FROM (former) Assistant Principal, Arts Academy Charter Middle School
To whom it may concern,
It is without hesitation that I recommend Barbara Bjerring for a position in your organization.
Mrs. Bjerring joined the Arts Academy Charter Middle School mid-year and was tasked with improving student behavior in her 5th and 6th grade Visual Art classes. She came to the school with a wealth of knowledge and experience in this area and quickly established herself as a teacher that was firm yet fair. She established a culture in her classroom that enabled students to focus on their art education and begin to express themselves in a comfortable learning environment.
The threat of COVID-19 forced the Arts Academy to move to a completely virtual learning model for over half of the school year. While many of her colleagues struggled with adapting to this new way of instructing, Mrs. Bjerring was able to quickly adapt her lessons and teaching style and served her students admirably. She was able to maintain her level of expectation for student performance through constant communication with her students and their families. In many conversations with other instructors, I would often use Mrs. Bjerring as an example of how we wanted our teachers to function in the virtual learning setting.
In my brief time as Mrs. Bjerring’s supervisor, I witnessed her growth as an instructor. Mrs. Bjerring and I spoke frequently about the successes and challenges she was experiencing in her classroom. Mrs. Bjerring was eager for feedback and was quick to implement any suggested changes to her lessons or classroom management. Mrs. Bjerring quickly established positive relationships with her colleagues, as well. In faculty or small group meetings, she is quick to ask questions when she has them and offers her observations to those that are seeking guidance. She has been an invaluable member of the Arts Academy faculty since she joined.
I believe that Mrs. Bjerring would be a welcomed addition to any classroom or school position that she is seeking. Mrs. Bjerring’s dedication to improving as an educator and her willingness to help students and fellow staff members alike makes her a strong candidate for any position and will make her an invaluable addition to your faculty. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at 610-360-6774 or firstname.lastname@example.org
FROM Principal, Tinicum Art and Science
May 7, 2016
To whom it may concern,
Barbara has a clear focus and critical sensibility that she conveys well. Her students come to see art as a skill based, idiosyncratic, and critical interaction with culture, rather than a vague expressive activity that reflects “feelings”. She is their interlocutor, and I think it is obvious that most of her students internalize this sensibility.
She is respectful and supportive, to be sure. I think Barbara also would prefer to see herself as guiding the students towards personal expression along with some mastery of a critical process and the materials at hand. However, what I see is a strong artistic personality that creates a vast amount of working space for each student and then role models the use of that space, bringing to bear all her skill and energy. The students learn that the material and compositional choices an artist makes have real communication value. They learn the utility of structuring phases of a project and setting goals and deadlines.
Amidst this, Barbara also creates a strong context of historical and contemporary work, to be used as multiple points of reference for the student.
Barbara has been terrific as an art teacher and has grown considerably as a teacher and staff member.
Peter Ryan, M.Sc.