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Substitute Teacher Cover Letter: Example & 25+ Writing Tips

Tired of constantly looking for subbing jobs? With this substitute teacher cover letter, you will be on every principal’s speed dial.

Dave Rygielski
Dave Rygielski
Career Expert
Substitute Teacher Cover Letter: Example & 25+ Writing Tips

A substitute teacher doesn’t get many chances. Right when you get into the classroom, you have to command control—or you’ve lost. The same is true with your substitute teacher cover letter. If you don’t impress immediately, you will be dismissed quickly.

With this substitute teacher cover letter guide, you can be sure you will be the first one they call when disaster strikes. 

In this guide:

  • Substitute teacher school cover letter examples that ace any examination.
  • How to format your cover letter.
  • A fill-in-the-blanks template that will produce your cover letter within 15 minutes.

Save hours of work and get a cover letter like this. Pick a template, fill it in. Quick and easy. Choose from 21 cover letter templates and download your cover letter now.

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If you're looking for a different cover letter sample for education, here are several guides you may want to have a look at:

Now, let’s see some sample answers.

Substitute Teacher Cover Letter Examples

The first example comes from Melinda, who has several years of experience in subbing jobs. She knows her worth and more importantly, what’s important to the principal looking for a substitute, and displays all her skills accordingly.

This is how:

Example #1: Experienced Substitute Teacher Cover Letter

Melinda K. Novak

2652 Pointe Lane

Pompano Beach, FL 33060




Pompano Beach, September 21, 2020

Max A. Gunter

Assistant Principal

Clermont Middle School

2119 George Street

Clermont, FL 32711

Dear Max,

I was pleased to learn about the available Substitute Teacher position at Clermont Middle School. Being a licenced substitute teacher with 5+ years of experience in substituting for teachers of various subjects in Grades 1-12, I maintain a 100% positive feedback rate from all schools and districts I have worked with. I am keen to apply my experience to help you maintain continuity of education in these hard times.

In addition to my Bachelor of English degree, and Masters in Education, I have experience working as a substitute teacher in 12 schools. I was responsible for the classes up to 33 students in some of the toughest inner-city schools of Miami. Due to my empathetic approach and incentive-based realisation of the lesson plans supplied by the absent teachers, I was able to succeed where most subs fail: By not being seen as an adversary, or seen as insignificant and dismissed. Some of the schools I have subbed at are in a state of continuous disarray, and on 10+ occasions a year I have had to make do without ready lesson plans, and still managed to upkeep the 100% positive feedback from the schools I have worked with. At one point, I was called at 9am to come into Dade County Middle School to sub in for a History teacher that didn’t arrive that morning, and after a week the students and other staff insisted on me remaining there until the History teacher didn’t recover from the car crash that prevented them from arriving on that fateful morning, which ended up being 4 months. The fact that I made a difference big enough for two of the students I taught back then to still remain in contact and send me updates on how they’re getting along in university 4 years later is what keeps me coming back and trying.

I am confident that my wealth of experience and individual approach will allow me to get just as much, if not more, out of the students of Clermont Middle School than a regular teacher would. 

When would be a good time to have a meeting or a call to discuss how I implemented a very simple psychological incentivization technique I learned in the first year of university to allow me to engage almost 100% of students? 


Melinda K. Novak

Top marks. By focusing on what the principal needs her to be, she speaks right to their needs and can be sure that school will have her on speed dial from now on.

The next example is from Jean—someone who just qualified, but has enough transferable skills and initiative to get a great sub job.

Example #2: Entry-Level Substitute Teacher Cover Letter With No Experience

Jean R. Workman

1633 Brookside Drive

Wichita, KS 67052



Birmingham, October 1, 2020

John Alex

Assistant Principal

Wichita Middle School

1 Main Avenue

Wichita, KS 67052

Dear John,

I am pleased to offer my candidature to the Substitute Teacher position at Wichita Primary School. As a newly-licenced substitute teacher with a double major in Education and Mathematics from the Kansas State University (3.95 GPA), I am perfectly equipped to temporarily fill the boots of a Maths teacher at Wichita Middle School.

