As a teacher, from the very day you receive your, appointment letter, your employer and his representatives become your pen pals. As long as you remain in the service, you will write at least one form of letter before the end of every year.
It’s either you are writing to your Headteacher, the Circuit Supervisor, the District/Municipal Director, the Regional Director, or through them to the Director-General at the top.
Some of the letters we write often includes and not limited to?
- Acceptance letter
- Assumption of duty letter.
- Application for reactivation/reinstatement/ re-engagment
- Application for promotion /upgrade
- Application for casual leave/ study leave/anual leave /maternity leave /sick leave
- Application for transfers/change of management unit etc
However, whenever it’s time to write any of these letters, we are found wanting. Most embarrassingly, we go through so much to write, it gets handed back to us to go and do corrections.
Some of the most common reasons identified as why our letters get rejected include the following :
- Terrible grammar: Facts gathered from GES officers suggests that a chunk of teachers even though may have good self-expression, a lot more just can’t put pen to paper and communicate professionally in writing. It is a mark of credibility deficit as well as a dent in the teaching profession for a teacher to submit a letter which is replete with poorly constructed sentences and without respect to the subject-verb agreement (Concord) to the office of the Education Directorate. The lack of or inappropriate punctuations, spelling errors, and grammatical mistakes in our letters creates confusion as it corrupts the letter’s intended meaning. It is advised that you consider proofreading your letters thoroughly before you submit. If you don’t have command over the English language to identify grammatical loopholes, kindly hire a lawyer to assist you because there is no shame in admitting that you don’t know.
- Wrong/improper address. This has got many letters rejected than any other issue. If you are in doubt about who to address the letter to, please kindly find out first before you even attempt writing. For instance, currently, if you are applying for an upgrade, you have to address it directly to the director-general through the regional director through the district/municipal director.
- Missing unique identity details of the writer in the heading. These letters have special features attached to the heading that doesn’t conform to what we learned as formal letters. For instance, headings of letters coming to the office should bear the heading (eg Application for casual leave, the writer’s name, staff ID, registered number, SSNIT No. Etc). Any letter that does not follow the above format will be rejected.
- Use of informal language. Never write “Dear Sir/Madam”. Know the gender of your recipient. Contracted forms of words should be discouraged and make sure you go straight to the point. No long talk. The format of the letter should conform to what we know to be the GES standard. The language and its mechanics must be formal as expected. A subscription like “Yours sincerely” for your director is unprofessional even if the director is your side chick.
- Not following preferences /protocols laid down by your recipient. Someone directors state explicitly that, all letters to the district/municipal office should be written through the Circuit Supervisor or heads and they are to attach a memo before it reaches them. It is for a good reason though bureaucratic. Just Give them what they want to save yourself from frustration.
- Wrong use of technological terms. Words such as reinstatement, reactivation, re-engagement. Know what they mean with respect to GES human resource management and when to use them.
- Finally, improper dressing. As professionals, there is the need for us to dress properly whenever we are going to the GES Directorates for whatever reason because some of the officers and even Directors are very observant and critical of teachers dressing. There’s this embarrassing scene some time ago in Ejura-sekyeredumase municipality 2014. A teacher had come to submit a letter for upgrading to the rank of a principal superintendent. He was in long sleeves with the galamsey type of sleepers. He met the deputy director at the office of the registry.
Come and see how he was lambasted. The deputy director instructed the officer at the registry not to accept his documents until he appears as a professional teacher. “Go back and wash your dirt-stained clothes, iron them and dress properly before we accept your documents” he stressed.
Yes, many of them are critical about dressing. Dressing professionally tells a lot about your personality and will determine how people treat you- you dress the way you want to be addressed.
Do share – Selected letter samples to be treated later comprehensively. Anticipate.
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