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RE: Colin Uren Good Day Hiring Committee,

April 16, 2012

I want to strongly convey that Colin Uren is a fine teacher after just a short time in the classroom and will grow to be a great teacher. No recommender can rightfully say a student is a great teacher already and have his or his opinion valued. It takes time to be a great teacher and Colin Uren puts in a lot of time at being a teacher. Mr. Uren was a student in my teacher-assisting seminar for social studies and history majors at Grand Valley State in the fall of 2011. Colin was the in the top 10 percent of his class that was a good group. Student assisting at the university is basically time student teaching the semester prior to full-time student teaching. This allows students to get their feet wet and have content professors (i.e. history/social studies) critique them in the classroom. During the semester, I observed him three times teaching an 8th grade US and World history classes at Valleywood Middle School in Grand Rapids, Michigan. During each of my observations Mr. Uren improved markedly. Mr. Uren uses a great variety of methods in being an effective teacher. During my observations, he led one lesson on the Declaration of Independence that utilized group discussion, collaborative learning, student-led presentations, a primary source and relevance. After an opening discussion, he had students interpret the Declaration of Independence in pictures, which they shared with the class. He then tied the grievances of the American colonists to that of Egyptians during the current Arab Spring. He geared the lesson towards making learning relevant. He is one of the few students who had me observe him during his student-teaching semester. His lesson on Latin America at the Rockford 9th Grade Center utilized excellent pedagogical skills. His use of humor for classroom management had grown more effective as the class moved around and transitioned smoothly. Mr. Urens strongest asset is his demeanor. He is unflappable with a dry wit that students love and relate to very well. It is unique. Colin uses humor very well to create an excellent rapport with students. He does this without blurring the line between himself and his students. He is a naturally funny person and utilizes that to his advantage in teaching, learning, and classroom management. As a first-time teaching experience, facing nearly thirty middle school students with diverse backgrounds and learning styles had to be intimidating, but he never flinched or grew flustered. His students knew that Mr. Uren cared for them and their affinity for him was clear. Finally, Mr. Uren will bring his skills and diversity to the area. He will prove an excellent teacher and mentor to students at any school that hires him. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Sincerely,

Scott L. Stabler, PhD. Associate Professor of History Cell) 616-915-4331/Office) 616-331-8699 stablers@gvsu.edu
1 Campus Drive Department of History Allendale MI 49401 616.331.3298

1 Campus Drive Department of History Allendale MI 49401 616.331.3298