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  #1  
Old 11-10-2012, 11:08 AM
Linguist92021's Avatar
Linguist92021 Linguist92021 is online now
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High School English (Alt. Ed.)
P won't give me letter of rec. What to do?

Background:
I've been working 'for' this P since June last year. After subbing, for a couple of months she offered me a LTS assignment, which she extended (through June 30). At that point my position was eliminated due to budget cuts. I've heard nothing but great or at least good feedback from her.

In March last year I asked her a letter of rec in writing. I waited a few weeks, didn't want to rush her. Then in May I asked her again, and since then she basically gave me the run around. these are the things she said:
- I thought I already gave it to you
- I'm really busy, you have to remind me, all the time (I told her I don't like to bug my P with things like this, she said 'you have to bug me). So I asked her a few more times, but not too many times. Every time I told her that if she would prefer not to write me one, just tell me, she said that wasn't it. (May)
- she said there is no point for applying for jobs because there are so many teacher laid off, I won't be able to compete (June)
- finally she said the only letter she'll write is one that is sealed and goes straight to the employer!! This was in August! So for 5 months she strung me along saying she'll write it, then she sounds all frustrated as in I'm asking something out of the norm.
I tried to explain to her that I can't apply like that. I'm in Cali and we go through edjoin, and I have to submit everything, there is no way for her to add a letter because my application will be incomplete.
And does she really want to write me a specifically tailored letter every time I apply? (she said yes). She said she can give me that I'm asking for, but that won't be any good, that will be just a simple verification of employment.

This doesn't make sense. I tried to explain to her how edjoin works, she said she knows.
The last thing I have done (October) printed out a screen from a job i wanted to apply for and a printed note saying that this is one I plan on applying and as she can see there is no where for her to send the letter with my application.

This is so frustrating, I'm very upset every time I think about it.
I feel that she owes me a letter, there is no reason why she couldn't write me at least an ok/good one.
I cannot apply for any jobs without her letter. I have 3 great letters from student teaching (that was 2 years ago) and an awesome one from a teacher at my current place. I need a P.
I even just tried to apply to sub at a place (much more money where I'm at right now) and they wanted a letter from the P. That's the one I showed her.
So because of her I haven't / can't apply for any job, because it would look bad that my current P doesn't give me a letter.

There are things I can do, I'm just not sure that I should. I can call Human resources and find out what to do in this situation. I can call her direct boss, or her direct boss's direct boss and talk to them. I have met them both personally.
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  #2  
Old 11-10-2012, 11:12 AM
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Linguist92021 Linguist92021 is online now
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High School English (Alt. Ed.)
She's weird. When i told her last that I need a letter for a job I'm trying to apply, I told her it was for a subbing job. It pays $20 more / day and there is much less driving. Her comment: "oh, you're gonna work really hard for that money!" As if I'm already not working to earn every single penny.

I swear it sounds like she wants to keep me there as a sub, because honestly, they have very few they can rely on. But that cannot be it.
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  #3  
Old 11-10-2012, 11:15 AM
JustMe JustMe is offline
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Eek. This isn't good.

Do you sub AND teach in the detention center or do you sub in the detention center? I'm a little confused and I'm not sure what your experiences are.

Whatever the case, I would no longer pursue a letter from this woman. She doesn't want to give you one, and if she does write one it will do nothing in the way of helping your file. Is there someone else to write a letter for you?
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  #4  
Old 11-10-2012, 11:20 AM
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Linguist92021 Linguist92021 is online now
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High School English (Alt. Ed.)
I had a LTS assignment from October 2011 through June 2012. Outside of that I've been subbing since June 2011 until presently.

But I feel that she's treating me unfairly. at least give me a letter, and then I can decide if i want to use it. It may not even be a great letter, but I could balance it out with other ones.
I have plenty of teachers willing to write glowing letters, but I need one from my supervisor.
there is no other supervisor / equivalent to the P that could write me one.

