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March 28, 2017

To Whom It May Concern:

It is with great enthusiasm that I write this letter of recommendation on behalf of Dr. April Conway. Dr.
Conway was my professor for my ENG 4840 Foundations of Teaching Writing course at Bowling Green State
University during the fall semester of 2016. From the first day of class, I was impressed by her innate passion
for writing, learning, and genuine concern for students personal and academic success.
As an aspiring language arts middle childhood educator, I was quite interested in discovering how to make
writing an intellectually-stimulating, yet liberating experience for students. Prior to taking ENG 4840, I felt that
teaching writing would be somewhat difficult, considering students negative dispositions formed in previous
years. Similar to many of these students, I did not see how writing could be fun and academically-driven in a
classroom setting. However, Dr. Conway provided a refreshing alternative to traditional writing instruction. Her
teaching philosophy, coupled with the course textbook, Teaching Adolescent Writers by Kelly Gallagher
helped to ground my personal teaching pedagogy.
As the course progressed, I found myself particularly interested in the following elements of her teaching
philosophy: teaching writing as a process, not a product, the importance of teacher and peer feedback, as well
as exposing students to real-world elements through practical application. Every week, we were required to read
a chapter from the course text, and participate in online and in-class discussions. Particularly in our discussion
boards, Dr. Conway would provide clear, yet detailed feedback, which was both constructive and genuine. In an
effort to spur forward thinking, she would pose meaningful questions that encouraged metacognition and
creativity. In class, she encouraged discussions that were focused, yet student-led.
I was also fascinated with the diversity of our course assignments. For example, at the beginning of the
semester, we were asked to interview a current writing instructor of our choice, discuss their teaching
philosophy and recommendations for teaching writing, and write an essay comparing or contrasting our
philosophies. This assignment afforded me the opportunity to have an in-depth conversation with one of my
favorite professors at the university, who was also a veteran reading and writing teacher. After completing this
assignment, Dr. Conway commented on how well I was able to synthesize our pedagogies, as well as
incorporate a source that we had used previously in class.
As I prepare to take on the seemingly insurmountable challenge of teaching adolescent writing, I will remember
the encouraging words and guiding principles of Dr. Conway. I am equipped to de-bunk the negative
stereotypes associated with traditional writing instruction, and ready to adopt teaching strategies suited for
optimal student success. Due to her comprehensive knowledge of effective teaching strategies and dedication to
student growth, I have no doubt that she would be a significant asset to your institution. Should you have any
questions or require additional information, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Sincerely,

Jada Thompson
Middle Childhood Education Major (Language Arts/Social Studies)
Class of 2018
jadat@bgsu.edu

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