If you have any questions about this process, reach out to a TEACH Kansas City applications coach or teacher preparation program staff for support. We’re here for you.
In your application, you will be required to enter background information. This section commonly includes fields for your name, address, email, phone number, social security number, academic history (GPA, degrees and certain test scores), pre-teaching experience and more.
We know you’re diligent, responsible and capable. 😍 But rockstar qualities aside, double-check your application form to make sure that there is no missing information. Failing to fill out certain fields could jeopardize the timing or possibility of your acceptance.
When requested, provide your academic transcript as part of your application to a teacher preparation program.
You will need to formally request your official transcripts. Contact the Transcript Office (or equivalent) of the school that has access to the academic record you need to share. Budget at least three to five days for processing. Some schools will send transcripts via mail; others have electronic copies.
In your request, be sure to specify:
Your essay response—aka personal essay, statement of purpose, statement of intent, or some combination thereof—is your unique opportunity to tell admissions staff exactly why you are the perfect fit for their teacher preparation program.
Before writing your essay, make sure you’re clear on why you want to be a professional educator. Get up, grab your phone, and call a friend or family member. Explain to them why you’re applying to a teacher preparation program. Better at brainstorming alone? Make a bulleted list of all the reasons you want to be a professional educator. More of an artist? Draw your feelings around the subject. No joke. The goal here is to hone your thoughts and feelings around teaching. Once you’re clear on “why,” writing an essay becomes a straightforward task that you can spend time perfecting (rather than stressing over).
In your essay, you want to:
Some applications break essay responses out into individual parts or questions. When this is the case, remember to choose rationale and specific examples that directly relate to the topic at hand.
Visit your teacher preparation program’s website and social media profiles. You can get a good sense for what the program values (and what you might speak to in your essay) by doing a little recon.
Your personal essay is an opportunity to be creative—to a point. It’s vital to make an impression through a demonstration of your relevant skills, experience and vision.
Pay close attention to the word count for your personal response. (It’s never been a better time to make friends with an editor.)
Here’s our recommended outline for your personal essay. Just remember: You’re the expert on you! Take what works; revise what doesn’t.
When writing your essay, stay away from these sayings and clichés:
When it’s time to submit references, aka letters of recommendation, choose your recommenders wisely. Your references have the power to give your application a major boost. (You know how the best compliment is the one you overhear? This is like that, but staged, eloquent, and directly tied to your academic and professional ambitions.)
You will typically need two to three references from people can who can attest to your skill sets, strengths and fit for a career in education. Common types of recommenders include employers, supervisors, teachers and professors.
Give your recommenders plenty of time to reflect on your accomplishments and to write the letter. Some programs recommend asking at least 30 days in advance.
Don’t assume that someone will have the time or be willing to recommend you for a teacher preparation program. Make your request far enough in advance to allow for any necessary course-corrections.
To make it easy on your recommender, provide them with as much of the following as you can:
If your recommender is a past instructor, include the grade you received in their course and any sample work you completed for them. This will remind them of your performance and fit.
Make sure to get confirmation from your recommender once your letter is submitted.
Once you’ve received confirmation of submission, give your recommender a big thank you in the form of an email, phone call or card. Just like you, recommenders have a day job, and providing a reference is a favor to you (that’s how great you must be!). Not only is this polite, but it will encourage your recommender to support you in the future.
If you are accepted to your teacher preparation program, let your recommender know! It takes a village.