Reference Letters

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by Backroads, Jun 7, 2018.

  1. Backroads

    Backroads Fanatic

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    Jun 7, 2018

    I'm a little frustrated. I'm job-hunting/trying to figure out the best course of action this coming year in regards to taking care of my daughter (Husband is involved in this decision-making process). I have a nice little collection of reference letters, but I yet have to get one from my last administration. This was months since offering. Yeah, I've raised the question a few times.

    For most of the places I'm looking, this doesn't seem to be a particularly big deal, which is fine. But one district I was looking at insists upon it and I don't know a way to sweettalk around it.

    I get it, people are busy, but I'm starting to wonder if I'm just being avoided on this issue.

    Where to go from here? Just ignore that particular district?
     
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  3. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Jun 7, 2018

    I wouldn't want to do this, but if you are desperate I've heard that people will sometimes offer to write their own letter of recommendation and have admin just sign it.

    Otherwise, I'd try still applying to the district with the letters you have and provide contact info for your principal suggesting that they can call instead while you wait for your letter. You never know until you try. I recently interviewed for a job where the posting said you needed 3 letters, but I only provided one. I'm guessing the 3 letters was just how HR sets up their applications, but individual principals may not care that much. In my area, everyone still does reference calls anyway so the whole idea of having to do the letters seems silly to me.
     
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  4. vickilyn

    vickilyn Virtuoso

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    Jun 7, 2018

    People who early on say "of course I will do that for you" often become less eager as time passes. I found that I had to be fairly persistent, sharing that the job hunt WITHOUT that LOR was struggling and difficult. I found that giving a finite date by which I needed to have it available for use seemed to help. I also reached out to several individuals who I knew well, who would count as admin, killing two birds with one stone. I was honest that this LOR needed to be from admin, and that I trusted this or these people to do the best job, because they knew me and my skill sets the best. Hope this helps!
     
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  5. TeacherWhoRuns

    TeacherWhoRuns Companion

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    Jun 8, 2018

    Reference letters are the most frustrating part of teaching. What other field requires them? They're going to call your past/present admins anyway, so why do they need the letters? It drives me crazy.
     
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  6. Been There

    Been There Habitué

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    Jun 9, 2018

    I know how time-consuming it is to write letters of recommendation, especially when you have several to write at the end of the school year - they were often at the bottom of my to-do list. So, to help out busy administrators, I've ALWAYS provided a draft for them to use as a reference. If you are reluctant to give them a draft, you can at least list the major points that you would like included in the letter. Believe it or not, many administrators are awful writers and their letters of rec. often leave much to be desired. Definitely give them a draft to optimize the chance of: a) it being written and b) in a way that highlights your strengths.
     
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  7. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    Jun 9, 2018

    A lot of the application and hiring practices in my opinion are inefficient and outdated.
    It's time to get with the times people.
    Some districts want LOR's and they also send out those annoying survey things too so your poor references get PEPPERED with them in their email. I constantly apologize to them whenever I fill those things out because I know that they will get slammed with them...
    I don't know / think a lot of the bigger districts even make the phone calls, especially if they have to fill entire teams of teachers, because it would just take too long. But it's still annoying nonetheless.
    :mad:
     
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  8. Always__Learning

    Always__Learning Comrade

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    Jun 9, 2018

    Backroads, I would offer to write it. Let your administrator know that you would like to apply to X and to do so you need a letter. Let them know you realize they are very busy and am wondering if you could have a quick conversation where they outline what they see as your strengths from that you can write a draft and they can adjust it as they see fit. This will let you know if you don't have it because they are busy or if they are actually avoiding writing it for you.
     
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  9. Backroads

    Backroads Fanatic

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    Jun 9, 2018

    I'm aware that many people in the know hate reference letters and consider them outdated.
     
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  10. ChildWhisperer

    ChildWhisperer Devotee

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    Jun 9, 2018

    I ended up giving my current district an old letter from 3 years ago while I waited for a recent one (which is what I told them). They said they didn't care and it didn't matter. They were just required to have 3 on file. So they have 2 recent letters and one old one. The principal really wanted me so I guess it didn't matter? The actual list of references were all recent people but they didn't contact any of them.
     
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  11. Backroads

    Backroads Fanatic

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    I suppose it doesn't matter since I got the job offer from a different district.
     
  12. vickilyn

    vickilyn Virtuoso

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    Jun 9, 2018

    But we also know that no matter how outdated, some districts are going to want them, or even think there is a problem if they are not available. Sadly, or maybe gladly, not every district operates in the same way - it means that at a school where one teacher can't wait to leave, there will be another who would be happy staying there forever. OP, I think that the LOR's are somewhat useless when you have a history of work and success to display, but looking for a job without them is stress provoking. I wish you well.
     
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