7 months ago
Admissions Advice

How do I get a teacher's recommendation?

Hello everyone, I am currently a sophomore in high school and incoming junior. Over the years I have heard how having a teacher's recommendation can be advantageous of getting accepted into your desired college. However, I have a few questions about teacher's recommendation. First, is teacher's recommendation a letter that shows that an individual is unique and a good student? Second, how do I get one? Do I have to ask the teacher that I want the letter from and does it have to be the year I have him/her? Third, I got a letter from my math teacher in my mailbox a couple of months ago during the 1st semester (Aug. - Dec.). It was me being on the Dean's List and I was wondering if this is similar to teacher's recommendation and if I can also put this on my resume? Thank you so much to the person reading and responding! :)


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2 answers

7 months ago

Teacher rec letters are exactly what they sound like, a letter from a teacher in which they talk about how you are as a student and good qualities they have come to know about you.

To got one you need to ask, preferably your junior year teachers. They are recommended as they are the last teachers that would of had you for a full year when you start your applications fall senior year. So try your best to be engaged in junior year and form meaning full relationships with them.

Another thing I would like to note is that it is not recommended you submit more than what is asked unless you are 100% sure the letter will do you good. Usually they will ask for rec letters from core subjects. They usually have the option of sending in at least one more so if you were really close with your Spanish teacher it could help you if they wrote you one.

As for being on the dean's list I'm not sure what that is so I would ask your school counselor about it and go on from what they say.


1. Rec letters are from teachers and describe what kind of student you are.

2. Ask the teachers you are closest to from junior year, make sure you try your best to from good relationships with them (especially in core subjects).

3. Ask an official from your school.

7 months ago

Hey there @Kasian!

How a teacher's recommendation works is not as complicated as you might think! Firstly, some schools--basically all of the top schools--require teacher recommendations to be sent in with your college apps. Top schools will often require two with the choice to send in more, while other schools may not require any but it is still good to send in a couple.

A teacher's recommendation to be sent to colleges does not have to be written by a teacher who you just had this past year. Rather, you should choose who to ask for a letter of recommendation by who you believe knows you best and in the most positive light. Choose a teacher who you really connected with--teachers who have also served as your advisor in some extracurricular usually fit this bill pretty well, and it doesn't even have to be a teacher with whom you scored really high in his or her class! Consider whether or not the teacher has seen your hard work and dedication, whether or not the teacher knows of your grit and determination to get into a good college, and whether or not the teacher understands your ambitions for the future. Afterall, they will have to write about these things in your letter or recommendation! So to answer your specific question: yes! a teacher's letter of recommendation is to demonstrate a student's individuality and uniqueness to a school!

Asking a teacher to write you a letter of recommendation is also not that difficult. Keep in mind that most teachers are very willing to, so don't get nervous or anxious asking them. If the teacher knows that he or she will not be able to demonstrate your best characteristics or just does not know you well enough to write about you, he or she will tell you, so don't be worried that they won't have anything to write about either! But I digress; I would recommend to ask for teacher recommendations around the Spring of your Junior year, especially if you know that the specific teacher may be overloaded with work or other students' letters of recommendation the coming fall. Do not first ask for letters of recommendation over email!!! Take the time and effort to see them after class or during lunch and politely ask them if they are willing to write you a letter of recommendation. They'll talk it through with you from there.

When asking teacher's for recommendations, also keep in mind to ask at least two teachers, but probably no more than four or five depending on how many schools you are applying to. You don't want to ask too many teachers for a letter and end up not using someone's letter at all. It would waste both the teacher's and your time, so be prudent.

Once you get the "Yes!" from your chosen teachers that they will write you a letter, how you send your school that letter depends on your high school. Your teachers may directly send their letter to the school physically, or your high school may use a program like Naviance like my high school does that allows for your to request letters from your teachers digitally and have them be sent that way. Either way, the letter will not pass through your hands, so don't stress too much about having to include it in your resume or anything.

Finally, yes, definitely include getting on the Dean's List in your college resume! I would get into the details of building a college resume, but that's a completely different question XD. As for whether or not you should ask that math teacher for recommendation, again, ask yourself: Does that teacher know you well enough?

Hope this helps somewhat, and good luck with everything!


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