I'm posting this at the request of a potential student's parent. It is a word-for-word copy of the original.
Dear Educator: 3/11/09
Elwood (“Woody”) has requested that I write a recommendation for him; and I am very happy to do so. I was acquainted with him during the 2005-'06 school year, when he was doing the most challenging job on the planet: substitute-teaching in middle school! I must say, he performed his duties with grace and distinction all around the building wherever he was needed.
Needless to say, Woody had to call on all his reserves of patience, ingenuity, and skill in a range of different ways, whether he was a teacher of science, history, literature, or math on any given day. In my case, he had to respond to a self-contained class of four sixth- and seventh-graders with a range of learning issues and disabilities, including cognitive delays, Tourette syndrome, FSH muscular dystrophy, and emotional/behavioral challenges. Obviously my class, though small, created certain special challenges for a substitute teacher. I was very pleased whenever Woody was able to teach in my stead.
The results of a day with Woody were very positive for my students. Each time, I returned to school to find a detailed note from him describing a productive and fun day for all of my students, (with a pile of completed work attached). My students happily described the events I had missed at our morning meeting. I was impressed that Woody managed to create the circumstances for success at each of the skill levels my students occupied. He also helped them to enjoy the day enough each time to earn him the highest honor: a suggestion to “Get Mr. G!” next time I had to be out of school.
I understand that Woody will be certified to teach High School Math and Physics. But I think what makes him such a promising teacher is his broad background, his obvious enjoyment of working with young people, and his common-sense flexibility in handling issues that arise in a school day. He is thoughtful, skillful, calm... and fun! What more can I say? I recommend him to you for these qualities.