Never agree to write a letter of recommendation unless you Have the time to write it Know the individual well enough to discuss him or her in a tangible way Honestly feel comfortable writing the letter It is easier and better for all involved to politely say no when any of these conditions are not met. No need to reinvent the wheel While it's true that the more personalized a letter of recommendation is the more effective it will probably be. And it's true that writing a letter, any letter, involves a certain amount of creativity. It's also true that in terms of their underlying dynamics, what they cover and how they are organized-- letters of recommendation are almost always the same.
When Educational Leadership asked me to write an article for this issue, I almost said no. I'm a writer, a blogger, and an English teacher by trade, and I never say no to a request to write.
I hadn't realized how painfully I felt that the trajectory of U. In the face of the failure of funding for public schools, damaging teacher evaluation policies, stultifying infatuation with high-stakes testing, and continued national myopia regarding the influence of economic inequity on our students, to write about how to help teachers "put on a happy face" felt ludicrously peripheral.
I believed, finally, there was only one way to do this with integrity, and that was to test my own experiences and ideas in fire. I recruited seven administrators and teachers and interviewed them in person and over e-mail.
Most were from New York's Rochester City School District, where poverty rates are through the roof and attendance rates are in the gutter. This is one of the districts for which our governor intended the threat when he stated that poor-performing schools needed "a death penalty. I asked them, What do you do, and what do you need, to stay sane?
What follows is a list of recommendations for administrators that resulted from those conversations, informed by my own experiences as a public educator.
Here's what these educators told me builds—and sustains—school morale. Give teachers what they ask for. These Rochester educators understand that teachers work in woefully underfunded, undersupplied conditions, even in the districts with the strongest tax bases.
If they're asking for something—one administrator wistfully listed "books" as one of those items—chances are they need it. The best Rochester administrators don't give teachers the runaround.
They give them instead the benefit of the doubt.
They follow through, and they move heaven and earth to get teachers what they want, even if they're not quite sure why the teachers want those things in the first place. If they don't succeed, they work directly with teachers to find a viable alternative.
This is an often overlooked but crucial way an administrator builds trust.
One principal I spoke to made it a priority to have at least one administrator—herself or a vice principal—step into each classroom in her building every single day. People walking in and out [of classrooms] are part of the culture.
One administrator poignantly spoke of supporting teachers who struggled with various health issues. These types of communication, which acknowledge deeply personal situations and struggles, count the most.
Every other conversation with teachers, whether it's about curriculum, testing, or evaluation, needs to be driven by the knowledge of the teacher as an individual, and not the other way around.
Treat teachers like adults. Number 3 leads naturally from Number 2. In particular, a true leader, as my Rochester educators stated time and time again, doesn't put his or her staff on surveillance.
Buildings where lesson plans, e-mail, sick time, arrivals and departures from campus, and even custodial orders are centrally examined, assessed, and debated create what philosopher Michel Foucault called the panopticon—a place where order is maintained through fear of constant and unpredictable monitoring.
The panopticon, it's interesting to note, was first conceived by English social theorist Jeremy Bentham as a method of designing prisons. This approach simply doesn't work. It breeds cynicism and resentment in teachers who already believe they are considered unworthy of, say, more than one working copier in a building or a phone that isn't permanently attached to the wall.No teacher, no matter how dedicated, will be happy if a student comes to them asking if he or she can write a letter of recommendation for them “by tomorrow.” Instead, give your teacher as much time as possible to write an effective letter for you.
A reference letter, also known as a letter of recommendation, is a letter that speaks to someone’s work experience, skills, expertise, personal qualities, and/or academic performance.
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A good Recommendation letter or Reference letter helps to get a good job, good salary, good position, good clients and many more, what we are expecting. Despite your interest, you have to understand that what you say is essential, however, what another person says .