Tag letters of recommendation

Building teacher/counselor relationships

Hoping to get a great recommendation letter for your college or scholarship applications?  It’s hard to write a recommendation for someone you don’t know.  It’s especially important to have strong relationships with your teachers and counselor but it might seem difficult to cultivate those relationships in the era of “home learning”.  How can you reach out to your teachers?  Here are 3 tips to building good relationships no matter what your school situation is.   

  1. Show Up!   Get to know your teachers/counselor and give them opportunities to get to know you.  Be sure to show up for required class meetings (online or in-person) and also take advantage of “office hours” or other chances to interact with your teachers.    
  2. Speak Up!  Make your voice heard by asking questions during class or after hours by email.  Share thoughts and ideas, ask for clarification if needed, and be an active participant.  Use your voice, even by email.  This lets the teacher know you are engaged and interested in their class.   
  3. Stand Out!  Make yourself known.  Let teachers know your interests and get to know theirs; you may find common ground.  Although many extracurriculars are currently suspended, stay connected with activity advisors and collaborate on new ways to be involved even when school is closed.  Teachers will take notice when you take initiative.      

Take Action 

  • Update your Activity Record in GuidedPath.  Be sure to list all your activities.  Who are the advisors for each activity?  Focus on getting to know your advisors better. 
  • Start adding teachers’ names to the Letters of Recommendation form in GuidedPath.   

read more

Teacher recommendations? First some self-reflection…

It will soon be time to ask your teachers and/or your counselor for letters of recommendations.  But before doing that it helps to have done some self-reflection.  Think about your three favorite classes on campus.  Answer the following questions about yourself and how you have performed in each class. 

What contributions have you made in class that this teacher could praise?  
Describe the ways you have made the class better.  Focus on specific contributions, including:  

  • Discussions 
  • Presentations 
  • Projects 
  • Essays 

What positive character traits have you displayed in this teacher’s class?
Which of the following character traits have you demonstrated in class: 

  • Integrity  
  • Independence 
  • Initiative 
  • Responsibility 
  • Maturity 
  • Respect 
  • Perseverance 
  • Attention 
  • Punctuality 
  • Going above expectations 

How have you used your intellect in this teacher’s class?
Describe ways you have demonstrated your love of learning in this class.  Can you describe how you have demonstrated each of these intellectual traits: 

  • Curiosity 
  • Connections 
  • Creativity 
  • Solutions 

What was challenging for you in this class?
Don’t just focus on the “easy” classes.  Think about some of your more challenging classes.  What was most challenging in this class?  Tests?  Assignments?  Course content?  

  • How did you overcome the challenge? 
  • How did you (or how can you) improve your performance? 

Reflect on your answers.  Would you change your “student style”?  How can you grow as a student and where can you ask teachers for help? 

Take Action
Record your answers to these questions directly in GuidedPath under the Optional section of the Recommendation survey.  Later, you will have concrete information to share with teachers when you ask for letters of recommendations or have essays to write. 

read more

Building teacher/counselor relationships

Hoping to get a great recommendation letter for college admission or a scholarship or even a summer program?  It’s hard to write a recommendation for someone you don’t know.  You need to have strong relationships with your teachers and counselor.  Here are 3 tips to building good relationships. 

  1. Face Time!  No – not that kind of FaceTime.  This face time is the time you spend in face-to-face contact with your teacher/counselor.  Make sure your counselor or teachers know you personally by being present and on time for class, appointments, or school activities.  Drop by the teacher’s room or your counselor’s office during lunch, breaks or after school.  Get to know your teachers/counselor and give them opportunities to get to know you. 
  2. Speak up!  Make your voice heard by asking questions in class.  Share thoughts and ideas.  Be an active participant in class or on campus.  Don’t be afraid to voice your thoughts or opinions. 
  3. Stand out!  Make yourself known.  Be involved in a club or student body activity.  Each activity has a faculty/staff advisor.  Get to know that person Pick 1-3 things that pique your interest and ba productive and committed member to those activities (rather than doing every activity available) Volunteer for leadership roles in those activities. 

Take Action 

  • Update your Activity Record in GuidedPath Be sure to list all your activities.  Who are the advisors for each activity?  Focus on getting to know your faculty advisors better. 
  • Start adding teachers’ names to the Letters of Recommendation form in GuidedPath.   

read more