P.O. Box XXX
West Farmington, ME 04992

March 16, 2006

Dr. Susan Chisholm, Superintendent of Schools
MSAD No. 36
125 Main Street
Livermore Falls, ME 04254

Dear Dr. Chisholm:

I am writing to apply for the position of secondary English teacher at Livermore Falls High School as advertised on ServingSchools.com. As of mid-May 2006, I will have earned a B.S. in Secondary Education-English with honors from the University of Maine at Farmington. Having already passed the Praxis Core and the Praxis II (English Language, Literature, and Composition: Content Knowledge) exams, I am eligible for Maine teacher certification (7-12).

As you can see from the enclosed resume, I have completed 16 weeks of student teaching. In my first eight-weeks at Jay Middle School, I developed and taught a three-week unit on Holocaust-survivor literature, including Night by Elie Wiesel. During the last week of the unit, I collaborated with Ms. Jane Connolly, an eighth-grade social studies teacher, to integrate Wiesel’s autobiographical account of concentration camp life with social studies lessons on post-war immigration to the United States. I also worked with special education teacher Ms. Robin Taylor on modifying lesson plans and assessments for a student with below grade-level reading skills.

During my eight weeks at Winthrop High School, I taught a broad range of English topics, including literature units on Chaucer and Shakespeare, as well as grammar units, focusing, for instance, on the proper use of nominative and objective case pronouns. I enjoy helping students see literature not only as a mirror on the human condition for vicarious learning, but also as a set of case studies in grammatical usage. Students, in my experience, find greater meaning to their study of grammar when they see contextual examples of usage in the literature they read.

My summer work as a Behavioral Specialist-I for Atlantic Home Health Services involved providing support for a high school-aged boy with Bi-polar disorder, ADHD, and Detachment Disorder. After receiving training in behavior modification, I helped my client deal with conflict resolution and anger management issues, as well as understand boundaries in functional relationships. To help my client generalize social skills, I identified community service work for him to do at a Skowhegan soup kitchen. We worked together there weekly, and the social interaction and community service helped improve his self-esteem and self-worth. Through this volunteer experience, my client was able to realize that he could enjoy satisfying, low-stress relationships with others. My supervision involved twice-monthly meetings with a clinical social worker to review the individual service plan and discuss effective strategies. This work experience gave me practice with behavior modification that was transferable to dealing with classroom management during my student teaching.

I look forward to discussing my teaching experience with you and the members of the search committee. Enclosed is a sample lesson plan, three letters of recommendation, a copy of my Praxis scores, and a completed application. If you have questions about my application or would like to schedule an interview, please feel welcome to contact me at 207-779-XXXX or jim.harper@verizon.net. Thank you for considering my interest in serving the students, parents, and staff of Livermore Falls High School.


(Jim’s signature goes here)

Jim Harper