Apart from the 200+ hours of K-6 student teaching experience I have obtained as part of my course, I have tutored over 100+ K-12 students, primarily in Maths and Physics. Since the age of 16, I averaged 10 tutoring sessions a week, which has amounted to thousands of hours of 1-on-1 tutoring, and on average, at least a one letter grade improvement in Maths for every student. I recognise that these skills are useful but hard to transfer to a large classroom, so for the majority of my studies I have focused on the coursework that will make me a better teacher: Classroom Management, Human Growth and Development, Child Psychology, Early Developmental Psychology, Multicultural Education, and Learning Theory.

During my studies I was one of the founders and the first president of Puzzles and Logic Riddles Club. This led us to launching a website devoted to them, solvethis.com, which now has over 15,000 monthly visitors. Due to this, I have access to a limitless repository of puzzles for all difficulties, which I make challenges for my students that win them rewards—but only when they finish all the assigned work correctly. 

When would be a good time to schedule a meeting or a call to discuss how I could help you maintain uninterrupted education for the students of Wichita Middle School?


Jean R. Workman

Right to the point and making the best use of the limited relevant experience she has, Jean explains how she has worked to compensate for what she knows are her weaker (but not weak!) sides.

Now let’s see how to write a cover letter for substitute teachers.

How to Write a Substitute Teacher Cover Letter

1. Format The Cover Letter

You cannot be trusted to take charge of 30 kids if you cannot take charge of your own margins and font sizes. If you think kids’ attention spans are short, I have some news for you. The adults are not much better. Make it easy for them by using a professional look.

Don’t lose marks on your cover letter format:

  • Match the font to your CV font—in a 10-12pt size.
  • ‘Align Left’ everything. 
  • Use even margins of 1 inch on all sides, or 1.5in if you have less text and want to frame it better.
  • Use 1.15 line spacing. Leave an empty line after each section and paragraph.
  • 1-page is always enough for a cover letter.

Most crucially—if anything looks off at the very end, reapply all these settings again. Formatting can get messed up when you’re painting a picture of yourself, especially when you’re pasting things from your CV. 

Ok, so you have the equivalent of a perfectly black, wiped chalkboard, and a fresh stick of Hagoromo chalk. Now let’s think about what things to include in your cover letter.

2. Address Your Substitute Teacher Cover Letter Correctly

Paste in your CV header, drop an empty line, record the city and date where the letter was written, and below another space paste in the details of the person you are sending your letter to. 

Check you haven’t missed anything:

Entry-Level Substitute Teacher Cover Letter Header Example

[ Your Full Name]

Substitute Teacher

[ Physical Address ]

[ Phone Number ]

[ Email Address ]

[ City, Date ]

[ Department / School Head ]

[ Job Title ]

[ Department ]

[ University Name ]

[ Address ]

[ City and Zip Code ]

Expert Hint: Are you emailing your cover letter? Put your name and the job title in the subject line.

3. Identify the Job You’re Applying To and Yourself

Address the principal by their proper title and surname. Start your cover letter by clearly stating you’re applying for the sub job, and provide your most convincing argument or achievement to give them a reason to keep them reading.

Link it back to how it will benefit your new employer—it’s about them, not you. 

Fill the [blanks] with your information:

Substitute Teacher Cover Letter Sample: Introduction

Dear [Proper Title] [Surname],

I would like to apply to the [Substitute Teacher] position at [School Name]. During my [X]+ years’ of teaching across [X] schools in the [District or Area], I have managed to [your most significant teaching achievement]. I believe I can translate this performance into [boosting test scores/improving behaviour/etc.] at [School Name].

Expert Hint: The Bureau for Labour Statistics reports there are over 1.5 million Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers in the US, but predicts there will only be 3%, or 53 thousand more jobs in 10 years’ time. Substitute teaching is a wise choice when the number of available jobs isn’t growing.

Double your impact with a matching CV and cover letter combo. Use our cover letter builder and make your application documents pop out.

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Want to try a different look? There’s 18 more. A single click will give your document a total makeover. Pick a cover letter template here.

