opportunity many other positions are not afforded. A portfolio is usually requested and most always an edge. A portfolio should not be a collection of your favorite projects but a highly focused and organized documentation that presents a holistic depiction of your relevant skills. Relevancy depends on the type of teaching position, the age group of students, the curriculum, and the art subject. Your portfolio should be built to display these skills.
Decide your goals, or skills you want to emphasize and choose works that demonstrate competency. Portfolio items often consist of photographs, videos, critiques, reports, audio, compositions, awards, certificates, and so on. If you are an experienced teacher include samples of lesson plans you have created and photographs of student projects or exhibits. Other teacher created materials including art history, criticism lessons, examples, and evaluation reports should be considered.
Focus on including work that demonstrates your ability and that supports specific relevant artistic aspects such as abstract imagination, form and function, and compositional comprehension. Statements about your work can demonstrate your understanding and knowledge of art and why you chose particular pieces can support your cause.
Art Teacher Portfolio Organization
A portfolio can be organized several ways. Linear organization is based on your resume. Your resume can include your educational background, employment experience, and your body of work. The section that refers to your art work can consist of skills statements with page numbers or links to corresponding pages in your portfolio. Your portfolio should include a table of contents so work can be easily referenced. Awards, exhibitions, sales, displays, and critiques for your works can be attached.
Holistic portfolio organization can be classification of work by pieces, images, themes, goals, or student samples.
Pieces and or Images: Relevant images and photographs of your artwork, studio, exhibits, and teaching can be ordered to have impact and referred to by skill or other desired attribute.
Themes: Work can be organized by themes relevant to your art discipline or teaching. When there are multiple themes and work that crosses over, you can create a chart of your work or links to each piece or sample.
Philosophy: Organizing work by philosophies can show skills and theory in practice.
Teaching Goals: Organizing your portfolio aligned with your teaching goals can show how you have set and met your goals. You can include early work and graduate work by students that illustrate the effectiveness of your teaching and achievement of goals.
Student Samples: Pictures of student samples for art often compare to gauging learning by test scores in other subjects. Show early student work and graduate samples by students. Art teachers and student teachers should always be taking pictures and documenting student projects.
Art Teaching in Action Video or Photographs: Experienced or student teachers can incorporate pictures and video during lessons. Teaching methods and student interaction can be observed. (Adhere to all permission policies and legal requirements before distributing any photos or media that include students.)
Electronic portfolio formats are now popular whether created in a program such as Quark, PowerPoint, Photoshop, HypersStudio, or other software or web based. Web file portfolios are easily transported, updated, and modified to focus on specific positions.
Art Teacher Cover Letter Tips
Determine the most likely person to be reviewing your art teacher cover letter, portfolio, and resume. Address your cover letter directly to them. This adds a professional yet personal touch that will be noticed by employers. Next, plan to craft your cover letter in a simple and focused format. Start with a basic introduction that states who you are and what position you are applying for. Next, move into the body paragraphs of your letter. The body of the cover letter is where you will want to highlight specific skills or experiences in the art field that relate to the school and position you are applying for. Finally, end your cover letter with a simple and professional closing.
Creative Skills: Your cover letter presents an opportunity to make your creative skills stand out. Focus this section on some creative projects you have in mind for students and how these projects will reinforce a strong foundation in art principles, history, and methods. To be a good Art teacher, one must not only introduce students to the creation process, but also to the foundational principles as well. Show how you will do this in a fun and creative manner.
Reinforcing Skills and Abilities: All educators must stay on top of their field. Discuss how you, personally,
are constantly working to refine your artistic gift and learn new skills and techniques. Becoming a student allows you to relate to your own students and take some of that hands-on experience into the classroom. Employers are interested in learning how you personally reinforce your skills and how you will work with students to reinforce their own.
Communication Skills: Employers need to see how you effectively communicate in both oral and written forms. Go beyond stating that you are an effective communicator, and discuss specific examples of how you were able to work with students and get a desired result because of your impeccable communication skills.
Management Skills: An art classroom is often where students feel more relaxed because they are expected to actively engage in activities as well as peers. Discuss your individual classroom management skills in your cover letter. If you have a specific method you have used in the past, discuss why it is was effective and how the education of students was enhanced because of this classroom management strategy/ies.
Art Teacher Cover Letter Closing
After detailing specific skills the prospective employer is looking for, the time comes to end your cover letter. End your cover letter in a very brief and professional manner. Thank the employer for reviewing your qualifications and inform them that you anticipate their call to schedule an interview. This small show of confidence tells the employer you are sure your skills, experience, and education meet the needs of the students you wish to work with.
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