A Teacher Recommendation Letter is an official letter written by an individual on behalf of a teacher to endorse or recommend them for a position they are applying for in another institution.
A teacher recommendation letter is written to supplement the teacher’s application. It outlines their strengths and weaknesses regarding carrying out teaching duties. The letter entails relevant information about the subject (teacher) that can sway the potential employer’s decision in favor of the teacher. The teacher’s qualifications, personality traits, and exemplary accomplishments can be discussed in the letter.
Who Can Be a Teacher’s Recommender
Commonly, teacher recommendation letters are written by former principals. However, other parties can write the recommendation letter depending on the situation. It should be noted that the person selected must be familiar with the teacher in question well enough to provide an informative recommendation letter.
The following people can write a teacher recommendation:
- Principal – The principal is the most preferred option as they outrank other people in an educational institution. A teacher recommendation letter will have more weight as they are considered to have more influence.
- Vice-principal – The vice-principal can write the recommendation letter. This is when the principal is absent, or the vice-principal is more acquainted with the teacher than the principal.
- Co-teacher – Colleagues have been known to write teacher recommendation letters that are up to standard and equally as important.
- Sponsor teacher – A sponsoring teacher can write a recommendation letter for any teacher they are mentoring. This recommendation letter will be more detailed as the sponsor teacher is well familiar with the teacher professionally and personally.
- Department head – Heads of the department also write recommendation letters for teachers within their department. Department heads have first-hand experience working with teachers, so they are more likely to give a good recommendation letter.
How to Write (10 Steps)
Writing a teacher recommendation letter does not have to be an intricate process, especially with a step-by-step guide or a teacher recommendation letter template. This article is going to take readers through several steps they can adopt when writing recommendation letters for teachers.
These steps are:
Begin with professional format
Formatting is fundamental when it comes to writing teacher recommendation letters. Like most formal recommendation letters, teacher recommendation letters should be written in a professional format.
This implies that the following elements should appear in the letter:
- The recommender’s name and address should be placed at the top right corner of the page.
- The date when the letter was written
- The requestor/employer’s or institution name and address information
- A formal salutation
- An introductory paragraph
- At least 2-3 body paragraphs
- Closing paragraph
- Formal sign off and the recommender’s signature
Ensure that necessary information that can be presented in the following sections of the letter is readily available before starting to write the letter. Planning is essential to avoid getting stuck in the middle of the writing process due to insufficient content.
Once a person is certain they are qualified to write an adequate recommendation letter, they can commence the process. The first information to present is the recommender’s name, address, date, as wells as the institution’s information. This information can be presented on letterhead. Therefore, if the institution has a letterhead, include it at the top left corner of the page. If letterhead is not available, manually type the details. This is then followed by the employer’s details and a formal salutation.
123 Industrial Street,
City, State ZIP code
March 31st, 20XX.
Tree Tops College,
345 Business Street,
City, state 1234
Dear Mr./Mrs. [last name],
State your qualifications
After the salutation, identify oneself to the reader of the recommendation letter. The recommender should state their position in the current institution and how they interacted with the teacher being recommended. Indicate how long the interaction was. This reassures the employer that the person recommending the teacher is adequately familiar with the recommended. Qualifications of the recommender provide more credibility to the letter and its contents.
My name is Gary Levy, Principal Brighton College in Ohio. I was the vice-principal of this school for 5 years before I became a principal last year. Brighton College is a school known for its remarkable performance in education and sports.
Write the introduction and statement of recommendation
Next, introduce the teacher being recommended and the purpose of the letter. This is simply done by including this information in a statement of recommendation.
Mr. Kimble, an applicant for Deputy Principal in your institution, is part of our diverse fraternity. I’ve written this letter to recommend him for the position.
Reference the position the teacher is applying for
Once the reader is familiar with the applicant being recommended, it is best to illustrate how the mentioned teacher would be a good fit for the position they are applying for. Try to tailor a proven teacher record with the new employer’s goals, vision, mission, and the position’s requirements. To have more insight on how to achieve this, hold a brief meeting with the teacher to learn more about the position and institution they are applying to. Tailoring the letter to reference the position and the institution can increase the teacher’s competitive edge.
He is a leader to other staff members during the time I have known him, close to 7 years now. He is commendably diligent in his work and has been reliable whenever he has been called to step in class and out of class, qualities that would be impactful in the deputy principal position.
Specific reasons to recommend the candidate
The teacher recommendation letter should then give specific reasons why the recommender is vouching for the particular applicant. The reasons should be quantifiable and relevant to the open position. These reasons can be based on personal observations and a teacher’s track record. It is crucial to remain factual – do not exaggerate information. To support claims, provide examples or events in the workplace that act as evidence of the teacher’s capabilities. For example, if the teacher is applying at a voluntary institution, highlight their volunteer work and notable selfless deeds they have done in the past. Use specific examples to illustrate their suitability for the position and the institution.
In Brighton College, he was the patron of the science and innovation club and was an acting deputy principal for 6 months in 2019. The science and innovation club is the busiest club in the school. I can confidently say that these roles have prepared him for a bigger role like deputy principal.
