formerly filed under CURRENT DEMONSTRATED ABILITY
When a former student, John Patton, requested a reference for University; on a whim, I suggested that he could send me one too in 1984. I didn't expect to hear back. He did respond and here is what he wrote in what many consider to be a writing style superior to many teachers:
I am a Grade 12 student at Hillside Secondary School where I have known Mr. Callow for four years as a Social Studies teacher and debating coach. I was in his Social Studies 8, History 10, and Geography 11 classes.
I would look forward to Mr. Callow's classes as I enjoyed his lectures and found his essay assignments challenging and interesting. Mr. Callow's style was unique because he emphasized the importance of interpretation and analysis of materials as opposed to simple, rote memorization. The many essays I was asked to write for him each term gave me a valuable opportunity to practice and improve my writing ability. There are few teachers willing, as Mr. Callow was, to assign and mark frequent written assignments. He was also very well organized, his classroom was neat, and his students were well disciplined. In this way he provided all his students with a sound environment for learning. He covered the course materials thoroughly so that by the end of each semester I found myself exceptionally well prepared for the final examination.
Mr. Callow sponsored and coached the Hillside School Debating Club of which I was an active member. He was very dedicated in this capacity and worked with us lunch hours and after school many days a week, helping us to practice and prepare for upcoming debates. His efforts were rewarded since Hillside teams usually placed very well.
Both inside the classroom and outside, I found Mr. Callow to be a teacher who cared about his work and was always willing to help people who were willing to help themselves.
ADDENDUM: After being laid off in 1985, I showed the above letter to a head office Union representative whom claimed the last line was veiled criticism of myself as a teacher in that 'I was not a teacher for all students'. In my defense, I claimed that my mark distribution for all of my students was in line with other teachers. (The term Current Demonstrated Ability was undefined in the imposed BILL 35 under which I was laid off or anywhere else in law letting a 'hanging judge' decide what a 'hanging event' should be = anarchy)