If I don't get a letter, I will have very slim chances to get a teaching job.
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  #5  
Old 11-10-2012, 11:28 AM
JustMe JustMe is offline
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Have you been subbing at this one school only and every day or nearly every day? You feel she has enough knowledge to write you a letter, right? Man, it seems like a bad place to be. So sorry.

You mentioned in another thread that you covered the election in class and showed Obama's speech...seemed like you were making the decisions. That's why I thought you were teaching in the detention center (or whatever it is called). I'm not picking...I've just been curious a while and thought this was a good time to come to understand your situation.
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  #6  
Old 11-10-2012, 11:46 AM
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Linguist92021 Linguist92021 is online now
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I know, it can be confusing. this P is responsible for 3 schools: 2 detentions centers and 1 alcohol/drug rehab school. I sub mostly at the 2 detention centers, and had a LTS assignment at one of them.
These schools are small, with total student counts 145 / 145 / 40. they're year round, teachers work 190-225 days, so they take off weeks at a time (recess). So it actually feels like I'm a teacher because I have the classroom for 1-2 weeks at a time. I've been working pretty much every days every since I started there.
Every teacher knows me, and they know that I can handle classrooms and I can TEACH. So a lot of them leave things up to me, they say this is what needs to be covered, I let you decide how you do it. Some are more specific, but a lot of them just say chapter X, sections 1-3 (I encouraged them to do that to make it easy for them, and more fun for me).

This P knows me as a teacher (8 months) and knows me as a sub. She has been in my classrooms several times to be able to write a letter.
After her last visit she told me I had excellent classroom management, she was impressed with the strategies, activities and student engagement. She was especially impressed with the assessment I created (she said 'wow, these are very high level questions'). And finally she said she hoped I would get a job soon because I am very good.

So why won't she write me a letter?
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  #7  
Old 11-10-2012, 11:56 AM
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Caesar753 Caesar753 is offline
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I know that this isn't what you want to hear, but you need to move on and find someone else to write you a letter. Perhaps it's time to stop subbing in her schools and find other schools with principals who are willing to write recommendations for you.

It seems apparent that this principal doesn't want to write you a letter. That may be because of you (maybe her opinions about you as a teacher are different from what you think they are) or because of her or current school policies (maybe she got burned in the past by putting herself out there and recommending someone who turned out to be a big dud). In any case, she's made it pretty clear that she isn't going to be able to write you the letter you want. You need to find someone else, even if it's not easy.
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  #8  
Old 11-10-2012, 12:38 PM
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Linguist92021 Linguist92021 is online now
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High School English (Alt. Ed.)

Caesar, I guess you're right. It's a lot easier to see looking in the situation, than when I'm in it.
I guess I can ask a few of the teachers to write letters for me. As far as letters from supervisors, I have 3 great ones (2 cooperative teachers and 1 college supervisor), but it's all from my student teaching, which was 2 years ago. In most cases they would all work, because letters must be from 3 years, but often it's just 'recent'. I have 1 from a teacher at the detention center and it's very nice. I really enjoy working with at-risk students, and it's a plus that I have that experience, so might as well use it.

I guess a lot of applicants are in my shoes, they're subbing and not have letters from Ps. Honestly, I don't see how a principal in a traditional K-12 school would would get to know a sub. This one had the chance, that's why I'm hurt that I can't use it.
Obviously I will be at a disadvantage when I', competing with those who have letters from principals.

How do I overcome that?
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  #9  
Old 11-10-2012, 12:47 PM
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czacza czacza is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Linguist92021 View Post

.

How do I overcome that?
With a compelling cover letter and resume. Letters of rec are looked at after interviews in my competitive district. I know is different where you are, but don't underestimate the power of a great cover and resume. Enough members here have reaped the benefit of polishing up their packages.
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  #10  
Old 11-11-2012, 01:47 AM
teach42 teach42 is offline
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For my teaching jobs, no one really bothered to even check my references. After all my rounds of interviews, I was hired almost on the spot. If you have a great cover letter and resume and do really well on interviews, they might not even bother to check. You could probably just list the names/numbers of your references.
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