Dear Future Employer:
First, every job posting is the same. There is a description of the requirements and the qualifications of the ideal candidate. I understand, my resume and cover letter is a little different, or maybe not different enough?
That’s because I can’t say I what I want to say on them. So here, I will explain what will make me excellent at any professional job.
It is not because I finished my M.Ed. in one year to earn a new credential.
It is not because I know so much more than anyone else about the content of the position.
It is not because I have so much experience in the field that I am the most obvious choice in the universe.
It is because I was a homeschool mom.
I know that the world of work does not recognize motherhood as a qualifier for professional employment. Homeschooling does not give me recognition as a highly qualified educator according to the state department of education.
Yet, I submit that being a homeschooling mom is a terrific prerequisite for any job.
Before I began homeschooling, I was a professionally trained teacher. I was very proud of all I knew about child development and learning theory. But then my son, the beholder of my heart, when to kindergarten and did not learn the same as the other kids in his class. I have written about this experience here.
Convinced of my ability to get him “back on track,” I quit my teaching job. The plan was to help him get caught up and send him back to school in second grade. However, by grade 4, he was still not reading.
The Ed.D. who tested my son looked at me with concern, even reproach, when he explained my son’s learning disabilities. Finally he concluded with “I don’t know why you just don’t give up. Your son will never learn to read”.
To that I answered, “You’re wrong. I will teach him to read.”
Being a mom means that whatever I don’t knowhow to do, I will learn. When I declared that I would teach my son to read, I wasn’t depending on my professional qualifications as an educator. I didn’t know the first thing about how to teach students with learning disabilities. It was my love for him that determined that I was going to learn what I needed to learn and do whatever I needed to do.
I read everything I could get my hands on and tried every suggestion I was given. Progress was painfully gradual. But as I learned, I adjusted. I came up with some of my own ideas. I kept what worked and threw out what didn’t until finally he began to read.
Being a mom meant that I would be courageous, tenacious, optimistic, and hopeful. Being a mom meant that I was determined to try again after every setback. Being a mom means getting into the messy and then cleaning it up. It means that love wins when nothing else can.
Even though I do not know everything about the position I’m applying for, and although I have never done some of the required duties in a professional setting before, I can guarantee you have never met a more determined learner.
And though I do not have years of experience in your specific requirements, I will not quit after a few setbacks. I will work until the goal is achieved. You can trust me to care for the thing that matters to you the most. I will not disappoint you.
Because I gave 17 years to homeschooling my kids – and teaching many other people’s kids, too.
Because I sacrificed my career goals to assure my children could have any future they chose.
And I will never regret it.
But my life isn’t over just because my kids have grown up. I still have a lot to offer and a lot that I still want to accomplish, but first, I need the professional opportunity.
So look no further. Hire me. I’m the candidate you’ve been looking for.
Because it isn’t the credential or the experience that is the most important element in your search for a great employee. It is that unquantifiable x-factor that every employer looks for on the resume and tries to clue in on in the cover letter. My courage, my determination, my creativity, my optimism, my tenacity, my never-give-up-until-the-job-is-done strength of character is what makes me the best candidate.
And I became those things
while being a homeschooling mom.