Lauren Treadwell reports:
"Special needs assistants must be able to put concepts into terms the students can understand and keep cool in difficult situations. Although formal education is usually not necessary, employers look more favorably on candidates with at least some educational background in special education or teaching...Type your name, address and contact information at the top of the page, on the right side. This is preferable to stating your name in the body of the letter or waiting until the signature line at the end, because employers can easily spot this important information if they need to contact you...Address the person doing the hiring by name, if possible. If there was no contact name included in the job announcement, start the letter, 'Dear Administrator,' 'Dear Superintendent' or 'To the Recruitment Department.'...In the first section of the letter body, tell the employer that you're applying for a special needs assistant job. If someone referred you for the position, note the name and the relationship of the referral to you and to the school or school district. Otherwise, mention the newspaper, online classified ad or other source from which you heard about the job...In the second part of the letter, provide a three- to five-sentence explanation describing your education. Mention any teaching assistant or special education certifications you received. If you don't have a formal education in special education or teaching, list relevant college courses...To demonstrate your specific knowledge, cite your understanding of the school district's procedures and regulations regarding special needs children...In the third part of the letter, tell the reader about your previous teaching or special needs care provider experience. Draw parallels between the duties you performed and the qualifications the position calls for. Because special needs assistants often spend the most one-on-one time with special needs students, highlight your interpersonal skills and any specific examples of your patience, flexibility and creativity when working with children. To keep the letter concise, make this section no more than eight sentences long...Close the letter by thanking the readers for their consideration and stating that you look forward to the next steps of the hiring process. Invite the employer to contact you to ask questions or to schedule an interview. Type your name three lines after the last paragraph. This leaves room for your signature, if you're sending the letter via mail or delivering it in person."
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