Juniors, this spring, you will ask two teachers to serve as recommenders for your college applications. The input these recommenders provide to colleges is one important component of your application. Students often ask, ‘how can I get a good recommendation letter,’ and the answer to this question is: ‘what you put in is what you get out.’


As part of their recommendation letters, teachers will complete an evaluation form that has a grid containing various metrics.  Some of these metrics are initiative, quality of writing, self-confidence, maturity, disciplined habits, concern for others, leadership, and integrity. The rating scale goes from a low of ‘below average’ to a high of ‘one of the top few students encountered in my entire career teaching’!  In addition to completing the rating scale, teachers will be asked to write a short essay explaining what differentiates a student from other students. 


As you can see, in order for a teacher to give you high ratings in the various metrics, the teacher must get to know you really well and YOU must bring your A-game to class.  You’ll want to work on making your mark throughout the course of the school year, not in March just prior to asking the teacher to write your rec letter.