I'm so sad... and wondering whether to give up the search before I have begun this year. Maybe some of you read about the LTS assignment I had in Oct-Jan. I LOVED it! I still miss those kids DEARLY! Was it perfect? no. Did i make a few mistakes? Sure. Were they blatant terrible ones? no. Did the kids progress? Most Certainly they did!! Did i get GREAT experience and knowledge from it? I am so proud to say, "yes yes yes!" So what could be wrong? I asked three people for letters of recommendation...and got nothing. After quite a while I DID get an e-mail document letter (attachment - with a font signature- that actually I could alter if I chose) from the least of the three. I asked my former college's career center if this is acceptable - and they said it would be looked upon pretty poorly. So, I had to figure something out. I had pictures on my digital camera that i would like to give the teachers - and i thought that would be a wonderful IN to write another letter. So I sent the pictures on a disc to that letter teacher and the OTHER who promised a letter and to be a reference. I wrote the "promise" one that I knew her time was very full - but could she please send one (mentioned that she said she would-but did it nicely) and included a stamped self-addressed envelope. I mentioned to the one who wrote the letter that though it is is a very nice letter, would she mind copying it onto letter head and sending a hard copy (hopefully with a written signature) since - in preparing for the interviewing season (and mentioned just going over things with my former college) they menitoned that a letter-head hard copy would be better. I dropped that hint to the "promise" one one as well. Then i sent both (along with the picture discs) stamped, self-addressed envelopes. I can't push their fingers to the keyboard. (Ready to cry) The principal? I wrote her TWICE...and nothing. I don't understand. Even IF i wouldn't be hired in THEIR school, couldn't they write SOMETHING for all my time and effort? I can't tell you all the nights i have shot up in bed thinking of this...and then crying myself back to sleep. I THOUGHT this was an opening... seriously? Now i wonder if I should mention it on my resume/applications at ALL. Could they have had or found a real problem with me...and just chosen NOT to write? If they don't write (and a band of people not writing???) would they EVER give a good word for me? *** Sort of epilogue: I DID write in my letters to them (about the time of the picture disc) that i would like to take them out to lunch - my treat-as i offered at the end of my time with them (the two teachers) - back then they insisted on paying-and I said, then I still owe you that lunch - i asked if the 19th was ok? And have heard nothing from either. I HAVE gotten in touch with the literacy specialist from the school (through a letter). I mentioned that she had offered to talk to me about this one reading assessment, and though we ran out of time to do that, would she mind if i made an appointment to come in and chat with her about it still. She said sure, and we have it set for Thursday morning(the 18th) - where she is going to talk me through then i will stay on to watch her do one at the beginning of the school day. How nice! This room is not far at all from the room I taught in and the two women. Of course I would like to stop and say hi - but...i am even unsure about how to do THAT after the unreturned letters. (There will also be the principal there in the building...what could i say to HER?) I would LOVE to know -at least- if there was something I did wrong. but short of harming children...which i certainly didn't do...I can't imagine why not at least the blandest of thank yous and lukest of references. I do feel like if I DON"T get these letters - that it's a death note to me (especially with the tons of other unemployed elem ed candidates and more and more pouring out of the colleges all the time). Fit to be tied....and so very very sad. I DID a good job! I think I did a GREAT job. ***** Any idea of what to do? Any hope? (how would a listing of an LTS assignment with no extra letters look? - pretty crappy, huh?) ***** lastly... I'm now 50 years old. I feel like a young 50, but a teacher I subbed for the other day mentioned that she thought I was a retired teacher. Retired???? Goodness Gracious do i look THAT BAD???? It's not as if i can say, if not next year - then the year after that, or after that "after all I'm young". I'm not THAT young. And I can't keep living off the little I get with no-name, no-recognition subbing and working in a grocery store while digging into savings much longer. I have to stop now - I'm REALLY taking myself down this morning.