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Dr.

Lori Czop Assaf


Associate Professor
Professor Study Abroad South Africa
Reading Graduate Coordinator
Director Central Texas Writing Project
Texas State University
601 University Dr.
San Marcos, Texas 78666
lassaf@txstate.edu
Dear District Administrator:
It is a pleasure to recommend Ms. Jenna Ross for an elementary teaching position
in your school district. Ms. Ross is a confident, caring, and a highly knowledgeable
elementary teacher who will prove to be an asset to your district. I got to know Ms.
Ross personally and professionally last summer when she participated in my study
abroad program in South Africa. During our time in South Africa, Ms. Ross worked with
English language learners in a township school in rural South Africa. Under my
supervision, Ms. Ross taught students how to brainstorm, draft, and publish a variety of
poems and then instructed the students on how to create digital stories based on their
writing.
I had an opportunity to watch Ms. Ross grow and mature as teacher in a few short
weeks and I was highly impressed with her confidence and reflective nature. Ms. Ross
demonstrated a genuine warmth and caring to all students. Because of her deep love
and respect for the students, Ms. Ross created personal connections encouraging
students to take risks and share their lives openly. Ms. Ross maintained high
expectations for her students yet supported them extensively by using effective ESL
strategies, respectful management procedures, and ongoing literacy assessment tools.
Ms. Ross has an exceptional understanding of ESL theories and practices and applied
her knowledge daily with the students in South Africa. She used visuals, language
experience methods, and helped students build on their first language while writing
their personal poems in English. Because we only had 45 minutes with each group of
students (15 in each group- total of 60-75 a day) and rigid program goals that required
we stay on task, Ms. Ross maximized instructional routines and procedures while
monitoring students behavior. Ms. Ross demonstrated an exceptional understanding of
language and literacy instruction as well as how to be culturally and linguistically
sensitive to all students. Overall, Ms. Ross is tenacious, strives to do her best, and holds
high expectations for herself and her students.

It is equally important to note that Ms. Rosss academic work is simply stellar. She
is extremely intelligent, has a curious disposition, and is constantly challenging her self
to learn more and grow as a teacher. She is also a leader and works well with fellow
group members. I observed Ms. Ross lead several discussions with her classmates and
articulate effective methods for teaching English learners. She was encouraging, knew
how to prompt her classmates appropriately and constantly used questions as a form to
deepen our discussions.
I am completely confident that Ms. Ross will be a successful teacher and that she
will be a valued member of any educational community she joins.
If I can be of any further help in your deliberations or answer any questions,
please feel free to call.
Sincerely,

Lori Czop Assaf