High school teachers...recommendation letters

Discussion in 'General Education' started by GCKAY, Jul 23, 2009.

  1. GCKAY

    GCKAY Rookie

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    Jul 23, 2009

    Hey. For those of you who haven't seen my previous threads I'm a high school guidance counsoler. I have a question for high school teachers about their recommendation letters. This past year a few things have been brought to my attention. I'd like to smooth out some of the problems for this upcoming year.

    Our head of guidance department gives us forms for guidlines for all things applying to college including obtaining recommendation letters to give out to our juniors (end of the school year) and seniors (beginning of the school year) (so yes, they get it twice but most of them need it twice b/c they lose it at least once). Anyway some of the problems I've come accross:

    1. I've actually had SEVERAL parents call me to complain that they do not wish to give their child's social security number out to the teachers who are writing the letter. (I've never really recieved complaints before this past year but I actually got more than a couple of calls about this during the past year). Does your school tell the kids to give you their SS#s to put at the top of rec.s? I'm wondering if this is something I should talk to my boss about to eliminate...I think the main reason for this is the teachers mail the letters themselves separate from what I mail (transcripts) and what the students mail (applications). I guess I could suggest the teachers give the letters to me and the other counsolers so we can mail it with the transcripts. Is that what your school does? Then again, I think the reason it was worked out this way is so that the teachers can work to their own deadlines. And, in talking to my colleagues only about 10-15 out of maybe 500-600 or so students' parents complained. What is your school policy on this?

    and

    2. I usually tell the kids to ask their teachers and have their stamped envelopes ready in September. HOWEVER I actually had a few kids report that teachers said no because they were already bogged down with too many...would you rather some kids ask you at the end of Junior year (if they know where they're applying) so that you have the summer? I plan on maybe taking a poll from teachers at my school when they return for this upcoming year...


    Thanks. So sorry for the rambling, I'm exhausted but can't sleep. haha.
     
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  3. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Jul 23, 2009

    I write a lot of letters every year (but we only have senior classes with 60 or so students).

    1. I've never put a SS# on a letter. Even when I've been given a form from the university to complete or an online form, I have never been asked to record a SS#.

    2. I wouldn't want to write a letter for a junior for college ...
     
  4. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Jul 23, 2009

    I've never put a SS# on a letter, either. That's the students' job to do if it's on there, not me. It should be done before I get it.

    I would also rather not write a letter for a junior. If a teacher says no, sometimes it's because they don't have anything nice to say, not because they are bogged down. Or sometimes, teachers just don't feel like writing them. That's why they should be prepared to ask several teachers.
     
  5. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    Jul 24, 2009

    I take some at the end of Junior year for my APUSH kids.
     
  6. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jul 24, 2009

    Our kids request the letters from teachers in spring of their Junior year. The letters are due back to guidance before school lets out in June. Worst case scenario, a teacher who is really bogged down can get to them over the summer.

    When the kids are done with their applications, guidance sends the whole guidance file-- those letters, grades, and so on.

    As to the social security number, it seems to me that they're trusting us with a whole lot more than that information by leaving their kids with us all day for 4 years. We're not strangers; we're the people they've entrusted with their kids' well being and education. The colleges want the social security number-- it's the way of identifying who is who. If the parents want the letters to go out to the right schools, it seems they'll have to give a little on this issue. (Besides, if I wanted a kid's social security number, I'm pretty sure I could find it in his guidance file, couldn't I?? )
     
  7. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    Jul 24, 2009

    As other have posted, I have never recorded nor asked students SS#. Our process is to return the letters to guidance in a sealed envelope and I don't think I have ever been asked anything about SS#'s when filling out online apps.

    Like others, I don't think I would write a letter for a junior. I have never been asked so I won't say I would never write a letter for a junior. Really, I can't imagine many of our juniors been so pro-active to start thinking about letters in their junior year :)
     
  8. dcalhoun

    dcalhoun Companion

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    Jul 24, 2009

    Most schools give students ID numbers. I do not know any school that still does SS numbers or requires them in that manner.
     
  9. iluvteachin

    iluvteachin Rookie

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    Jul 24, 2009

    The way our school works - we set up files. Sophomore year the students are asked to get one teacher assessment. Junior year, the students are asked to get one teacher assessment and the name of 2 teachers who would be willing to write them a college recommendation senior year. The teachers are allowed to say no AFTER saying yes to 30 students.. (some teachers will do it anyway so that's why they have the choice).

    Then when the students have decided what college(s) they are applying to senior year, they go up to the teacher with the stamped envelope and form if necessary to have them do that.

    The counselor is responsible for putting together the file (transcript, assessments, and an informational paragraph they wrote about the student... along with the student's resume the students made) and mailing it to the college... it is not required at many colleges but it is good preparation for the student and it helps the college see more about the student.

    HTH.
     

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