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  • country09
  • Expert Waygook

    • 653

    • January 05, 2011, 10:04:21 am
Re: Letters of Recommendation
« Reply #20 on: May 13, 2014, 02:04:40 pm »
What do you do if no one at your school has seen you teach?
I have no co-teacher. I guess I teach at an advanced high school, but in all actuality my school treats me like a baby-sitter in disguise. As there have been no behavior problems with my students that they've heard about, they have no reason to have anything to do with me. Don't get me wrong. I always put 100% into every lesson and go crazy with the teaching materials. I even came up with my own class requirements, rules, and reward system. I run it like it's a real class, but no one at my school has a clue.
I sincerely hope I can write my own recommendation letters because what they would say would be just as fake as me making up my own recommendation. I'm trying to decide between doing a fill in the blank where I give them a template or just writing my own and telling them they can change anything they like.
That's the only thing that's bothered me since coming here is that for a native teacher the automatic solution to every problem is to run to the coteacher. Really sucks if you don't have one.

Talk to the person who is in charge of you. Also ask your principal or vice principal. If you have a good relationship with the school I assume they will be happy to. Finally, no you can't write your own recommendation letters. It kind of defeats the purpose of said letters.


Re: Letters of Recommendation
« Reply #21 on: May 13, 2014, 02:20:32 pm »
What do you do if no one at your school has seen you teach?
I have no co-teacher. I guess I teach at an advanced high school, but in all actuality my school treats me like a baby-sitter in disguise. As there have been no behavior problems with my students that they've heard about, they have no reason to have anything to do with me. Don't get me wrong. I always put 100% into every lesson and go crazy with the teaching materials. I even came up with my own class requirements, rules, and reward system. I run it like it's a real class, but no one at my school has a clue.
I sincerely hope I can write my own recommendation letters because what they would say would be just as fake as me making up my own recommendation. I'm trying to decide between doing a fill in the blank where I give them a template or just writing my own and telling them they can change anything they like.
That's the only thing that's bothered me since coming here is that for a native teacher the automatic solution to every problem is to run to the coteacher. Really sucks if you don't have one.

Talk to the person who is in charge of you. Also ask your principal or vice principal. If you have a good relationship with the school I assume they will be happy to. Finally, no you can't write your own recommendation letters. It kind of defeats the purpose of said letters.

I've been asked to write my own letters of recommendation before. I actually also pretty much wrote my predecessors letter of recommendation even though I never met her. Like I said, they're written mostly in good faith and the content doesn't strictly matter that much so long as the reference is valid and the signature is legit.


  • country09
  • Expert Waygook

    • 653

    • January 05, 2011, 10:04:21 am
Re: Letters of Recommendation
« Reply #22 on: May 13, 2014, 02:28:04 pm »
so long as the reference is valid and the signature is legit.

Ah got it. Reading over it again slower this time I understand what channah was saying. My apologies. I thought you were writing it for yourself without anyone taking credit for the letter.


  • Mezoti97
  • The Legend

    • 2700

    • April 14, 2011, 03:02:50 pm
    • South Korea
Re: Letters of Recommendation
« Reply #23 on: May 13, 2014, 02:45:55 pm »
When I approached my very first co-teacher for a recommendation letter, she told me to write it myself, and then after reading it and deciding that she agrees with the content, she would sign it, which she did -- so that was the way I got it from her. The previous NET whom I had replaced at that school also did the same (the previous NET wrote up her own recommendation letter, and my first co-teacher signed it after reading it and agreeing with its content). I've also gotten other recommendation letters that were written by the person who signed them; one was another Korean co-teacher and another was a former boss at one of my previous schools. That was just my experience with getting recommendation letters in Korea.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2014, 02:48:34 pm by Mezoti97 »


  • Nominstar86
  • Adventurer

    • 46

    • June 07, 2014, 05:32:21 pm
    • United States
    more
Re: Letters of Recommendation
« Reply #24 on: June 07, 2014, 07:31:33 pm »
You should still politely ask for one from the co-teacher to confirm if he/she will be willing to write you a good recommendation letter. If he/she does grant you one have them write a draft of it then you can make corrections. Go over the final draft with the co-teacher and have him/her approve it by signing it. Also having a translated version is a good idea but make sure you have a Korean friend proof read the translated version too. Just so that the English and Korean letters match up.

However, if the co-teacher ask you to write it yourself then make sure you don't overdo it by using big words/fancy definitions etc. Have him/her approve it and again sign it. And yes a translated version wouldn't hurt as long as it match up with the English one.
"Some folks are wise and some are otherwise."

