How much do letters of rec matter?

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by lionvirion, Jun 21, 2014.

  1. lionvirion

    lionvirion Rookie

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    Jun 21, 2014

    I have not talked to my principal about wanting to leave because you must do it in April (at my school) and I would not have been able to secure another position first. But, my letters of recommendation are 3 years old and from a college professor and parents from a nanny job. I'm not sure how to deal with this without being stuck in this job forever. The April thing will never work. Are the old letters good enough?
     
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  3. DKM

    DKM Rookie

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    Jun 21, 2014

    They are extremely important.

    A supervisor's letter of recommendation holds a lot of weight on your application. Some school systems won't even look at your application if:

    1. Your letters are more than a year old.
    2. They are not letters from a professional business/school system.
    3. None of them are supervisor recommendations.

    A college professor recommendation letter will only work if you are a current student or a recent graduate.

    Could you get your AP to do one for you or ask your principal to write you one now? How about your department chair?
     
  4. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Jun 21, 2014

    I would guess that you need new letters if you want to apply for a new job.

    What does your contract state about leaving (for example, my old contract stated that we were an at will employee and just had to give two weeks notice)?

    Are you part of a union and can get advice from them?

    If you absolutely have to give notice in April, I guess you will have to decide if you can make it financially if you don't get a new position right away. It stinks, too, if you have to go that route.
     
  5. lionvirion

    lionvirion Rookie

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    Thanks for the reply! I'm certain she has nothing but good things to say about me and my work but I know she'll be upset I'm leaving and that I did not talk to her about it sooner. But, I am the only income and I have a child and husband to support. I'm hoping he secures a job soon (he's applying like crazy) and then I can explain to her that it's an "unexpected" family move and I will not be able to stay in the area so she'll understand and write me one. But, it's late June so I'm just praying that happens like immediately.
     
  6. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Jun 21, 2014

    Some people do say a year on LORs, but not everyone. I think the problem with your letters is more that they are not actual teaching LORs, but from pre-teaching and your former non-teaching job. If you had solid teaching LORs from three years ago, I wouldn't think it was that big of an issue.
     
  7. lionvirion

    lionvirion Rookie

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    No contract. It's a charter school so I'm at will. But, I need her good graces.
     
  8. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    This sheds some new light. If you have a good relationship, I'd sit down with your P and have a conversation like, "I really like working here, but there is a possibility we will have to move due to hubby's job. I am trying to be prepared. Would you be willing to write me a LOR?"
     
  9. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    It sounds like your P likes you. Could you speak to her honestly and explain that you are the sole wage earner and you need a better paying job so you can support your family. You can even tell her how much you love your school, but the money isn't enough. (Don't know if any of that is true).
     
  10. willow129

    willow129 Comrade

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    Honestly this was one of the most nerve wracking parts of the whole job app process for me, I was way more nervous for this than interviews even

    When I asked for a letter of rec from my principal, she didn't even ask why, she was like sure! I couldn't believe it, but then I decided to go ahead and explain why anyways and she was like, yep, fine, I understand. Of course everyone is different but I think it isn't unusual to have letters of rec just in case. Ask her, let her know that it's a little bit of a worst case scenario but you don't want to be left stuck over the summer.
     
  11. lionvirion

    lionvirion Rookie

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    Thank you all so much for the advice. This is a very friendly place! I am going to think about this more and talk to my husband. I do appreciate finding out how important the LORs are and that sort of guides my thinking. The truth is, I still have to wait until my husband finds a job because he's applying in a wide range of places and there is no point of me getting a position 2 hours away so my search will have to be narrowed by where he is. It's just a time crunch, but lots of people have been hired in August, so that is what I'll pray for.
     
  12. mathteachertobe

    mathteachertobe Cohort

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    Jun 21, 2014

    Even if you won't be applying for a bit, you might want to get a letter now while your P has time, rather than later.
     
  13. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    In my area, LORs have very little weight, but the people you list as references are very important. So I guess it's kind of the same thing, since you need people to be references anyway. They want you to have references (in my area, one must be your current principal- I applied to every district within about a 90 minute radius and this was true for every single one), but they call them and ask their own questions. I'm not sure they even read/care about the actual letters at all. I didn't have a letter from my former principal, but I still had to list her as reference to be called. I had put my previous administrators down. I worked for them for two years and they both adored me. I'd worked for this other principal for less than a year at the time and she was a total nut job. It didn't matter that I'd worked for the other people for longer, she was the most important because she was my current principal. Some districts did agree to call both, but only if the current principal was included.
     

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