Reference Letter Templates

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Character reference letters are vital to a prospective teacher’s chances at landing that first classroom job. Whether you are tasked with having to write a reference letter for a student or employee, it is important that you do so carefully.

Reference letters can come from professors that taught the teacher candidate, cooperating teachers and previous employers. Character reference letters examples are often helpful for these individuals, as they attempt to write an accurate and helpful reference for the new teacher candidate. Here are some tips that may help your writing process.

Components of a Character Reference Letter

A reference letter must include information that describes how you know the individual applying for a job and include aspects of the teacher candidate’s character and a recommendation, either for or against, that individual’s employment.

If a new teacher candidate asks you for a reference letter and you do not believe that you can recommend the candidate for the position, it is best to be upfront about the issues at stake. A negative character reference letter can ruin a teacher’s chances of getting a position in a school. Providing the candidate with constructive feedback might be more helpful than a reference letter in this situation. If you will be handing the letter, unsealed, back to the individual and not sending it directly onto the school, it may be ok to go ahead and write a negative letter and allow the candidate to decide whether or not to use it in their application.

Cooperating Teacher Character Reference Example

Here is a sample reference letter that a cooperating teacher might write about a new teacher candidate:

To Whom it May Concern:

Ms. Jane Doe has spent the past semester teaching second grade under my supervision. Ms. Doe developed a rapport with each student quickly and was able to maintain student motivation for learning in each lesson she taught.

Ms. Doe was always prepared for her lessons with detailed lesson plans and particularly excelled in teaching math in a way that enabled all students a chance at success. Her students were excited to learn and the activities she planned were interactive and focused on curriculum standards.

Ms. Doe would be an excellent addition to the staff at any elementary school and I will miss her cheerful spirit.


Mrs. Jones

Previous Employer Reference Letter Example

Here is a reference letter for someone who many not have direct knowledge of a candidate’s teaching ability but who has worked with the prospective teacher in another capacity.

To Whom it May Concern:

Ms. Jane Doe worked as a assistant under my supervision in the two year old classroom at ABC Day Care. She truly enjoyed working with the children and always had a positive attitude. Ms. Doe adjusted to changes in the schedule with ease and flexibility.

While I have no direct knowledge of her teaching ability, Ms. Doe shows great promise in a classroom full of children. She is always prompt, helps maintain basic organization, is responsible for signing children out as their parents pick them up at the end of the day and is always eager to help with classroom displays and other projects.

Ms. Doe’s strong work ethic and eager attitude would make her an asset to any classroom and I highly recommend her.


Ms. Parkes

Negative Reference Letter Example

While it is always best to write a reference letter for a teacher candidate who is great at what she does, this is not always the case. Here is an example of how to write a reference letter about a candidate who will not always be the best fit for a school.

To Whom it May Concern:

Ms. Jane Doe was a student teacher in my classroom for the past semester. She is a very organized person who places great importance on students acting exactly as expected and that materials are kept straight and orderly.

While organization and high expectations are always helpful for teachers, these qualities caused some tension between her and her students. She has worked hard to adjust her expectations over the past few months and has learned a lot about what it takes to be a great teacher.

If you have any additional questions for me about Ms. Doe, please contact me.


Mrs. Jones

When writing a reference letter for an individual, it is important to be truthful, providing as many details as are relevant for the future employer to have a good picture of the candidate’s abilities.

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