Letter of Recommendation for a Substitute Teacher

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  • 0:01 Criteria
  • 1:06 Writing the Letter
  • 3:57 Applying What You Know
  • 4:16 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Sharon Linde

Sharon has a Masters of Science in Mathematics

Being asked to write a letter of recommendation is common in the field of education. This lesson gives you easy-to-use, basic outline criteria and a template you can use for a substitute teacher letter of recommendation.


So, you've been asked to write a letter of recommendation for a substitute teacher. Whether you're an administrator, fellow teacher, or another academic staff member, you likely have some important information to share about the candidate. Being asked to write a letter of recommendation is an honor, but your busy schedule may prevent you from giving the task 100%.

No worries! Writing letters of recommendation is simple once you know the basic criteria necessary. For starters, all letters of recommendation include the following:

  • Your connection/relationship to the candidate
  • A basic overview of the candidate's skills and positive attributes
  • Specific jobs or experiences you have witnessed the candidate undertaking
  • A wrap-up of why you recommend the candidate for the job

Easy-peasy, right? You start off by introducing yourself and explaining your relationship to the candidate, then segue into a few great things you know about them. From there, you detail 3-4 specific tasks this person has completed, describing how each has been a benefit to the profession. Finish up with a recap of why the candidate is awesome and why you think they deserve the job.

Writing the Letter

Let's imagine my co-teacher, Sally, was out on maternity leave. In her absence, Bob has taken over her 5th-grade classroom. It's time for Sally to come back, and Bob has applied for many jobs in the district. He asked me, as his close-working co-teacher to write a generic letter of recommendation. He'll keep this in his file to send along with applications. Writing an open-ended letter is a little more nuanced than if you're given a specific job title or role, but not impossible. Substitute teachers are likely to ask for a letter of this type, so we'll go ahead and show you what that looks like.


To Whom It May Concern:

I have worked with Bob Bauer for the past five months as co-teachers in a fifth-grade cohort. I continue to be impressed with his ability to adapt to an ever-changing environment and demonstrate top-notch skills as an educator. More specifically, Bob has shown his true passion for children and their academic and social achievement. His ability to identify problems and find solutions has been a real asset to our grade level.

I first met Mr. Bauer during the interview process for the long-term substitute position. He impressed us all with his knowledge of child development and his creative application of instructional methods. During his time with us at Southgate Elementary, Bob has contributed to the advancement of new curriculum standards, showing insight and understanding of children's academic development. He was able to use his background in research to introduce us to new teaching techniques, bringing a fresh perspective to our school.

At Southgate Elementary, Bob has grown as a professional and shown initiative in many ways. Specifically, he has:

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