References - Opinions, please?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by JediLeyli, Aug 15, 2015.

  1. JediLeyli

    JediLeyli Rookie

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    Aug 15, 2015

    Hi, I'm a long time lurker, first time poster. :)

    I'm currently a stay-at-home mom (although I do work a few hours a week in a coffee shop to maintain sanity). I have my B.A. in English and have tutored in the past for a tutoring company specializing in offering after-school help to inner-city ("at risk") kids. Now that my daughter is older (she's going into 2nd grade), I was thinking about going into teaching but before I commit to a license program, I thought I'd try subbing first.

    I live in the same town where I went to school (4th-12th) and my daughter now goes to school here as well. I was thinking about applying for a sub position here.

    The problem...I need 5 references!:dizzy:

    I have one from a parent of a child I tutored, one from my boss at the tutoring company, one from a former professor....that means I need two more.:mellow:

    Here's my conundrum....I was thinking about asking the principal of the high school and a former high school teacher for a reference. Both of them gave me a recommendation letter to college...but I haven't seen either of them in probably 11 years which basically means they knew me then but, don't know me now. I figured that if the person in H.R. saw that I went to school in town, they'd ask around about me anyway but...

    What would you think if a student you hadn't seen in a decade popped up and asked you for a reference in this situation?? :help:

    My only other option is to get two more references from parents but I'm not sure how high teachers hold the opinions of parents.
     
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  3. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Aug 15, 2015

    Five references to sub seems ridiculous. Normally I would say no way should you ask them for a reference. I still don't think you really should. But, I would go talk to the P and see if you can get around the five reference thing. If not, maybe line up two 'personal' references instead of the typical 'professional' ones.
     
  4. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    I was also going to suggest using personal references. Maybe parents of your daughter's friends who would trust you to have their child over to your house or something, maybe someone you know from an activity or organization you voluntarily participate in... Since you are applying to sub, they probably aren't looking to get an idea of your professional teaching skills or even your work with children. They are probably looking more for character references.

    I, personally, think 11 years later is too long to wait to ask for a reference. I asked one of my high school teachers for a letter of recommendation to get into my teaching degree program. That was only about 5 or 6 years later. While he wrote it for me, it was pretty awkward to ask for it, and, looking back, I'm surprised that he did.
     
  5. Geauxtee

    Geauxtee Comrade

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    Aug 15, 2015

    What about your supervisor at the coffee shop or a coworker at the coffee shop? They could say you come in on time and are friendly to customers.

    If not, then do personal references.
     
  6. JediLeyli

    JediLeyli Rookie

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    I thought about that too but this application seems so formal I don't know if they'd see "Starbucks Supervisor" as part of my work experience and laugh at me. :mellow:
     
  7. JediLeyli

    JediLeyli Rookie

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    I did volunteer a lot with my daughter's class over the last two years...field trips and raffles and the like. I was friendly with her teacher and also thought of asking her but then it kind of feels like I'm using my daughter to obtain employment. Plus, I'm not sure how her teacher would view a parent asking for a reference lol

    5 or 6 years definitely seems more reasonable than 11 years! :)

    I've never seen a job ask for 5 references!
     
  8. JediLeyli

    JediLeyli Rookie

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    They're also asking for college transcripts!

    Is this normal?!:eek:
     
  9. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Aug 15, 2015

    That is normal here. You have to have a certain number of college credits.
     
  10. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Definitely use your colleagues or supervisors at Starbucks. Again, you're not applying for a full-time teaching position right now. You're applying to be a sub. They just need to hear that people can vouch for your character (being on time, your work ethic, people skills, communication skills, etc.).
     
  11. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    If you're still in communication with your daughter's teacher, I see no harm in asking. Just explain to her that you think she is one of few people who has seen you interact with children in a professional setting. It's not using your daughter... She's just the bridge that brought you and her teacher together.
     
  12. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    I would use a supervisor from a previous job. If you haven't been in education, you can't possibly have education related referrals. For my first sub job, I remember I used my best friend, she was a teacher, but she was def. a personal reference. It was ok, I don't even know if they ever called her.
     
  13. JediLeyli

    JediLeyli Rookie

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    Thank you for all the advice!! :) I know it's not a major job but I've heard it's sometimes hard to get your foot in the door!

    Do you guys think it's a good idea to include parents of children that I've tutored? They're perhaps not "professional" references but they can speak of my character, professionalism, and how I interacted with their children.

    I'm specifically thinking of two parents because one had a severely autistic child who was an absolute sweetheart and I worked really well with him and the other because she's currently a parent in the same school district.
     
  14. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Yes, I think that is totally appropriate. Just make sure you ask them first so that they are prepared when and if they get a phone call or email.

    On another note, I'm not sure that it really matters that the second parent is in the same district. It shouldn't matter if any of your references are affiliated with the district... just that they can vouch for you.
     
  15. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    Seconding this.
     
  16. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Agree with this. :thumb:

    Yes. Absolutely. These would be GREAT recommendations!
     
  17. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    Aug 16, 2015

    5 references sounds ridiculous but just use who you can.
    I have had to send in my transcripts on occasion.
     

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