A personal story with evidence of their qualities
Personal traits of applicants are used as criteria for selection during the application process, more so for teachers as they will be dealing with students. The letter should then market the teacher’s strong traits that are relevant in the execution of his or her duties. The best way to illuminate this is by giving a story that demonstrates his or her qualities in real life.
In 2019, while he was inheriting the deputy principal office from me. I was in charge of guiding him on how to go about the duties and responsibilities that come with the title. I was impressed by Mr. Kimble’s ability to learn and fit in quickly. It took him a week to completely take over while delivering up to standard results, a position that normally takes two weeks to completely take over.
Highlight notable skills, traits, and accomplishments
The following paragraph of the teacher recommendation letter should then outline the teacher’s skills and achievements. State both soft and hard skills. Achievements can be education-related or work-related. If possible, accompany the skills with examples that show how the applicant used the skills at work. The examples given must be directly related to the skills, do not imply, be as precise as possible.
Examples of hard skills are:
Computer skills, written and verbal communication, degree, certifications, Microsoft Office skills, and presentation skills such as video conferencing.
Certifications would be very critical for a teacher teaching specialized subjects such as music and foreign languages.
Examples of soft skills are:
Patience, time management, compassion, social and emotional intelligence, problem-solving skills, etc.
A skill such as social and emotional intelligence would be essential when teaching teenage students where a teacher is expected to be more interactive and understanding due to the teenager’s nature to be social and emotional.
Mr. Kimble is a multi-talented individual that continues to impress his seniors and colleagues with his teaching skills. He is a result-driven teacher. He is known for working with students, setting goals with his classes, and achieving them in due time. Other than being a teacher, he is a certified programmer, which is one of the reasons he was appointed patron of the science and innovation club. He is knowledgeable in physical and remote teaching software and IT savvy. He is brilliant in written and verbal communication. His social skills are to be praised, considering how well he interacts with the entire Brighton College community.
Closing statement with contact information
The teacher recommendation letter is then concluded with a statement that reiterates his or her recommendation for the position and urges the reader to reach out if need be. Provide contact information that they can use as means of communication.
I strongly recommend Mr. Kimble for the deputy principal position. He is an asset to any institution he goes to. My phone number is (2345) 7766-555, and my email is email@example.com should you have further questions.
Finally, close off the recommendation letter with a complimentary close, signature, and name.
Teacher Recommendation Letter Samples
Following are some samples of teacher recommendation letters:
PEACH TREE HIGH SCHOOL
Motto: Securing the Future Through Education
182 Howard street,
Grand Plains, MI 4578
Office: 235 – 2222-555
This section illustrates an example of a letterhead showing the relevant information to identify the sender’s institution. The name of the institution, mailing address, phone number, and email are provided.
Dear Principal Sarah May,
I am Josh Howard, the principal of Peach Tree high school. I am also the Chairman of the Peach Tree group of schools. I’m writing this recommendation letter on behalf of Harvey Biggs, a Peach Tree high school teacher, Miami.
The introduction introduces the sender by stating the capacity in which they are writing the letter and the qualifications of the sender. It also introduces the teacher as recommended.
Harvey is an exceptional teacher and based on the 10 years I’ve known him and the work he does in the history department, I can comfortably say your institution will be happy with his services. He relates well with students and motivates them to excel in academia and other fields.
This section points out the teacher is suitable for the position he is applying for and gives a brief reason why this is the case.
The Chairman of the history department position requires a teacher with an in-depth understanding of history and administrative qualities like Harvey. He effectively takes charge of any positions he is assigned, and I had witnessed this first-hand when he oversaw the sports team. He is actively involved in his work and has a 95% rate throughout his tenure with us.
This section illustrates how the applicant is qualified about the duties they are expected to carry out should they get the job. It also gives specific reasons why the applicant would be effective if given selected for the job.
Last year, during Peach Tree high’s annual guidance and counseling conference, the key motivation speaker failed to show up, and Harvey stepped up to address the students. I was impressed by his ability to command the stage and give an inspiring motivational talk to our students. He was eloquent and never once lacked words during his presentation. This event won him the “Teacher of the Year award” and a board of directors’ commendation.
This section gives a real-life experience where the applicant showcased exceptional qualities to address a real-life situation. It feels personal and reflects well on the applicant.
This further proved his ability with verbal communication. His written communication skills have been observed from multiple publications he has written that are part of the school’s library collection. He is equipped with problem-solving skills, as shown during the mentioned event. He is knowledgeable with conference teaching skills and is a part-time author of several dissertations. This has proven impactful as he is able to keep students engaged during his classes, as shown by the average 3.4 GPA in all his classes.
This section outlines the skills the teacher possesses and how they impact his work. Quantifiable information has also been provided to further support the claims made.
Mr. Bigg’s ethics and dedication to teaching history have been proven to be outstanding. I am delighted to be the one recommending him for this position. Kindly contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if there are any queries.
A closing statement that restates the author’s recommendation and contact details has been provided. A professional signing-off format has been used to illustrate the authenticity of the document.
