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April 16, 2013

To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing this letter to give my strong recommendation for Ms. Nicole McIntyre. Nicole will
graduate from the University of Michigan Undergraduate Elementary Teacher Education program
in May 2013. I have been fortunate to work with Nicole in numerous roles. I have been Nicoles
professor for two literacy methods courses as well as a multicultural education course. I have
also been Nicoles field instructor during her one-year internship at Scarlett Middle School in the
Ann Arbor Public Schools, beginning in September 2012. In this setting, Nicole has worked
predominantly in her major area in a 7th and 8th grade language arts classroom. During my time
as Nicoles field instructor, every week I have either observed Nicole teaching, or I have
interacted directly with her to discuss her teaching. Based on this extended time that I have
worked closely with Nicole in the field, and the two years across which I have been her professor
for various courses, I recommend her enthusiastically, and without reservation.

As a student in each of my courses, every assignment that Nicole submitted was exceptionally
well-argued and presented. Nicole was required on several instances to engage in a close
analysis of a complex text and then prepare a lesson that supported her students across varied
grades to engage with that complex text. I observed Nicoles instruction either first-hand or via
video for these assignments; and in each instance her instruction was exceptional. Her students
were highly engaged and well-behaved; and Nicole was extremely attentive and substantively
responsive to student comments. I have been struck by the fact that Nicole had the aptitude to
engage and connect with both young children, as I have observed her work with kindergarteners,
and with middle school aged children. She conveys a strong understanding of childrens
development as she is able to adapt her instruction and teaching persona for children of different
ages quite fluidly.

In all the courses where Nicole was my student, her work ethic was second to none. She
embraced all assignments with a spirit of eagerness and interest. I recall one particular
assignment where I asked students in my literacy methods course to design a literacy
assessment of student work that integrated technology. This was the final project for the course,
and many students approached it with exhaustion instead of enthusiasm. Nicole was the
exception. She rose to the occasion and welcomed the assignment as an opportunity to be
creative. Her final project involved the design of a video-based diary that middle school students
would create from the perspective of a character in a novel. She created a prototype of the
technology and excitedly shared her product with her peers, other instructors and me. I will
always recall the contagious sense of fun with which Nicole took on the role of a character in
Uglies by Scott Westerfeld in the video diary. She both enjoyed the assignment as well as thought
carefully about the ways in which it could serve as a reliable assessment of childrens learning.

As I have gotten to know Nicole more personally as her field instructor, I have observed her
planning for ongoing instruction in a continuous way. Nicole is an educator who thinks far in
advance about her teaching. She plans lessons and materials in a coherent way, looking for
opportunities to present information very clearly and in engaging ways. She deliberately works to
tap generational interests of her students, for example by calling upon topics that overlap with
their musical interests. She also consistently tries to design learning opportunities that are active,
collaborative and often infuse educational technology. She is eager to try new methods of
instruction and pursues new ideas in an inspired way. For example, when she recently learned
about two new technologies, she immediately investigated and experimented with them, and
then identified ways she could integrate them meaningfully into a rich science fiction unit of
study. This is a classic Nicole move getting excited about something and giving it a try right

Nicole is very much in her element at Scarlett Middle School. I have worked closely with teachers
and administrators at Scarlett for three years as a member of the planning committee for the
Mitchell Scarlett Teaching and Learning Collaborative (MSTLC), a partnership across the
University of Michigan School of Education and Ann Arbor Public Schools. The Scarlett student
community is racially, linguistically and socioeconomically diverse. While this diversity brings
many assets to Scarlett, I also know very well the challenges that Scarlett faces with regard to
the relatively lower achievement of its students in comparison to other schools in the district.
Nicole is undeterred by these challenges. She faces her work there with freshness and optimism
every day. She hold herself to a high standard for keeping all students attentive and engaged.

I am very, very confident that Nicole will excel as a teacher. She will be the kind of teacher that
observes and listens to her students carefully, assessing their needs with a keen eye. She will
take the time to design instruction that is engaging, exciting and effective for students of all
backgrounds. But her work will not end with the design and delivery of instruction. Nicole is the
kind of teacher who will be consistently reflective upon her work, always seeking opportunities
for continued growth as an educator, and inspiring others along the way. Please do not hesitate
to contact me if I can be of any further assistance.


Debi Khasnabis, Ph.D.
Clinical Assistant Professor of Education
University of Michigan, School of Education
610 East University, Room 1302E
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1259