Writing recommendation letters

Discussion in 'High School' started by peachacid, Nov 17, 2008.

  1. peachacid

    peachacid Companion

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    Nov 17, 2008

    I was asked by a student to write a college recommendation letter, and I said I would as I know she doesn't have many others to turn to. The problem is that she is by no means a good student, and I don't know what to write. Does anyone have any ideas?

    Thanks!
     
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  3. Alisha

    Alisha Cohort

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    Nov 17, 2008

    Don't lie in the letter, find good qualities about her and focus on those. A lot of universities want more than just a student who gets As, they want someone who contribute to their society.If you told her you would write it there must be something good to focus on. Is she a hard worker at least? Was there ever a specific project or something that she did particularly well on? A time that she had creative ideas or insightful comments?

    I am not sure if you found this helpful, but good luck either way!
     
  4. midwestteacher

    midwestteacher Cohort

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    Nov 18, 2008

    I have also focused on the good qualtities "While Lucy may not get all A's, she is one of the hardest working students in class and things just don't come as easily for her as they may for other students. I admire her hard work and go-getter attitude." I actually had a student as for a recommendation one time that was a total pain in class and basically did the minimum required. "Steve has lots of potential and I would like to see him work up to his potential one day."
     
  5. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Nov 18, 2008

    I still remember when my mother (who taught at my high school) was asked to write a letter for one of those kids who always got by on looks and charm. "What am I supposed to write, that he looks good in a suit? That's about all I can say!"

    Obviously, there was a LOT I heard in my house that I didn't convey to my classmates and vice versa. :whistle::angel:
     
  6. trina

    trina Companion

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    Nov 20, 2008

    Here is a blurb from my rec I sent in for a middle schooler trying to get into a good high school:

    It is my pleasure to recommend J** P***** to your school. She is a very hardworking student. J*** possesses many traits that a teacher wants to have in her classroom. She has a strong sense of self determination. Jazmine has been blessed with a family who has high standards, so in turn, she has high expectations for herself. She comes to class prepared and always has her homework.
     
  7. ELA 11 12

    ELA 11 12 Companion

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    Nov 20, 2008

    Students are not entitled to a letter, as such you should not feel obligated. Tell her that you haven't seen enough academic motivation to fill her request.

    I am in your same position several times a year...what's worse is when the students have only been in my class for a few months and ask and the only reason they are asking me is I am the closest bonding teacher at that time. They generally never formed a relationship with any others.

    Community colleges do not typically as for such letters, and you may be doing that student a financial favor by indirectly guiding her to that path.
     
  8. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Nov 20, 2008

    Above all, be truthful. Admissions officers can read between the lines. If all your adjectives are lukewarm, they'll understand why.

    Anytime I've ever been in that position, I've been honest with the kid: "You know that I'll have to say that you barely passed my class, right? I can say that I like you a lot, but cannot lie and pretend that you worked harder than you did. Do you still want me to write the letter, or could you get a better one from another teacher?"
     

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