St. Francis Elementary School,
1234 Industrial Avenue,
Charleston, PA 53664
July 13th, 2021.
Bridget Middle School,
5564 Highland Street,
Chelsea, OH 8832
Dear Mr. Winks,
I’m writing this recommendation letter at the request of Harry Winks, an applicant for a Biology teacher position in your institution. I have worked with Harry for close to five years now.
I was his assigned supervisor upon joining St. Francis Elementary, and we have had a cordial working relationship ever since. He has grown over the years and managed to guide students through thorough practical experiments, improve their grades and teach classes of more than 60 students at a time. His extensive knowledge in Biology has led the school’s biology club to win major national trophies throughout the years.
He is knowledgeable in using multiple biology laboratory equipment and can perform and guide students with crucial biology experiments for the standard national curriculum. He has notable social skills based on his interactions with students and staff members. His interest in philanthropy has seen him become of the most sort after teacher for guidance by students.
Harry is a holder of CPA certification and has been instrumental in introducing costs saving solutions in the biology department. He is always eager to learn more, which makes him a far better teacher and character.
Thank you for taking the time to review this recommendation letter, and I hope you consider it. My email address is email@example.com.
Dear Counsellor Sandra Cambridge,
I am James Middleton, Principal at Peak High School, California. It is my pleasure to offer my reference for Happy Gate as a high school Music teacher. It has been a pleasure working with her for the last five years at Peak High school.
Mrs. Gate has the most significant impact on student improvement in every class she teaches. This can be demonstrated by the numerous positive assessments students and parents have given regarding her musical classes. Her ability to associate with students and bring the best out of them is impeccable.
Her dedication to music, time management, certifications, and experience befits the qualities you are looking for in a suitable applicant. If given an opportunity, she will prove to be an asset at Highlands College.
She is a professional pianist, guitarist, and vocalist with more than ten years of experience. Her observational skills have helped in picking out the struggling students and converting them into admirable musicians. In addition, her patience and ability to persist have proven to be a key factor in her success in the music department.
Peak High school’s music team was struggling before Mrs. Gate arrived. Yet, within a year, she was able to assemble a group that represented us in major music competitions. Something that was quite impressive and surprising to most. Such a mountain was too high to climb for an average teacher, yet she solely managed to do the work of more than one person.
Mrs. Gate has my utmost recommendation. If needed to provide additional information, contact me at (555) -3434 8002 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Perfecting the Teacher Recommendation Letter
To come up with a teacher recommendation letter that effectively does what it is meant for, there are certain considerations the writer must consider.
Below are some of these considerations:
Know the expectations of your candidate
The teacher will have some expectations regarding what they want to be included in the letter. Hold a meeting with them to find out specific things like skills, examples, and qualifications they want to be included.
Ask about the purpose of the letter
Knowing why a teacher needs a recommendation letter helps guide the letter’s contents. The last thing one wants is a letter that does more damage than good.
Recall your experiences and opinions about them
Before commencing the writing process, think of any notable interactions one has had with the teacher. Pick out experiences that best demonstrate the teacher’s suitability for the position. In addition, one should consider their working relationship with the teacher – was it existent or non-existent, classes and projects the teacher was involved in, exemplary skills they exhibited as a teacher and colleague, specific professional qualifications and personal traits, and any outstanding information about the teacher.
Modify the teacher recommendation letter template
If a template is being used, avoid using the information exactly as given in the template. Instead, personalize the template to reflect the specific situation. One should consider using their own voice and giving real-life personal experiences between them and the teacher.
Focus on the job description
Review the job description of the position the teacher is applying for and tailor the letter to align with the potential employer’s requirements.
Include specific examples
When providing examples, be as specific as possible. Note that a recommendation is not a storybook, be direct to the point. Employers usually have limited time to go through the letter and ensure the little time is enough to be as informative as possible.
Keep a positive tone throughout the letter. Regardless of the reason why the teacher is leaving her current position, remain positive and positively present the teacher.
If the teacher is leaving due to unavoidable circumstances such as budget cuts or relocation, one should make it clear how much they wanted to keep him or her at the institution. Give positive reasons why the teacher is leaving their current position. This information is, however, optional; one can choose to include it in the letter or not.
Proofread and edit
Before printing the final copy of the teacher recommendation letter, thoroughly review the letter and make corrections where necessary. Spelling and grammar mistakes can be off-putting, resulting in the letter not being read at all.
Follow the submission guidelines
It is not uncommon for employers to issue guidelines to be followed during the application process. Ask the teacher for any applicable guidelines. For example, Guidelines might be limited to a specific format, length, word count, and any other.
Following are some free downloadable templates for you:
A teacher recommendation letter is an opportunity to market a teacher applying for a position. It should represent the most desirable qualities of the applicant. A recommendation letter is more detailed and personal than a resume. It can be written by the principal, vice-principal, supervisor, or colleague.
Using a template reduces the workload of coming up with an excellent teacher recommendation letter. Ensure the letter contains the sender and recipient’s information, an introduction, body, and a conclusion. The letter should be authored in a professional format.