Advice From Inside, Recommendations

Advice From Inside: Teacher Recommendations

Posted on

Campus Bound counselors have decades of admissions experience. From time to time, we like to tap into that experience to provide you with the inside scoop.  This week we asked them to finish the following sentence…

“The best teacher recommendation is one that…”

  • …is not necessarily from the teacher you received an “A” from but rather from the class (teacher) you worked hard in, stayed after school with the teacher for extra help, and really earned your grade.
  • …knows you best and can vouch for your work ethic, determination and desire to succeed.
  • …captures the heart of the student in the classroom environment.  Since the teacher recommendation is intended to speak to the student’s involvement in the classroom setting, I want to know about their level of participation, ability to work with others and/or serve as a peer tutor in the subject, specific projects or papers that demonstrate the student’s ability to dig deeper and any independent experiences the student may have done to further their interest in the subject.
  • …talks about specific work (a project, a paper, a lab) that the student did in the class, and uses that as a springboard to discuss the student in a more general way.
  • …comes from a teacher who knows the student really well.  A teacher who is also a club advisor, coach, or friend, for example, or a teacher who saw a student struggle in class but work hard and never give up.  Those recommendations are much more illuminating than one from a teacher whose class the student breezed through easily, never requiring extra help or conversation.
  •  …is from someone who can speak to your sincere academic growth during your time in his or her class, as well as your wonderful personality.
  • …captures a student’s joy for learning, intellectual curiosity, and ability to engage in the material and subject.  The most helpful letters site specific examples of one or any combination of these qualities and leaves the reader feeling convinced that regardless of the grade earned in the that particular course, that the student is prepared for the next step in her/his academic journey.
  • …can speak to the student’s work ethic and commitment to learning.
  •  …should be from a teacher who knows you and your work ethic. Do your come to class prepared and ready to learn? Are you respectful of the teacher and your classmates, and attentive during class? Do you participate and ask for extra help if needed?
  • …provides an anecdote or two of a student’s effort and leadership in class.

Campus Bound is proud to employ many former college admissions counselors and college counselors with combined decades of experience in this field.  We are happy to assist with any step of the college application process.