A blank page can be scary when you have a lot to say – where do you start? What’s the words and tone that will make the best impression? To help you figure this out, we created a short guide on how to write a teacher letter of recommendation along with a template and example you can use to flesh out your own letter.
This guide can be used if you’re writing a letter to recommend a teacher or if you’re a teacher who wants to recommend a student. Our own template focuses on the first case, but you can easily apply the same principles to other recommendation letters.
How to write a letter of recommendation for a teacher
The process is straightforward:
- Ask about the purpose of this letter.
- Recall your experiences and opinions on the person asking the recommendation.
- Modify our template to fit your own story.
1. Consider the purpose
Before you start thinking about what you should write in your reference letter for a teacher, spend some time on the why; this will determine the approach you need to take. Is the teacher asking for recommendation applying for a new job at a school? Perhaps, a university? Or do they want to enter a graduate program or a voluntary teaching assignment at some other country?
The answers to these questions will help you include the right information. For example, if this teacher has applied for a Master’s program in special education, it’d be helpful to mention their work with children with special needs (if applicable). If they hope to go to another country to teach young adults, you could mention their language skills, work with immigrant children and inclusive behavior in the classroom.
If you don’t have this information, consider asking this teacher for more details. If they could provide you with the job description for the job they’re applying for, even better. Otherwise, choose more generic examples that speak to their professional skills and personal qualities and talents.
2. Recall examples from your interactions with the teacher
It’s useful to refresh your memory on this person’s work or your own experiences with them. If you were their supervisor at a school (e.g. their principal), you can consult your notes or their employee records for accuracy. In general, try to answer these questions to prepare for a teacher recommendation:
- What was my working relationship with this teacher?
- What classes did they teach under my supervision? What projects were they involved in (e.g. organizing volunteering activities for students, directing the school band, conducting research etc.)
- Can I recall two examples of good teaching skills or exemplary behavior toward students exhibited by that person?
- What are two or three qualities this teacher has as an educator and as a person?
- Is there anything that’s particularly impressive about this teacher, their knowledge or their experience?
Answers to these questions will help you shape your letter of recommendation for a teacher.
3. Work on our template to flesh out your own teacher recommendation letter
Now that you know what to include in general, modify our teacher recommendation letter template:
Dear [insert name],
I am writing to recommend [teacher_name]. [He/She/They] worked with me at [education_institution_name] for [time_period] as a [teaching_capacity]. I was the [your_title].
As a colleague, [teacher_name] was always [insert quality]. During [his/her/their] time with us, [he/she/they] managed to [insert example].
I’ve always put a premium on [insert quality] among our faculty and [teacher_name] never failed to deliver. An example was when [insert example].
[Teacher_name] is a delight to work with and I wouldn’t hesitate to work with [him/her/them] again.
Should you have any further questions about [him/her/them], feel free to reach me at [phone number].
[Your name and signature]
Feel free to tweak this sample as needed. It’s important to use your own voice and include real examples when writing a teacher recommendation letter. To give you a better idea of what it could look like, see this teacher recommendation letter example written by a fictional School Principal, Sam Davis:
Dear Principal Sarah Carlin,
I am writing to recommend Richard Lowe for a teaching position at your school. He worked with me at Acme High School as a history teacher and reported to me in my position as principal of the school.
As a colleague, Richard was always reliable and organized – he was always the first to work on his syllabus and find the right teaching methods for each of his classes at the start of the year. He also readily led our volunteering activities, including participation in reforestation efforts of nearby areas.
Richard was one of our best educators, firm but always finding ways to engage students. One example is a history competition he organized prompting teams students to write and reenact dialogues between two important historical figures during a historical event. Students loved this and learned a lot about various times of our history. His classes started getting exceptionally high marks in history after he joined our school.
Also, I’ve always put a premium on integrity and honesty and Richard never failed to deliver on both fronts. An example was how he handled a proffered bribe from a parent of a senior high school student who wanted their child to get a mark they didn’t deserve. Richard was discreet and polite with the parent, but he promptly declined the offer.
All in all, Richard is a delight to work with – a dedicated educator with a positive attitude. I wouldn’t hesitate to work with him again if the opportunity arose.
Should you have any further questions, feel free to reach me at +10000000.
School Principal, Acme High School
This sample letter of recommendation for a teacher gives you an idea of how you could shape your own letter of recommendation for a teacher. No matter the context of your letter, our template will make the process faster and will help you include all important information.
See next: Teacher interview questions