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Help with Recommendations

MagnesiumMagnesium Registered User Posts: 189 Junior Member
edited February 2010 in College Admissions
I'm currently a junior right now and I started thinking about my recommendations choices. However, I'm usually a quiet student and don't really actively participate in class especially if it's large, but I do listen intently. The only time i really talk is during seminars, labs, small group discussions, etc. My grades are pretty good, but most of the time, I feel like teachers do not even notice I exist. So I need help choosing teachers.

+Latin Teacher: had her for 3 years, maybe 4. I had her for a long time, but i don't think she really knows me, or I can't tell. The only time I talk is when she calls on me to translate passages or do exercises. I also usually have the highest grade in the class. She does give me good comments on progress reports, though.

+Physics teacher: I have asked him a few questions and talked a little to him one on one. He's a teacher that likes to engage with his students, so he does actually see me work and do problems in class and helps me if I have trouble. I'm also going to have him for Honors and AP physics. The problem is that his grammar and syntax is HORRIBLE and not very good speller, so I don't not know if that could be a huge issue.

+AP Lit teacher: I don't really talk in class discussions in class either because I don't feel comfortable sharing things. I do talk when we have to do pair/group work, but I'm not sure if she notices because I talk really quietly (or so most people think). But she might know me little better because she reads my writing and I've had a couple personal conferences with her before. She also has said she can write better than anyone she knows.

Please help me choose two out of the three teachers. Also, should I choose a teacher that I will have senior year, or will that teacher not have time to get to know me? And when should I ask these teachers?
Post edited by Magnesium on

Replies to: Help with Recommendations

  • NiteStrikerNiteStriker Registered User Posts: 239 Junior Member
    I'm also a junior. Personally, I'd go with your Latin and Physics teachers. I say your Latin teacher because you've had her for 4 years and it seems obvious that she at least knows your work habits. I'd also pick your Physics teacher because it seems like you've talked and interacted with him more than your AP Lit. teacher. I'm not exactly sure how bad his grammar is (I obviously haven't had him), but I don't think that colleges will hold that against you. It would be kind of silly to reject someone just because of that.

    Aside from that, at least consider the fact that you have a few more months before you apply for college. I suggest that you should try to interact with your teachers more.
  • kameronsmithkameronsmith Registered User Posts: 1,691 Senior Member
    She also has said she can write better than anyone she knows.
    That sounds awfully pompous.

    I'd recommend your Latin and Lit teachers. Unfortunately, a poorly written letter can hurt the applicant, even though it's not your fault. Teachers who can write better will be able to communicate your strengths better. Subconsciously, the admissions officer will appreciate reading a well-written letter and this will have positive effects for you.

    Try to get involved in Literature discussions and classes. At least in my class, there are a lot of opportunites for participation and, since it's literature, a lot of it is subjective. As long as you can articulate and support your points, the teacher will appreciate your involvement—even if she occasionally disagrees.
  • MagnesiumMagnesium Registered User Posts: 189 Junior Member
    Well the thing is...we don't really have literature discussions. The only opportunities for class participation is sharing something from a warm-up question and I'm not big on sharing...it's like elementary school where you share "what are are your ideas on this?", what do you like/dislike about that?"

    My physics teacher is actually really good at expressing ideas, obviously since he's one of the best teachers, but the grammar is just really, really bad, although you can still understand what he's trying to say. I'm not actually even sure if he really rights that bad, or he just makes a bunch of typos on worksheets and powerpoints.
  • NiteStrikerNiteStriker Registered User Posts: 239 Junior Member
    @kameronsmith
    I didn't think of it that way. I guess you're correct about that.

    @Magnesium
    I'm not sure what you can do about his grammar. Maybe you should consider other teachers, maybe some that you've had previously.
  • fishymomfishymom Registered User Posts: 1,849 Senior Member
    A poorly written rec could reflect poorly on you. The GC at my daughter's school warned us about choosing teachers to write recs, even nixed a few because they were poor writers. She seems to think that it does affect admissions.
  • MagnesiumMagnesium Registered User Posts: 189 Junior Member
    The GC actually told who were the poor writers? I'm really afraid it will affect my admission, but will having two teachers from same subject areas affect it too since i'm going to major in science. My AP Bio teacher right now is just horrible and I basically self study in that class. My chem teacher from sophomore year is unapproachable. I don't have good connections with a lot of my teachers because I didn't really like them....

    I was thinking of asking my APUSH teacher since I had her for two years also, except I don't participate in class discussions in that class since everyone requotes the book, which i think is pointless since I can just read the book myself. Also, she is an ultimate procrastinator and people who have gotten recs from her said they asked her on the first day of school, yet she still barely made the deadline. I think she will have to be my fourth choice though.
  • NiteStrikerNiteStriker Registered User Posts: 239 Junior Member
    Depending on which you're applying to attend, you won't be able to select two teachers who teach the same subject areas.
This discussion has been closed.