How and when do you ask teachers to write a recommendation letter?
About 5 to 6 weeks prior to your college application deadline when you are a senior in HS, you make contact with your teachers and HS counselor and formally ask them in person if they will write a recommendation for you. While it's the HS counselors job to do so, it's better if you ask anyway. Then when you apply to colleges, you send them required recommendation form 3-4 weeks ahead of the deadline so they have enough time to complete the task.
Since you are a freshman, the most important thing you can do for the next 2-3 years is make good connections with your teachers and get to know your HS counselor. Too often, HS student fail to forge meaningful relationships with their teachers and when they need them to write recommendations, there are unfortunately in a bad place since other students may have invested their personal time and energy to get to know their teachers and recommenders better. So it's entirely possible that if you do not work on this aspect of your college application, other peers and student who are perhaps not even the best students, will curate better recommendations because you didn't bother to treat this aspect of your admissions seriously or with much strategy.
Once they complete the recommendation, it's often a nice gesture to write them a thank you note. Some people send them a Starbucks gift card or something small like that just as a thank you. This is not a bribe. This is a token of appreciation for them getting your recommendation to the colleges on time without delay.
Hey, so this usually depends on your relationship with your teacher. If this teacher knows you really well (and you get along with him/her), you could ask them on your break-time, after your classes, or... even through whatsapp (ONLY if you really get along with them). But, if you want a Rec letter from someone who does not know you that well, I guess that the most appropriate way is after a Class. Nevertheless, you could also use Gmail (to be a little but more formal).
Recommendation letters don’t just have to come from teachers. They can also come from your employer/ people who have seen you grow and develop your personal characteristics. For example, if you were in scouting and participated in a lot of volunteering/ leadership positions, you could ask your scouting leader to write a recommendation for you. Recommendation letters just have to be from people that know you well, and can comment on how you have grown as a person. Like the other comments said, make sure to ask them in-person, give them enough time to write it, and thank them. I hope this helped.
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