I just finished my second rec letter of the school year, and I thought I'd share what I give to students when they ask me to write a recommendation letter. It's nothing fancy, but it (usually) gives me a lot of good info to go on.
A few notes:
- Students must ask me in person to write a letter.
- If I get an email from an outside source saying a student has request a recommendation, but the student has never talked to me, I simply wait for the student to tell me what it's about. If the student never does, the student doesn't get a letter from me.
- If the student (or student's parent) emails me, I respond by saying something like, "Please see me after class. I require all students to talk to me face-to-face if they are requesting a recommendation letter. I also have a short form for you to fill out."
- I try to get these written as quickly as possible. Weekends are my time to write them. I limit myself to 2-3/weekend. But, if I haven't hit that limit, I generally do write the letter that same weekend. I don't like having these hang over me.
- I dread writing rec letters. I dread it so much. They can be very stress-inducing for teachers especially when we know our kids have incredibly lofty goals. That said, once I start writing a letter, I have so much fun with it. It's really enjoyable to get to brag on the amazing kids we have. Furthermore, it's a true honor to be asked to write these, I think.
Please copy and paste these questions as well as your answers into an email (send to [my email address here]). The more details or specific examples/stories you provide, the better letter I can write for you.
· Full name as you want it in your letter
· Unweighted GPA
· Weighted GPA
· School activities and clubs (include any special recognitions, service hours, etc., if applicable)
· Non-school activities, volunteer positions, jobs, etc.
· What do you consider to be your greatest strength and why?
· What do you want to study in college and why?
· What is an obstacle you have faced in the past or are currently facing and how has it shaped you?
· Name a hero of yours (personal, historical, or fictional) and explain your answer.
· Any experiences that stand out during your time at Union?
· Anything else that would be important for me to know?
And that's it. Again, nothing fancy, but it's the best thing that's worked for me after a few years of writing a lot of letters.