It is with great pleasure that I write this letter of recommendation for Robert Lord. I have worked with Rob for over 15 years at Amherst-Pelham Middle School. I know him as a colleague and as a friend. When I think about Rob's strengths as a teacher, I think of his relationship with his students. It is through an understanding of that relationship that one can learn about Rob Lord, the teacher.
The quality of a teacher is often revealed through the quality of lessons, as well as by the success of his students. Rob takes the success of every student to heart. Rob is indefatigable, working with missionary zeal to patiently explain something still once again, maybe from a new angle or from a different perspective. Each student will receive his undivided attention whether it is in class, before or after school, even during lunch. Rob is a caring, thoughtful, enthusiastic instructor always managing to present his subject from a new perspective and in a more personal approach. Every student is also encouraged (sometimes corralled) to work one-on-one with Mr. Lord during class instruction.
One of Rob's strengths is differentiated instruction. He will not permit any child to fall between the cracks. The most challenging, recalcitrant, marginal and at-risk students thrive in his classroom. They respect and appreciate his efforts with them. They may initially resent his tenacity, but in the long run they know they are learning and succeeding because of his commitment to them. Rob tweaks each lesson for maximum effectiveness, tailoring his classroom activities to reflect and capture students' needs and interests, searching for one more pertinent example to illustrate a point. He has had assignments and tests translated into five languages to assist his ELL students. The ELL teachers ask specifically to work with Rob because of his ability to differentiate instruction.
Rob knows his students thoroughly. At parent meetings Rob can recite chapter and verse about every student's ability level, learning style and learning problems, strengths and weaknesses, and prescribe successful recommendations for that student's academic problem(s).
In spite of the fact that he has taught this subject for so many years, Rob spends countless hours scrounging for new and more effective methods and materials to present mathematics to even the most reluctant of learners. Rob is always looking for new angles, new ways to reach his students. He is always looking to connect current ideas and practices in the real world to his pedagogy. His many outside interests such as environmentalism, practical applications of mathematics in real life, carpentry, computer technology, canoeing and hiking are incorporated into his classroom lessons.
Former students visit his classroom often. Rob always remembers their names, recalls little anecdotes, exchanges high-fives and asks about their math classes. His friendly, humorous banter and ineffable good cheer are reminders of his concern for his students.
There is no teacher more knowledgeable, more talented or more resourceful than Rob Lord. He is the quintessential educator who is everything we would wish for as the educator of our children.
Stephen B. Guy Ed.D