-Tobias Smollett


  • cosmogony
  • Super Waygook

    • 391

    • November 24, 2010, 07:56:37 pm
    • Busan
Letter of Recommendation from principal for grad school
« Reply #25 on: December 22, 2014, 02:49:48 pm »
I'll be applying for graduate studies and need two letters of recommendations which are either academic or professional. Considering I graduated from university 9 years ago, I'm not sure if I'll be able to get a letter from a professor (though I will try), so I'll have to have at least one letter from a professional source. I'm considering asking the principal of my school.

Has anyone done this?

Should I ask for it to be written in Korean and have it officially translated or;

Should I write it myself and have him sign it?

I will, of course, ask him and see if he'll even agree to it, but wanted to see what others have done and how successful they were.

Thanks!
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  • emwsu
  • Veteran

    • 208

    • November 28, 2010, 09:19:06 pm
    • South Korea
Re: Letter of Recommendation from principal for grad school
« Reply #26 on: December 22, 2014, 03:17:05 pm »
What are you studying in grad school. Education? Yes your principal could be a good person to write the letter. But what about an English teacher who works with you and who would be able to write in English? They would know you better and the letter could be more personal. I understand the level of some English teachers here, you can still help them write it and edit it.

If you are not studying education do you have professional connections from your last jobs at home?


Re: Letter of Recommendation from principal for grad school
« Reply #27 on: December 22, 2014, 05:14:08 pm »
I, too,  have seriously contemplated studying an MBA program at KAIST up in Seoul next year. I have already spoken to my boss about my intentions and he seems to be supportive.

I guess I would have to write on his behalf and get him to stamp and sign the document.


  • kitster1
  • Adventurer

    • 73

    • December 06, 2010, 09:34:41 am
    • Seoul
Re: Letter of Recommendation from principal for grad school
« Reply #28 on: December 22, 2014, 08:23:44 pm »
It was about 8 years since my undergrad graduation. Asked my head teacher. She agreed to let me write it and just had her sign. Probably the easiest way if relations are peachy. I got accepted at my desired program in Canada. Reference for jobs, the principal holds more weight; but for academia, I dont think it matters; they just want a ref from a reliable source that was in a direct supervisory position who has seen and knows your work/character etc. But up to you. Best of luck.


  • JMW
  • Adventurer

    • 69

    • April 14, 2013, 11:27:50 am
    • South Korea
Re: Asking for a Recomendation Letter
« Reply #29 on: December 23, 2014, 02:03:21 am »
My employer of 7 years in Canada had me write my own reference letter for a position here in Korea. He then signed it and asked if he could keep it as a template for future reference letters so he doesn't have to write from scratch....
I am now finishing up 2 years at my current school to move on to another, when I asked for a reference my co teacher said write it, then she will read it and sign it.

When I first started at this school the previous NET moved to another country to teach, she'd been gone about three months before her new employer asked for another reference letter, she asked my old CoT for one. She wasn't confident in her English level to do it (though I personally believe she would have done just fine), so she asked me. So I wrote a glowing reference letter for the previous NET, who I had been in contact with a few times (and THANKFULLY heard about from the students) so thankfully I had some points to pull from.

I'm starting to get kind of good at it. That one I wrote for the previous NET I was kind of proud of.

The most you can do is ask whoever is in charge of you and your paper work. They will let you know if they will write it or not. If they express desire not to, ask who could in their place; VP or Principle. Might be best to have an outline. I know GEPIK requires a specific guideline for recommendation letters. Get your hands on that.
Here's the EPIK one but it's all pretty standard really.
http://www.iloveesl.com/epik/english-program-in-korea/Letter%20of%20Recommendation%20Template.pdf
« Last Edit: December 23, 2014, 02:10:37 am by JMW »


Re: Asking for a Recomendation Letter
« Reply #30 on: December 23, 2014, 09:28:13 am »
I'm confused at all the comments about letters of recommendation only for getting jobs outside of korea, and it's not the norm. maybe it's not the norm for koreans. but in order for me to apply for the EPIK job, the MOE asked for TWO letters of recommendation with OFFICIAL LETTERHEAD from within the last 6 months.

jeez, my last hagwon should pay me for creating a free logo and letterhead for them! most companies aren't that professional. luckily people working at my hagwon were real english teachers and could do basic stuff like write half a page and list things i've done well. shocking, i know.

anyway does it make sense that they expect this level of recommendation but is not capable of returning it? now i can understand this at the school level, the principal, VP, co-teacher - English most likely isn't something high on their list of priorities. but i'd expect at least a phone call and getting something generic from my area coordinator where the school can just sign and stamp, with the date. i mean clearly they know the importance of a recommendation or else why would they ask for one.