College recs are not part of my written job description but I am more than happy to do them for you. However, there are some requirements I have that will make this process better for all of us.
1. Give me a two-week minimum lead time. Many times I have to write a detailed and thoughtful letter. Between meetings, lesson planning, teaching class, grading, and you know, the rest of my life, time is often limited. I need plenty of time so that I can schedule this. Besides, I am writing a recommendation letter where I have to attest to your responsibility. Think about making a good impression by adhering to this rule.
2. Make sure I have everything I need. If I am mailing in the rec, please provide me with an addressed and stamped envelope. Fill out all student information [the printed version of the UGA forms is notorious for being half-filled out].
3. Give me a “resume”. Even during the spring semester, I find out new things about you. I need to know what activities you do, jobs you’ve held, classes taken, ANYTHING that sets you apart. Which brings me to a delicate subsection of this one…
3 1/2. Stand out. I’m not saying you have to be someone you are not. But it is very difficult to write a letter about someone who basically just comes to class, sits quietly, and then leaves without ever really interacting that much with me. And trust me, the colleges can tell when I’m writing a vague letter. So interact with me, let me know about cool things you are up to.
4. Don’t EVER just drop materials on my desk especially without asking me to do the rec first. If you are reading this in the first week or two of school this won’t make sense. Give it another week. Then go look at my desk. It will make sense. And ask me! Don’t assume that I can do your rec. I am not responsible for lost materials if you didn’t hand them directly to me.
5. Be appreciative. I am NOT suggesting that you need to give me or any teacher a material gift. But a thank you note is always nice. ESPECIALLY if you got in to your dream school or got a full-ride scholarship and you’re pretty sure that my wordsmithing may have made a difference.
Please follow these guidelines and I’ll make sure that I do my best job for you.
Thanks! See some great resources below that can help you with college apps: