According to the Connecticut State Department of Education, there were up to 29 applicants per teaching position in Connecticut last year! Teaching's a competitive field, so a stand-out letter of recommendation can go a long way.
In the sample letter below, a principal recommends an art teacher applying to another school due to budget cuts. Check out what the principal has to say about this teacher, and then read on for an analysis of what this letter does well.
Sample Letter #2: Written by a Principal for a Teacher
Mr. Henry Nichols
Cityville Middle School
1 School Road
Cityville, NJ 08008
Dear Principal Nichols,
It's my honor and pleasure to provide this letter of recommendation for Julia as she pursues an art teaching position with Cityville Middle School. As the principal of Townston Middle School, I've enjoyed having Julia on the teaching team for grades 6 through 8. We'll all miss her and her contributions to our school community.
Unfortunately, budgetary restrictions have forced us to reduce the art teaching faculty, and as the most recent hire, Julia will no longer have a position with us next year. This decision in no way reflects on her skills, and I wholeheartedly endorse her candidacy as she seeks a position elsewhere. It's my wish that she finds a school with the resources to support her talent for teaching art.
Julia started her teaching career with us fresh out of graduate school two years ago. She brought with her a solid training in pedagogical methods and art history, along with great energy and enthusiasm. She introduced several new projects that are now a part of the curriculum, including a self-portrait assignment that asks students to reflect on their identities, a stop-motion animation project using clay and iPads, and a papier-mache "sled challenge" that resulted in fun races down the hill beside the school. Julia also contributed to the "3D Printer Build-a-Thon," a weekend-long event during which students, educators, and community members came together to assemble over 20 3D printers. Julia brings exciting new ideas to life; I'm confident that she will continue her momentum with her next school.
Julia also impressed me with her commitment to lifelong learning. She successfully collaborated with her mentor, took advantage of several professional development opportunities offered in the district, and took classes on digital technology and special education over the last two summers. She also went out of her way to elicit feedback from her students, inviting them to share their experiences at the end of each semester. It's this commitment to growth and her students' well-being that makes Julia an outstanding educator who empowers her pupils.
Julia is charismatic and creative, and she thinks outside the box. She has shown excellent classroom management skills and developed a rapport with students, colleagues, and parents that is characterized by mutual respect. At the end of last year, I had a parent come to me specifically to praise Julia's teaching and the impact she's had on her son. Beyond her strengths as an art teacher, Julia's also a talented artist and has some of her oil and acrylic paintings displayed in a nearby gallery.
Julia has my highest recommendation for the position of art instructor, and I look forward to learning more about the accomplishments that lie in her professional future. If the circumstances were different, I would strive to retain Julia on our art department teaching team. Please don't hesitate to contact me for any further information. Thank you for your time.
Will this letter convince Principal Nichols to make room for Julia and her paintbrushes?
Recommendation Letter #2: The Breakdown
Like the first sample, this recommendation letter represents a common relationship between letter writer and candidate. It starts out with a strong statement of support with, "It's my honor and pleasure to provide this letter." This statement is then quickly followed by an explanation of who the letter writer is, thereby showing why she's qualified to recommend Julia.
Principal Skools explains why Julia's applying elsewhere and makes sure to state that she would retain her on the teaching team if the budget allowed. She goes on to describe Julia's contributions with specific examples of projects she introduced and community events to which she contributed.
The writer uses highly positive language to describe Julia, calling her creative, energetic, and committed to continuous improvement. She also touches on her personal talents as an artist. The letter's structured to describe three main points: Julia's accomplishments at the school, her commitment to learning and improvement, and her relationships with teachers, parents, and colleagues.
In her glowing endorsement, Principal Skools gives specific examples of the achievements Julia's made and will continue to make in her next art teaching position.
What experience do you need to become a teacher in the first place? Find out what degree you do (or don't) need to teach in this article.
On to the next! Click here to read our third recommendation letter sample written by a restaurant manager for a part-time employee.
Are you looking for a different type of sample letter? Head back to our original recommendation letter guide to find more samples and learn about the key features of outstanding reference letters.
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Rebecca graduated with her Master's in Adolescent Counseling from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She has years of teaching and college counseling experience and is passionate about helping students achieve their goals and improve their well-being. She graduated magna cum laude from Tufts University and scored in the 99th percentile on the SAT.