Letters of recommendation are described as “expert testimony.” I am including a field specific letter of recommendation that may be accessed through the drop down menu. The letter is from Dr. Corri Wells, my instructor for an internship at Arizona State University. Dr. Wells was the coordinator for The Pen Project which was a creative writing venture between Arizona State University and The State of New Mexico prison system. As an intern in that program I was able to work anonymously with prisoners in the New Mexico prison system and critique their writings.
The Pen Project interns regularly met together to collaborate to promote learner growth and development. Interns could share writing samples in order to receive feedback from peers regarding the critique process. This activity supports InTASC Standard 1(c): The teacher collaborates with families, communities, colleagues, and other professionals to promote learner growth and development.
As part of the writer assessment it was important to consider the inmates cognitive, linguistic, social, and emotional development. Dr. Wells states that “Gloria’s critiques of the inmate writing were among the most practical and wise during the four semesters I taught the internship.” This attention to the needs of the inmates supports InTASC Standard 1(e): The teacher understands that each learner’s cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional, and physical development influences learning and knows how to make instructional decisions that build on learners’ strengths and needs.
Inmates were writing creatively, and as the primary editor of their work it was essential to understand those processes. A strong comprehension and application of the creative process supports InTASC Standard 5 (o): The teacher understands creative thinking processes and how to engage learners in producing original work.
Dr. Williams stated that “Gloria has excellent skills delivering instruction and planning lessons, and she is committed to student achievement.” These are core tasks for a teacher. Dr. Williams also wrote that “Gloria is first and foremost a teacher of students and will thrive in any classroom environment,” which supports InTASC Standard 3(p): The teacher is committed to supporting learners as they participate in decision-making, engage in exploration and invention, work collaboratively and independently, and engage in purposeful learning.
ISTE NETS-T Standards
The Pen Project was a digital community with all communication between Arizona State University and The New Mexico Correctional department taking place in an online environment. The interns net face to face on a weekly basis to collaborate. Working in these environments demonstrates alignment with ISTE NETS-T Standard 3(b): Collaborate with students, peers, parents, and community members using digital tools and resources to support student success and innovation.