4. State Your Case

You have grabbed their attention like a fist slamming a desk in a noisy room. (Don’t ever refer to such imagery in your substitute teacher cover letter.) Now it’s time to say something. Think about the positive outcomes you have generated for your previous schools (first), and the students (second).

Check the school website, find out what kind of area, kids, issues they’re facing, what needs and values they have. If the job ad doesn’t explain much, call to ask for more details about what’s required of you. Then, write a targeted CV, and a targeted cover letter for each post (avoid writing general cover letters at all costs).

Try and get some numbers in there. Improvements, lower number of incidents, higher satisfaction. The number of schools you have worked in, the class sizes.

Sample Cover Letter For Substitute Teacher Jobs: Middle Paragraph

I obtained my [Degree Name] from [University Name] with a [X] GPA, where I developed a special interest in [discuss relevant coursework if light on work experience]. At [Previous School Name] I have been responsible for [number] [age groups] students, in classes of up to [number]. I believe in [a modern approach to education/interactive learning/etc.] therefore I have [innovated/implemented something], which allowed the students to [improve at something, engage more]. I am invested not only in the learning, but the development of children which is why [I gained certifications/studied certain subjects/etc.] and can help [School Name] [something they want to improve/achieve].

Expert Hint: If you are really lacking experience and achievements, you can benefit from some additional certifications on your CV and substitute teacher cover letter, and get something simple but extremely useful like a CPR certification from the American Heart Association.

5. Close Your Substitute Teacher Cover Letter Strongly

The last paragraph of your cover letter should deal with your motivation to work there, or something special that you can do for that school and those kids. Refer back to the research you have done into the school’s needs and value to ace this part.

Fill in the [blanks]:

Substitute Teacher Cover Letter Sample: Third Paragraph

Joining [School Name] as a substitute teacher would be a benefit to me, the kids, and the school, as it would allow me to channel my [special skills] in order to [achieve something for the kids or the school].

Expert Hint: How important is a cover letter? According to HR statistics, almost 50% of hiring manager still expect to get it.

6. Request An Interview & Leave a Call To Action

Close your cover letter is not just putting down ‘Best Regards’ followed by your name. Be bold and ask for an interview or call, justified by the need to discuss something that you think the principal might wanna talk about.

Those could be details of the job (be specific), or a personal strong side that you feel they will be glad to hear more about in their current predicament.

Only then do the Best Regards thing.

Like this:

Substitute Teacher Cover Letter Sample: Call to Action & Closing

When would be a good time to have a call or a meeting to discuss how my [your best, most relevant skill/their most important requirement][skills/experience] can help [Target School Name] achieve [something important to this school]?

Best Regards,

[Digital Copy of Your Handwritten Signature]

[Your Full Name]

[Phone Number]

[Email Address]

With ResumeLab’s CV builder you’ll write your CV in a flash. Get specific content to boost your chances of getting the job. Add job descriptions, bullet points, and skills. Improve your CV in our CV builder now.

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Nail it all with a splash of colour, choose a clean font, highlight your skills in just a few clicks. You’re the perfect candidate and we’ll prove it. Just pick one of 18 CV templates and get started now.

Key Points

When writing your substitute teacher cover letter remember:

  • 1st paragraph—between 60 and 80 words: state that you’re applying to sub, and your best argument for being hired.
  • 2nd paragraph—between 120 and 200 words: show exactly why, in detail, you are the best match for this position, with relevant numbers and achievements.
  • 3rd paragraph—between 40 and 60 words: tell them what you can do for them and what your motivation is.
  • Sign off politely and ask for an interview.
  • 200-350 words total.

Do you have any more questions about writing a cover letter for substitute teacher jobs? Did you find our sample substitute teacher cover letter with no experience helpful? Leave us a comment, I’ll be more than happy to hear from you!

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Dave Rygielski
Dave Rygielski
Dave is a career expert delivering a wide range of well-researched advice regarding the job hunting and application process. At ResumeLab, his data-driven resume and cover letter guides help readers capitalize on their potential.

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