Letter of Recommendation
It is recommended that you have three letters of recommendation in your Teaching Credential File. Letters of recommendation should be written by individuals that know your potential as a teacher (Professors, Supervisor/Advisor), what kind of worker you are (Cooperating teachers, other teachers, Principles), and direct supervisors that have seen you working with students in teaching-related activities such as coaching, camp counseling, or other comparable work or volunteer experience. Avoid straight character references.
Remember to keep your letters of recommendation current. When you change schools or a new principal is assigned to your school, ask your current principal to write you a letter of recommendation. Don't wait until you're ready to switch schools to request recommendations from administrators.
Letters of recommendation should be on the employer's official letterhead stationery, and should be addressed "To Whom It May Concern." They must be dated and signed by the writer.
Requesting a Letter of Recommendation
When requesting a letter of recommendation, please suggest the following format:
- Inclusive dates you worked in the position.
- Capacity in which the writer supervised you.
- A brief description of your abilities, skills and/or knowledge.
- A description of your job duties.
- A description of grade level/population with whom you work.
- A recommendation for employment in the field of teaching, counseling, or administration, as the case may be.
Counselors and School Psychologists
Candidates for counseling or school psychology positions should request letters of recommendation from professors who can verify their competencies, and from supervisors of field work, internships, and related voluntary or paid work experience. Letters should highlight the following skills: counseling, child-study, consultation, and coordination.
Candidates seeking administrative positions should obtain letters based on administrative or teaching-related positions and professional growth activities. The letters should originate from practicing administrators and should highlight:
- A brief description of your abilities, leadership skills and professional relationships.
- A description of your various job assignments in addition to teaching.
- An assessment of your ability to assume responsibility, and to communicate with lay and professional groups.
Community College Candidates
Candidates seeking teaching positions at the community college level should obtain letters of recommendation from professors who can verify subject matter competency and from supervisors of related volunteer or paid work experience. Letters from professors that indicate only the course you took and the grade you received contain little value. Request your letters only from people who know your capabilities.