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As an elementary school teacher, you’ll probably have to eventually write some sort of letter of intent whether you’re looking to return to your teaching job in the new year or land a brand new position. Letters of intent (or LOIs) function similarly to a cover letter. They outline your experience as a teacher and show the district why you’re the best person for the job.
A teacher letter of intent format differs slightly from a standard letter of intent because teachers primarily use LOIs to notify districts that they plan to return after summer vacation. Either way, always make sure your letter of intent showcases why you’re the best person for the job.
The Three Types of Teacher LOIs
Letters of intent are pretty standard across all industries, and some jobs make it easier than others. For example, a worker might be able to fill out a company’s already existing employee intent to return form instead of creating an LOI from scratch if they’re simply notifying their employer that they’re coming back in the new year. The Education Code requires elementary school teachers to send in a teacher letter of intent to return if they plan to come back after summer vacation – but that’s not the only time teachers should utilize LOIs.
Teachers should send out a letter of intent on three occasions: if they’re seeking to return to their jobs in the new school year, if they’re looking to change classrooms within the district or if they’re looking for brand new employment. The teacher letter of intent format varies slightly based on what you’re hoping to achieve.
Start With Your Contact Information
A district can’t contact you if you don’t leave them any contact information. Elementary school teachers should always start their letter of intent by writing their name, address and phone number in the upper left-hand corner of the page. This makes it easier for human resource offices to sort all the letters they receive. Also consider adding your email address, too. We live in the digital age and email job offers aren’t unheard of.
Add the Date
In a perfect teacher letter of intent format, the address should go a line or two above the recipient’s address. This is important because human resources need to know when you submitted the letter. Are you returning for this year? Are you seeking employment for this year? It could get lost in the shuffle if you don’t include a date.
Address of the Recipient
Your teacher letter of intent to return or employment inquiry should include the name and employment address of the recipient. This could be the Department of Education in a certain city, the office of the specific district you wish to work for or the superintendent’s office. Some districts have a dedicated human resources office. Align this to the left above the salutation.
If you don’t know the exact name of the person you’re addressing the letter to, leave it off and just address the department or position. For example, the address should be formatted:
Dr. Amy Smith
Department of Teacher Education & Administration
John J Elementary School
100 School Street
Somewhere, Kentucky, 12021
Address the Recipient in the Salutation
The salutation is where you’ll directly address the person you’re sending the letter. If you don’t know their names, you can call them Dear Sir or Madam, though it’s best – and far more impressive – to get the name of the actual person who’s in charge of hiring. For an elementary school teacher, it’s probably the superintendent of a district or a human resources person.
First Body Paragraph: Outline Your Intent
Human resources immediately wants to know why you’re writing your letter of intent, so you need to address this in the first sentence of the first body paragraph. For a teacher letter of intent to return you might want to say something like, “I am notifying the district that I am planning to return for the 2019-2020 school year.” If you want to change classrooms or teaching positions, you might want to put, “I am notifying the district that I am planning to return for the 2019-2020 school year, but would like to request a transfer to the English department.”
You should also take the opportunity to outline some of your experience in a list (you’ll go into detail later). Disclose the degrees you have and what levels you’ve taught in the past.
Second Body Paragraph: Show Them What You’ve Got
If you’re using this as an employee intent to return form, you don’t really need a second paragraph. All you’re doing is letting the school district know that you’re resuming your position. If you’re seeking a transfer or a brand new job, the second body paragraph should show why you’re qualified for the job you want.
Use this space to detail your teaching experience and any extracurriculars or unique expertise you might have (such as teaching special needs students or being a Girl Scouts troop leader). You can split this up into a couple of small paragraphs if need be, but remember to always keep it as concise as possible.
Third Paragraph: Call to Action and Conclusion
Again, this paragraph isn’t necessary if you’re using your letter as an employee intent to return form. For every other type of LOI, you want to use this final paragraph to encourage your future employer to reach out to either discuss the new teaching position or the requested transfer.
Closing Your Teacher Letter of Intent to Return
Proper teacher letter of intent format ends with a business-appropriate closing like “sincerely” or “regards.” This should be followed by your signature. Below your signature, type out your name.
Mariel Loveland is a small business owner with an editorial background in lifestyle and technology. Her work has been featured in Alternative Press, Vice and HelloGiggles. When Mariel's not writing, she can be found swishing her hair on stage with her punk band and managing the ins-and-outs of self-employment.