Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Fourth Recommendation Letter

I have already secured three letters of recommendation (from my supervisor, Tim, and Robin). One concern, however, is that none of them know my teaching performance as I never worked for them as a teaching assistant. Noll (2005, p.19) say that one element of recommendation letters is "an assessment of your abilities as a teacher".

So I asked Oriana for writing my fourth recommendation letter because she's the only person who knows my teaching performance. She replied, saying "I don't think it's necessary." I thought this implicitly meant she did not want to write because she couldn't write a good letter for me.

But it was a wrong guess. When I bump into her at the STICERD communal space today, I ask her why she thinks her letter is not necessary. She says, "Robin (my third referree) should know my teaching." If I point out that is not the case, then she explains the reason a bit more, which reveals something I never knew before.

Recommendation letters for job market candidates consist of (1) description of the job market paper and (2) contribution of the job market paper. Your supervisor's letter is the most detailed and long while other letters are shorter. Oriana says that four letters that are all describing my paper and contribution will be too much.

But she says if my supervisor and Tim say it is a good idea for me to have Oriana's letter on teaching, she will write one. So I ask my supervisor on this tomorrow.

No comments: