Letters of Recommendation: Students

Carsen Brandt, Staff Writer

A way to commemorate a student’s true ability in the classroom is through letters of recommendation. Junior students at Benilde-St. Margaret’s are looking for two or three teachers to write their recommendations. Letters of recommendation are often a big part of getting into students’ colleges of choice, which is why stress can be high throughout these few months.

Students have different opinions on which department writes the best letters of recommendations. Some believe that it is more about the subject a teacher teaches. “From the two I asked, I would say the English department writes the best letters because I feel like it’s always a subject that is a little bit more personal than let’s say, a math class. It’s a little bit more opinionated,” Junior Sky Rold said.

Other students think that it is more about your relationship with the teacher rather than what subject they teach.“I honestly think it depends more on your relationship with the teacher. I know that a lot of colleges prefer to have your core subjects teachers write you letters, but I think that honestly, it’s just based on who you have the best relationship with,” Senior Samantha Steensland said.

Getting recommendations is an essential part to applying to college, but lots of teachers sports to write these fill up quickly. “Teachers often fill up, so it is important to ask right away. For example, Mrs. Olson is really good at writing letters of recommendations, so I made sure to ask her right away. I am glad I did, because now, she has started to decline kids due to time constraints,” Rold said.
Connections with teachers can be a vital part in the process of selecting who to ask to write the letters. “I chose Mr. Gross, he was my math teacher, which is a core subject, and he’s been my math teacher for three years. I chose him because he has seen me throughout high school and [seen] how I’ve grown and how I’ve adapted my learning abilities. I also chose Mr. Bandel who is a history teacher. I had him for only one semester, but in that semester, we got to know a lot about the class, and he was able to see how I could balance everything…I wanted to give colleges kind of two different sides, a long term teacher and a short term teacher to see how they both have positive things to say about me,” Samantha Steensland said.