Confidential Letters of Reference


This person applied to a district and sent in "confidential references."  These are reference forms that administrators and colleagues fill out and send in without you-- the applicant-- seeing. 

This person is afraid that her old principal might have said some negative things.


Personally, I would try to avoid confidential references at all
costs. I feel that you should be entitled to see what your
references are saying about you. And, if possible-- and if
you know the references well enough-- they should offer to
give you a copy anyway. (Which, I know they're not supposed
to do-- but the whole "secret" reference thing gives people
TOO much freedom to be brutally honest about your

Did the district require it or just recommend it? If they
require it, you have no choice but to go along with it. I
might even call a district and say, "I only have standard
letters of reference-- can I submit those?"

But... if it really is required... then:

1. Only get references from people you know and trust
really, really well.

2. Ask them if they can give you a copy (if you know them
well enough). I know you're not supposed to-- but ask

3. Tell people straight out-- I'm not comfortable with
confidential references. PLEASE say good things! (Chances
are, they will feel sympathetic towards your plea.)

4. Don't use a principal if you fear s/he might not say
super-awesome things. Go with a reference from another
teacher you've worked closely with instead.

Best of luck to you.

- Fireboat

Here's a good eBook that may help you on your job search.
There is a small reference to my HATRED of confidential
references in it. It also has cover letter and resume tips,
interview advice, and 50 common teacher interview questions
and answers. The eBook is at:

"Guide to Getting the Teaching Job of Your Dreams"

- Best people to turn to for references
- More rants about confidential references
- 50 Common Teacher Interview Questions (and Answers)
- Resume and Cover Letter Secrets
- Lots more

Original Post:

Teaching Interview .Com
The #1 eBook to Help You Find a Teaching Job

Guide to Getting a Teaching Job

50 Common Interview Questions & Answers

All About References and Letters or Recommendation

Sample Resume, Cover Letter, and Thank You Letter

What to do When School Districts Aren't Calling You Back for Interviews

Cover Letter and Resume Tips
Have you downloaded the eBook yet?

Guide to Getting a Teaching Job (eBook).