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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

How do I get current letters of recommendation as a substitute?

How do I get current letters of recommendation as a substitute?

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I'm frustrated because I earned my teaching credential over 2 years ago and have been subbing ever since, making connections and gaining teaching experience, while I wait for my own classroom. However, as I'm applying to jobs, some of them are requiring that my letters of recommendation be written within the last year. I don't have supervisors, principals, master teachers, etc. observing me teach as a sub, so how am I supposed to get current recommendation letters?

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Susan Mielechowsky's picture

If you sub regularly at the same school or same district, ask a teacher or building principal to write a letter for you. It may not contain the same information as it would should you have your own classroom, but they can comment on things like your punctuality, how you handle students (even if just at recess or walking to lunch), and your interactions with other staff. Often, if you ask, a principal or supervisor will stop by during the day to watch you teach and they can include that in their letter. (My district has evaluations of substitutes--usually as superficial as "arrived on time" and "followed lesson plans"--but still, it's something...) Good luck!

Lisa's picture

Thank you. I will certainly take any letters that I can get, but it's upsetting that my hard-earned letters from principals and supervisors would expire and be replaced by less in-depth references.

sm1974l's picture
sm1974l
I'm a new teacher. Currently a substitute until I get a classroom of my own

Lisa, I am in the same situation. I had my recommendation letters updated with a current date so that I could use them this year. I also have two letters from teachers that I did long-term jobs for such as a week at a time. I also stop in and say hello to the building principals and send them thank you notes at the end of the school year so that my name is recognizable. One of the districts that I sub for has over 150 substitutes, but all of the teachers and principals know who I am and I have only been a sub for one year. I also know how difficult it can be to socialize in schools. I am quite shy, but I just force myself to do what is necessary.
Good luck
Staci

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