In grad school, I taught a couple classes and got good student evals. But no faculty member was really involved in overseeing my instruction.

Now I'm applying to faculty jobs, and I see a few of them ask for recommendation letters where one of the letters should focus on my teaching ability. But I'm not sure how anyone could evaluate this. Who should I ask? The graduate director, who gave me the teaching assignments? My thesis advisor, who doesn't know anything about how I teach but maybe would be kind enough to say something nice anyways?

1 Answer 1


I would ask the graduate director, department chair for academics, or whoever oversees the classes you taught. They can put context around your evaluations. “This class is always hard to teach because of Y, but Madden didn’t have these types of complaints, and in fact students said Z in their evals.” You don’t want your main advisor to do this, as they will need to focus on your research in their letter.

In the future, you should have someone observe one class per course you teach to write these types of letters. If you are teaching anything this fall, get an observer in there and then have the letter written by them.

When you ask the letter writer, make sure they have access to all your relevant evals, course materials, and course website if still available.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .