Sample Letter of Recommendation for a Teacher Colleague

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

As teachers, we are sometimes called upon to write recommendations for our colleagues. This lesson provides an example of how a letter of recommendation might look.

Why a Recommendation Letter

Teachers are sometimes asked to write letters to principals or other administrators which recommend colleagues for something. Perhaps a colleague wants a promotion, or wants to get involved in some sort of extra program; maybe he or she wants to transfer to a different school. Supporting colleagues in their professional growth is an important part of participating in an intellectual and professional community.

Still, such a letter can prove challenging to write. You should start by learning a little more about your colleague and his experiences, and why he is looking to make this particular change. Then, think about what you know and admire about your colleague and what makes him really special. Remember, this letter is not about you. Its readers will not be judging your writing; rather, they are looking at the content of the letter and what it reveals about your colleague. This example provides some insight into what a recommendation might look like; obviously, you would want to change the specifics to match the needs of your particular situation.

Sample Letter

Ted Recommender

Maplehurst School

8 Maple Lane

Treeville, VT 98765

Principal Mabel Williams

Maplehurst School

8 Maple Lane

Treeville, VT 98765

March 31, 2016

Dear Principal Williams:

I am writing on behalf of my esteemed colleague, Mary Acorn. I want to recommend Mary for a promotion from her current position of fourth grade classroom teacher to curriculum coach for the upper elementary grades. I have known Mary for ten years; as such, I am well equipped to make this recommendation. Over the last decade, Mary and I have worked as grade level colleagues, have served together on a variety of committees, and have planned service projects for our school together. These experiences have given me the opportunity to know Mary on a personal and professional level, and I have no qualms about recommending her for this position.

One of the first words that comes to mind when I think of Mary is dedicated. Mary is a dedicated teacher. She thinks about her students and devotes considerable energy to helping them become the best learners they can be. Mary is dedicated to developing strong curriculum that meets the needs of her students each year. She is also dedicated as a colleague, and has often invited me to come to her classroom or observe in mine as a way of helping me work through difficult situations. Mary is also dedicated to our school as a whole, as she has shown by volunteering for leadership tasks and working with different committees, planning events and raising money for our school.

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