Often colleges ask for letters of recommendation from your teachers or counselors as part of your college application. These letters help the college understand what kind of a student you are. Therefore, your letters of recommendation should demonstrate your work ethic and eagerness to learn. Here are a few important steps to ensure that you get a great letter of recommendation!
Demonstrate a Positive Attitude Towards Learning
All teachers like students who come to class willing to participate and learn something new. Missing class, showing up late, or being rude to your peers and teachers will make your teachers question your work ethic. On the other hand, having a positive attitude in class will demonstrate to your teachers that you are eager to learn, and your teachers will be sure to write about that in your letter. Make sure that your letter will reveal that you have the characteristics that universities and colleges are looking for!
Build Friendly Relationships with Teachers
Obviously, every single teacher you have may not be your favorite; therefore, it is important to build a rapport with your favorite teachers. Remember, teachers are there to support you, so don't be afraid to meet some of them outside of class. If you like something the teacher did for you, make a point to let them know! Your teachers won't mind the appreciation; however, make sure you do not become a "teachers pet" because then, your efforts may no longer seem genuine. When deciding who to ask for a letter, you may gravitate towards teachers that have given you good grades. However, if you don't have strong personal relationships with those teachers, they may not give you the best letters. Rather, teachers who know you well personally will be excited to write you great letters of recommendation.
Ask Ahead of Time
It is crucial to ask your teachers for letters of recommendation ahead of time so that they have enough time to write thoughtful, inspiring letters. You can consider asking your teachers at the end of your junior year and following up with them in the beginning of your senior year. Do not make the mistake of asking them the week before applications are due as doing so will make you seem irresponsible and the teacher will be rushed.
Express Your Thanks
Remember to follow up with your teacher with a thank you note or email. It is important to recognize the favor they have done for you. It will also leave a good impression on your teachers and make them even happier to have helped you!