The letter of recommendation is a very important job search tool in any career. It can be the deciding factor on whether an applicant gets an interview. For an art teacher, a well-written recommendation letter should illustrate his ability to work with students as well as colleagues, and highlight specific accomplishments in his career as well as how hiring the prospective teacher will benefit the school. Recommendation letters should be written by direct supervisors, principals or colleagues who have experience in what makes a good art teacher.
Introduce yourself and explain how you know the candidate. The recipient of the recommendation letter, who is probably the principal of the school or an HR associate, will want to know the extent of your professional relationship with the applicant. Good recommendation letters give the recipient the sense that the writer truly knows the applicant in question. They will also want to know that the candidate can get a positive recommendation from a past employer or supervisor: this speaks to the candidate's teamwork and leadership skills.
Discuss the candidate's professional and personal accomplishments. Mention specific qualifications achieved by the candidate and how this has positively affected his teaching ability. Be sure to include examples of the candidate's use of technology in the classroom. When writing a recommendation for an art teacher, this may include the applicant's proficiency with photo editing or animation software, which can play an important role in modern art classes.
Be specific. Rather than stating abstract concepts such as the popularity of the candidate's classes among students, or that the candidate is creative in his curriculum design, use examples. Art is not a core academic subject in many schools, so providing examples of the teaching candidate's popularity, such as increased enrollment in art as an elective course, may be helpful. Provide anecdotes that illustrate the teacher's professionalism and skill in the subject. Use examples of artistic accomplishments or specific curriculum designs, such as creative art projects they assigned to students or adapting the syllabus to meet the specific needs of students in the class. Be sure to highlight the resulting success from the teacher's creative lesson plans.
Speak to the way the candidate handles disciplinary measures and classroom management. Discussing how well the teacher performs in the classroom may not be enough; hiring committees for new teachers will want to know how authoritative the prospective teacher can be in the classroom. Use specific examples here as well.