Outstanding, Proficient, and Unsuccessful Student Teachers
1. Sample Recommendation for an Outstanding Student Teacher
Ms. ____________________________very successfully completed her practicum experience at the ______________________________ High School in Anytown, USA. She spent 16 weeks observing, assisting, and teaching in my English class. Our school is noted for a diverse student population and two of our classes are heterogeneously grouped, which offers a challenge to even our most experienced teachers.
Ms. ___________________________'s warm personality and rapport with the students were excellent. Her knowledge of the subject was even noticed by many faculty members in our department. Her willingness to take suggestions, modify lessons, and experiment with new strategies demonstrated her motivation and reflection about teaching and learning. She was able to communicate effectively and she displayed many fine personal and professional qualities normally attributed to outstanding teachers. She carried out her responsibilities in a responsible and dependable manner and consistently asked to participate in after-school activities and teacher events.
During the semester, Ms. ___________________ took responsibility for three classes and assumed the duties of planning and teaching an entire unit. Because of her creativity and enthusiasm for the subject, students responded positively to her lessons. Here students' grades in the areas she presented were well above satisfactory. Her ability to manage a daily routine and the classroom discipline that relates to that were exemplary. In my opinion as a classroom teacher for 21 years who has prepared more than seven student teachers, Ms. _____________________________ is an excellent candidate for your school. She has tremendous initiative, a desire to continue to learn, and a reflective practitioner outlook. Along with her command of the subject area and her effective teaching strategies with adolescents, she is a model of an excellent teacher. I would strongly encourage you to interview and to give serious consideration to this prospective teacher. She would be an asset to any English department.
2. Sample Recommendation Letter for a Professionally Competent Student Teacher
Mr. _____________________ taught in the fifth grade at the _______________________ School in Anytown, USA, during the fall semester of 2006. I served as the cooperating teacher during this experience for the 16 weeks and have been a classroom teacher for 16 years in this system. My experience as a cooperating teacher includes other colleges as well as _____________________.
Mr. _________________________ had a positive, successful experience in my classroom. He performed all of his teaching duties in a responsible and dependable manner. I particularly was impressed with his strengths in relating to the students. He planned his lessons well and was sensitive to the needs of the students. His growth in all areas was apparent from the first week to the final meeting.
Mr. ________________________ has the potential to become an effective teacher. His dependability, planning skills, and communication with students are all part of his strengths. I can predict Mr. _______________________ will become an effective classroom teacher with the proper guidance from a teacher mentor or the building principal. If you would like any further information, feel free to contact me. Sincerely,
3. Sample Recommendation Letter after an Unsuccessful Experience Ms. _____________________ has just completed 16 weeks of student teaching in my first-grade classroom. Throughout the experience she has strengthened her knowledge of developmental practice in early childhood education. She has achieved the ability to recognize excellence, remediate weaknesses, and foster mutual respect among students. However, her ability to plan lessons and submit daily routine information on time was not as successful. In spite of a warm and creative personality, Ms. ________________ frequently used inappropriate information in class that showed a lack of achievement in the content area. With careful supervision and the proper guidance from a teacher mentor or the building principal, Ms. ___________________ could become a good teacher. Sincerely,
(Source: A Handbook of Techniques and Strategies for Coaching Student Teaching, Pelletier , 2000)