When flipping through the freshly printed pages of any college application, you focus on your transcript, extracurricular activities and that essay you know you’re going to have to rewrite 70 times.
When you finally get around to the recommendations, it’s tempting to just hand them off to the first teacher you see and forget about them.
It is a better idea, however, to put forth a little more effort. Follow these guidelines for a good recommendation.
• Pick someone who knows (and likes) you. Maybe chemistry was your best subject. You had a perfect average all year, but your teacher doesn’t remember your name, or you served detention twice a week for texting in class. That teacher probably isn’t the best choice.
The same works in reverse. If you were a C student in history, but you had a close relationship with the teacher and he saw you working your hardest, he could be the best choice.
• Give your teacher a résumé. Remember that you have a hard enough time keeping track of your own schedule. Don’t expect a teacher or guidance counselor, no matter how close they are to you, to remember everything you do.
Make a brief résumé detailing your activities, awards, etc. They’ll appreciate it, and it can only help improve your recommendation.
• Hand it in early. Chances are, if a teacher is your top choice to write a letter, she is for others as well. By December, teachers will be inundated with requests. By beating the rush, you will get more time devoted to yours. And besides, do you really want a teacher writing your recommendation right after she writes the valedictorian’s?
• Thank them. You could be the most outstanding student a school has ever seen, but the teacher is still doing you a favor. Write a note thanking him for his time. No one wants to feel unappreciated, and who knows—you might need a recommendation from
Maddie Rochford is very excited to be a senior at Victor High School. In her free time, she enjoys tennis, sailing, windsurfing and listening to music.