By the time your high school career starts to wrap, you’ve likely had dozens of teachers. Some of them were probably great, and some – not so much. With any luck, however, you had at least one or two who had some sort of profound impact on you, either by turning you on to a new subject matter, helping you navigate through the stressful ins and outs of the high school social stratosphere, or just generally inspiring you to discover your potential. (For you freshmen, sophomores, and juniors, now is the time to start cultivating meaningful encounters with your teachers. You’ll enhance your high school experience and your future college admissions recommendation as well.)
These teachers are, undoubtedly, the ones you should solicit for a college recommendation letter. Beyond selecting an educator that you think very highly of, consider choosing someone who might know you beyond the classroom. For instance, perhaps one of your teachers also doubled as your tennis coach or lived on your block throughout your childhood. If a teacher appreciates you on a personal level that extends beyond your academic performance, this will shine through in the letter and work in your favor. Be sure to select at least one teacher who taught you in a college prep subject. While you may have received an A+ in, say, basket weaving, this hardly holds the same degree of relevance as a glowing recommendation from your instructor in Algebra II or Advanced French. Be sure to check with each school you apply to and see if they have any particular requirements or specifications as far as the recommendation letter goes – some likely will.
Finally, as we instructed in an earlier post, timing your recommendation letter request is super important. Choose the creator of your teacher recommendation letter carefully, and give your teacher ample time to sing your praises to enjoy that extra edge that just may make the difference between your application’s landing in the “accepted” pile and landing in the recycle bin.