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Teacher Letter of Reference


CERAS Building 309,

520 Galvez Mail

Stanford University,

Stanford, California 94305-3084

(650) 723-4891 FAX (650) 725-7264

May 1, 2000

To Whom It May Concern:

With her articulate, logical way of speaking and her flair for the dramatic, Katie Miller is one of those teachers that challenges students academically and entertains them at the same time. As Katie's Supervisor for her World Literature and Freshmen Literature classes at Fremont High School, I have seen a bright, talented teacher who takes time to plan, reach students from diverse backgrounds, and train students to be independent and collaborative learners.

Part of Katie's success for the 1999-2000 academic year is in the area of curriculum planning. As an active member of the freshmen team at Fremont High School, she has helped design a solid curriculum for the Freshman Literature class that gives students regular practice in reading and writing while developing strong study skills. In her World Literature class she has used her strong background knowledge in English and her training from Stanford to create successful units that have made students think critically and tie themes to their lives. From her perceptive insights she made some important suggestions and feedback on how to better improve the course so that activities and skills would be better scaffolded and relate to the specific objectives of the department. Katie is a skilled practitioner at translating theory into practice by implementing techniques of collaborative and student center learning in her daily lessons. Katie has also been one of the first teachers to use technology regularly in her classes by creating a web page and posting journal writes, assignments and homework for students to access.

Another strength of Katie's lies in her delivery of instruction. Katie has a gift for communication and the ability to articulate difficult concepts with ease. With clear, concise explanations Katie breaks down complex instructions for the multi levels represented in her class so that students are able to understand and reach her objectives. Though she uses sophisticated vocabulary and language structures, she is also sensitive to the needs of her students and makes appropriate changes in her teaching.

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Katie is a true professional balancing classroom management with close personal relationships with students. I have been impressed with the clear guidelines for behavior that she has consistently reinforced throughout the year. When students have tested her, she has gently brought them back to her lesson pointing out their need to behave responsibly in order for her to teach effectively. Students greatly admire her and respect her shown by the way they interact with her and praise her during my observations. Katie circulates and monitors her students throughout her lessons giving individual attention and positive feedback.

I have appreciated Katie's thoughtful, reflective comments during our debriefings since she thinks carefully about the reasons behind her actions and decisions in the classroom. She is extremely open to constructive criticism asking for feedback and suggestions on how she can improve upon her teaching. It is not surprising that Katie has made tremendous progress this year and is well on her way to being a confident, experienced teacher.

Having worked with student teachers for over seven years, I can recognize an exceptional teacher who will make a lasting impression on the students and teaching community where she works. What sets Katie apart from most first year teachers is her strong grasp of subject matter, her ability to relate to students and her funny, creative style of teaching that makes learning both meaningful and fun. I recommend Katie Miller highly since she is one of the top candidates exiting the Stanford Teacher Education Program.



Lydia Zele Supervisor

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