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Innisfree

Letters of recommendation

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What do you do if your kid would like to ask a particular teacher for a LOR, but the kid is not yet ready to apply?

 

Dd15 is in 10th grade. She's had this teacher for two online classes this year and an additional semester of work at the beginning of 8th grade. She will not have the opportunity to have the teacher again, since she's finishing the sequence of classes that the teacher instructs.

 

I'm sure online teachers can't remember all their students a year+ later. I wouldn't expect any teacher to remember all the details.

 

How would you handle this?

Edited by Innisfree

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I think that she would be better off with a more recent recommendation. 

 

If she wants to have this one in her pocket just in case, the teacher can write it now and then do one of two things: either seal it in an envelope and sign across the flap, or simply save it on her computer. 

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Okay, thanks. Does it matter if most of her other teachers will only have her in a single class?

 

No, it's pretty common. It may be ideal to have a rec from someone who has taught you over multiple classes, but that's frequently not the student's choice anyway (they don't determine who teaches their classes). 

 

My oldest had one academic rec from someone who taught her two classes (foreign language), a second academic rec from someone who taught her one class (college composition), and then a non-academic rec from someone she had known much longer (drama teacher who both taught her and then used her as a volunteer for other classes). 

 

My youngest has both academic recs from people who taught her one class only, and actually the same subject (college composition). They were pumped about writing them and helping her out, so we didn't worry about variety. Her non-academic rec was the same drama teacher and situation as above. 

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Many teacher recommendations come from teachers who only teach the student a single time.  Unless a student is doing advanced work or has done a significant project with a teacher, I would lean toward using 11th grade teachers as LOR.  (Of course, this depends on how competitive the school you are applying to.  The admissions counselors at many schools do not have the time to analyze all of this for each applicant.)

 

I would suggest that she send an email to the teacher saying how much she has enjoyed her classes, what she thinks she has learned from the classes, what she is thinking that her college goals will be and saying that she hopes that the teacher will consider writing a LOR when the time comes.  Then the teacher can decide if she wants to write something now or if she wants to file this away (and any notes she wants to jot down) to serve as a reminder to who your daughter is when the time comes.

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