When students first began asking me to write letters of recommendation for their college application packets, fear clenched my stomach. What if my letter hurt their chances to get accepted to the college of their dreams instead of helping them? I spent hours and hours on each letter to make sure that I showcased each student honestly and succinctly.
The stress mushroomed with each request until I decided to analyze the letters that I had written and compile a How To list along with sample letters for three types of students: Superior, Above Average and Average. After over two decades of fulfilling this professional duty,
I have put together a packet to help my colleagues. This seven-page posting includes: qualities to address such as: Academic, athletic and personal prowess; points to consider, especially for students whose academic record could benefit from an educator's viewpoint; what to avoid as well as what to include; a basic letter format, and a list of adjectives and phrases to guide teachers though the process.
At the end of this offering are three sample letters to show how all of these points can be meshed into a cohesive letter: one each for superior, above average and average students. After using the information in this packet, teachers will be able to write a personal, yet concise and specific letter for any student without experiencing any trepidation.
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