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How to Write a Reference Letter for a Teaching Position

Updated July 20, 2017

A reference letter for a teaching position provides valuable personal information about a prospective teacher. When writing the reference letter, include information about the candidate that cannot be garnered from his resume. Rather than restating the teacher's education and credentials -- give examples of what it's like to work alongside this teacher -- from a more personal and collegial perspective. Highlight the teacher's unique strengths that make him standout from the crowd.

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  1. Establish your relationship with the candidate. State how you know the person, and the length of time that you've been acquainted. If you were neither a professor, nor supervisor, state why your relationship is relevant to the candidate's teaching experience. Use a positive, upbeat tone, and maintain it throughout the letter.

  2. Describe the candidate's personal traits. Highlight traits such as confidence, reliability, creativity, responsibility, and others relevant to teaching. If possible, cite a concrete example of the candidate's commitment to teaching.

  3. Describe the candidate's teaching abilities. Discuss her subject expertise, classroom management skills, and curriculum development. Mention the candidate's service to the broader school community, through committee work or other leadership activities.

  4. Explain any unique strengths that he possesses. Refer to undergraduate or graduate study in a field other than education, relevant work experience, or anything else that makes the candidate different from other teachers.

  5. Conclude the letter with the same positive, upbeat tone. Summarise your points briefly and state affirmatively, that you recommend this person for the position. Sign the letter and include your contact information.

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About the Author

Elizabeth Earne is a writer and teacher. Her writing has appeared in "San Diego Family Magazine" and on various websites, with a focus on education, parenting and travel. Earne has taught writing to children for more than five years. She holds a Bachelor of Arts, as well as certification in cross-cultural language and academic development (CLAD).

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