Chapter 5: Sample Recommendation Letters
Sample Teaching Recommendation Letters
Two recommendation letters for students going into the teaching profession, which you can download by clicking on the link below, demonstrate the traits that employers seek in teachers. When students have done student teaching in schools, at least one of their recommendation letters is written by the faculty supervisor of their student teaching program.
In the first letter, kept efficient at one page, the writer makes it clear that she knows the student not as a teacher but as a performer in her class who has kept in touch with her outside of the classroom. She uplifts the student by tracing their two-year history, and noting that the student attended a fiction reading that she gave. Most importantly, she shows that she can comfortably view the student as a teacher, citing his resume: “And I see this same ideal—one that he wants to pass on to his future students—even in the careful wording of his career objective on his resume, where he speaks of helping students achieve their ‘academic, athletic, and social potential.’” This letter demonstrates that even a writer with limited knowledge of the student’s work can write an effective letter by partnering with the student on the process.
The second letter, more extensive at two pages, comes from the student teaching supervisor, who also taught a concurrent course and web-based portfolio workshop in which the student was enrolled. Therefore, the examples provided come directly from these relevant experiences, and they go into a good deal of depth—citing lesson design, scientific principles taught, direct interactions with students, and use of technology. The letter is also filled with affirmations about the student as a future teacher: “He is thoughtful, reflective, and committed to life-long learning and continued development as an educator.” One of the final sentences both recommends the student and reminds readers of the relationship that the letter writer had with the student: “After evaluating his work, observing his performance in class, and supervising his teaching, I feel confident that Mr. Lerner will make a significant contribution as an elementary educator.”