Recommendation Letters For Education
Education majors who wish to teach, you will need to obtain at least three letters of recommendation which take the place of references. These letters collectively are often referred to as a credential file or placement file. Very few schools will consider hiring an applicant that does not have a credential file.
Many of the public schools are using or considering the use of electronic application systems; however, the system does not have an application that allows our office to upload confidential letters in such a way that students do not have access to them.
Therefore, as of Fall 2011, the Career Development Center will be transitioning education students to a self-credentialing system. This means that education students will be responsible for acquiring and sending their own letters of recommendation to those districts in which they have applied.
Recommendation Letter Tips
As with references, districts usually request three letters of recommendation. These letters speak to your character, skills, ability, and work ethic.
- Key letters for a new graduate are:
- Cooperating Teacher
- CMU staff or faculty responsible for observing your clinical experience
- Building Principal (if you have had contact with)
- CMU Advisor
- Additional suggestions for good "extra" letters:
- CMU Professor within a specific discipline: i.e. Science, Social Science, Math, English, etc.
- Athletics: i.e. coached little league in the summer
- Music: i.e. given private lessons, church pianist/organist, music leader
- Elementary or Early Childhood: i.e. worked in a daycare, as a nanny, tutoring
- Obtain your letters:
- Ask references at least one month before you will be finished with your student teaching
- Create a 'packet' for each person you ask that includes: guidelines for writing a Letter of Recommendation, an up to date resume and a self-addressed, stamped envelope. The envelope is a courtesy and helps facilitate getting the letter done and to you in a timely manner.
- Once you have acquired your letters, our office can assist you in scanning your letters into a PDF file for uploading into an electronic application system.
- If you choose to persue your career in a different school system or district, you will need to aquire updated letters of recommendation. Recommended letter writers would be: Peers, Building, Principle, Superintedent
- Sending your letters
- When you apply to a school district it is automatically presumed that you will mail or upload your letters of recommendation. Make sure you send copies of your letters and keep the originals in your file.
- We highly recommend that you follow up all electronic applications with a mailed hard copy of your application materials. These materials should be compiled in the following order: Cover Letter, Resume, Recommendation Letters, Unofficial Transcript.
- We also recommend that you keep a record of schools to which you have applied. I.e. person and title of the person to whom you sent the file, name of school and date.
- Names of administrators, addresses, phone and fak information for public school districts in the state of Missouri can be foudn on the DESE school directory website: http://dese.mo.gov/directory