Requesting a Recommendation

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by curiouslystrong, May 28, 2014.

  1. curiouslystrong

    curiouslystrong Companion

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    May 28, 2014

    I need a bit of advice on the etiquette for requesting a recommendation from my former field instructor. I'm sure this sounds completely silly, but I always overthink (and unnecessarily stress myself out about) this kind of thing, so any advice would be very appreciated!

    Though I've been told it's always better to ask for a recommendation in person, I need to do it via email, as I completed my teaching program two years ago (and thus no longer see my field instructor). I'm also not actually asking for anything too involved from her: the recommendation form is literally nothing more than four boxes to check off and a section for contact information. Still, I'm not really sure how to begin my email, as we sort of fell out of regular contact after my student teaching ended (and I feel bad about it! - she was great). I'm also not sure if I should attach the recommendation form in my initial email request or if I should wait for her to agree before I send it.

    I know I'm probably worrying over nothing here, but any input would be wonderful. Thank you!
     
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  3. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    May 28, 2014

    Keep it brief but flattering. "I am currently applying for [position] and would deeply appreciate your support. Would you be willing to be a reference for me?" If it has been a while, you might also want to send a copy of your resume and cover letter to help point out your qualities and growth since you were a student teacher.
     
  4. curiouslystrong

    curiouslystrong Companion

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    Jun 18, 2014

    Thanks - I want to sound genuine and am trying to keep it somewhat in the vein of our previous correspondence, which was always very personable - I'm not sure how well I pulled off flattering. (I've also clearly been putting this off, as the end of the year did get very hectic.) I've come up with a draft, but I'm not sure I'm comfortable with it. Any thoughts would be appreciated:

    "[Field Intructor],

    I hope you're doing well!

    I just finished up my first full year teaching at [School] in the [X] neighborhood, where I'm teaching social studies and writing to grades 6-8. It's been a whirlwind, but I've enjoyed it very much! I would still love to work in public schools, though, so I am planning on doing a little bit of job searching this summer. If you wouldn't mind filling out the CPS Admin recommendation form for me, I would appreciate it very much.

    If you're in the area at all, I would love to catch up with you sometime. I hope you're having a fantastic summer!

    Thanks so much,
    [My name]"


    (+ should I attach the recommendation form to the email or wait for her to agree to send it?)
     
  5. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Jun 18, 2014

    I would put the request more towards the start, so it doesn't get lost in the email.
     
  6. ScienceEd

    ScienceEd Companion

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    Jun 18, 2014

    attach the form and the address/email she would need to send it to.

    also attach a resume to help her remember you.

    I would also include near the beginning "I was in your ____ class in ____ year, would you "mind filling out the CPS Admin recommendation form for me, I would appreciate it very much."...............
     
  7. ktmiller222

    ktmiller222 Cohort

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    Jun 18, 2014

    This seems very professional.
    When I left my job in another state, I forgot to ask. A few months later I just sent them a random email asking for a recommendation. A sentence or two. This pretty much it and they did send them to me! Good luck!
     
  8. Teacher Gii

    Teacher Gii Companion

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    Jun 19, 2014

    I agree with the above posters..Your letter is very nice :)

    How about re-requesting a recommendation? Last year when I was a full-time TA, the new P that came there the last two months was a former HS teacher of mine. So, I asked him for a recommendation and he said he would write me a letter. I was patient and the letter never came. This past April, I had the opportunity to work at the school again, and last month 5/9/14 to be exact, I asked him again and he said to send him my resume for him to go over and he would also write me a recommendation. We of course had end of the year testing and such, so I know it was busy and I reminded him and he said that he would do it 3 weekends ago....School is over now and still NO LETTER!!! I tried calling on Tuesday, but of course he was unavailable. He isn't the kind of guy to just blow people off, but I really need a letter from him..he always praised me on doing a great job and being a team player..so unless he was lying, I don't see any problem with him having one done for me.

    Should I call again or go visit and chat with him to refresh his memory now that things have died down a little bit?
     
  9. ScienceEd

    ScienceEd Companion

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    Jun 19, 2014

    Maybe he sent it straight to the school you were applying to? Most of my references don't send them to me and most principals will call or email even if they get a letter.
     
  10. Teacher Gii

    Teacher Gii Companion

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    Jun 19, 2014

    Nah. Our application for the two local districts are weird. They don't post individual schools that are hiring..Well, one district has one application and they will list the schools, but you don't apply to each school. He knows that it was going into my portfolio for when I do apply to various schools. It would just be easier if he went on and hired me like I have been hinting!!! He is super cool and has asked me a few times what grade level I would like to teach..and almost kind of randomly asking interview-like questions when I would stop off in the office for something..I dunno. I am not going to get my hopes all up though.
     

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