For the most part in applying for online teaching positions I have listed my previous employment and that was sufficient. In a recent application I was required to supply three references. I did not know it was going to be so hard.
One colleague gave me a glowing reference even remember contributions I had long forgotten but it took them three weeks to respond to the query. Another colleague had fallen ill and was not able to work for some weeks and as such unable to even get email as they have been depended on work for this resource. A third contact is traveling and has spotty Internet access but has assured me that as soon as they return to the states they will respond. I have their apologies.
Not wanting to depend on just these three, I went through my phone book. I really did not realize that so many years had passed. I found that about 5 people had expired. About 7 others had moved. The phone was disconnected and no other number was available in the phone book. A few others had an assortment of illnesses related to memory, mental ability and other debilitation that prevented them from doing much of anything non essential to their survival. I did however find one that was happy to hear from me and had no problem giving me a reference I simply had to write it. This was not a problem.
What I want to know is if this has happened to any one else and what did they do? I asked the school if I could contact past employer for a recommendation and they said no. I have never heard of this. Can any one explain why this could not be used?