Letter to the Editor: Do your outstanding teachers a solid

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A recommendation for those of you having had particularly good instructors this semester: Write letters explicitly acknowledging their practices (e.g., classroom decorum, assignments, grading procedures, availability, etc.) The more specific your observations the better. Generic “this teacher was cool” letters are easy to write but carry little weight. Length is not in itself convincing. Brief, detailed commendations (2-3 paragraphs) are sufficient.

Send or hand deliver your letters to department chairs, deans, and possibly the president as well. Be sure you sign and request in writing entry of your letters in their personnel files. These letters carry significant weight in affecting contract renewals, promotion, and tenure. These teachers, advisors, counselors, etc. will be more appreciative than you can imagine.

I plead with you, however, do not send letters of complaint. Bilious communications do nothing to improve performance and inevitably unsettles sender and recipient alike.

William R. Todd-Mancillas is a retired communication studies professor. He previously worked at Chico State.

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