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Greenville, Mi 48838 May 3, 2010 To Whom It May Concern, It is with great pleasure that I apply for the position of a Social Studies and/or English educator that is available at your Middle or High School. Through Michigan State University's full year internship program, I had the opportunity to be the lead teacher of four World History as well as two Sociology sections in the High School setting. Setting high expectations, establishing a strong rapport with students, and fostering a safe and caring environment for all learners to feel successful in were some of the many avenues that made my teaching effective. Teaching proved to also have it's challenges, which I worked hard to meet. One of these challenges was realizing that every student learns differently. In addition to seeking advice from colleagues, parents, and students, this challenge led me to engage in outside research. A few of my favorite strategies for managing differentiated instruction and teaching the whole child derive from Jim Faye's Love and Logic as well as Howard Gardner's Multiple Intelligences. Such methods were implemented into my lessons in order to differentiate the instruction to meet the needs of all learners. My year long student teaching experience also taught me one of the biggest contemporary problems the educational world faces, which is motivating students to want to learn the content. Recognizing this as a critical issue, I utilized pop culture elements as well as brought in current events and issues into lessons regularly. Application of these techniques helped make learning relevant for students; it fostered students to connect their learning of the content to their worlds, and vice versa. Among other pedagogical approaches, small group work activities, skits, large-class discussions, socratic seminar, and structured debates were strategies that maximized student participation in the classroom in order to hear from a diverse range of students. My classroom functioned on an established norm of mutual respect for one another, and it was within this context students were encouraged to raise questions, and share their knowledge on something they learned about. This is one example of my many efforts to help students build skills that will help them think and act as independent and responsible citizens of their communities and the world. Through my student teaching, I was also able to connect with kids beyond the classroom walls. I served as advisor for the Junior Class and participated at homecoming week, chaperoning an all night hallway decorating event. Having the opportunity to interact with kids through extracurriculars was a rewarding way to establish rapport and build lasting relationships with them, something that transferred into the classroom. So far, I have found that teaching means commitment to every individual in the classroom. As a life long learner, it's a priority for me to stay commited to professionally developing ways to motivate students to want to learn. Through this process, I plan to inspire kids to also be life long learners who will have the intellectual curiosity and world view to make positive decisions that ultimately impact us all. I look forward to meeting you to learn more about your school and discuss how my skills can meet the needs of your students. Sincerely, Jennifer A. Gough