Is it ok if none of my teacher recommenders are from junior year?

I am a rising senior in high school (class of 2021) and I am struggling with which teachers to ask for a teacher rec. My junior year was basically cut in half since we were all sent home in March for remote learning and from there I only met with my teachers at most once a week.

I am currently struggling with which teachers to ask for a college letter of recommendation. I already know I want to ask my sophomore year English teacher since we got along really well and she’s probably my favorite teacher I’ve had throughout high school.

I also want to ask one of my math/science teachers, but I don’t think any of my STEM teachers from my junior year really got to know me very well. I normally open up more to my teachers towards the end of the school year, and I didn’t really get a chance to do that this year. I have good grades in my junior year STEM classes, but I don’t think I had a special connection or anything that really made me stand out to my teachers. I am thinking about asking my math teacher from sophomore year, who will also be my AP Calculus teacher this upcoming year (my senior year)- I spent lots of time with him after school and he definitely knows me better than my other STEM teachers.

I know it’s highly advised to have at least one junior year teacher recommendation, but given the circumstances do any of you have advice with what I should do? Thanks so much :slight_smile:

I think asking the math teacher is fine, especially since you will have them again this year.

I think this is one of those pieces of conventional wisdom that is about to be turned upside down by covid. Double check the websites of colleges to which you intend to apply in order to make sure you’re complying with any recommendations or requirements they have. If there are no particular instructions listed, feel free to ask the teachers that know you best. I would try to get one STEM and one humanities teacher. However, don’t stress about it. So many schools are returning to online learning this year, and colleges understand the difficulties in making adequate personal connections under those circumstances.

Thanks so much- I feel more confident in asking my sophomore/senior year math teacher for a rec now! Also, do you think I should email my teacher now (during summer break) or wait til senior year (since he will be my senior year teacher)?

You could email the teacher now to basically give them a heads-up. Don’t expect a reply because things are probably pretty chaotic unless your school has already confirmed that it will be online-only for the fall. Check in with the teacher again as soon as classes do start.

Don’t be afraid to ask one of your junior year teachers for a recommendation. Even though your school went remote in March, so did almost every other school around the world. Your teachers know who the good, and not-so-good students were last year, and will be able to write letters if you need one.

D20 got a recommendation from her 10th grade math teacher who also taught her 12th grade math class.

D19 had one of her recommendations from her 10th grade English teacher. She was TAing for him, but it was an ED application, so the letter was sent halfway through the first semester that D19 was a TA.

@happymomof1 thanks so much for your advice! I’m hesitant to ask my junior year teachers since I really didn’t feel like I connected with any of them. Even though I was in school for the majority of the year, I’m naturally pretty shy and only start opening up to my teachers towards the middle of the year. Once my school went remote, most of my teachers would only assign virtual assignments and I never really saw them again.

I just feel like any of my junior year teachers would write me a “cookie cutter” type of recommendation compared to my sophomore year teachers (who I had stronger personal connections to). Maybe I could explain this in the additional section of the Common App?

You don’t need to write anything like that in the additional section. Everyone who is applying to college this year had a messed up junior year. The admissions teams all know that.