Thursday, October 4, 2012

Yes, I'll write you a recommendation... but first...

Originally posted 10/25/11.

One of my typical students and me.
Reasons I love the fall:
  • American football
  • Cooler weather in Taiwan
  • Studying Shakespeare in British Lit
  • Beginning literary interpretation in English II
  • Just generally torturing students in Communication
  • Writing College Recommendation Letters for students
The last one is true: I actually enjoy writing recommendation letters.  Many of  You all work very hard throughout the school year, and I like being able to brag to colleges and universities how amazing you are. Of course, if you are a member of the minority of students who don't work hard throughout the school year, I can't lie and tell them that you are amazing students, so I hope that you're taking advantage of each school day to build up a reputation that I can pass on to your future teachers and administrators.

Around this time of the year, I do get pretty big piles of requests for recommendations, and while I do enjoy writing them, I've come to realize that writing them is a huge job for me, but a non-existent job for you. Further, a lot of the times, I'll have students to give me requests to complete a recommendation for them "BY TOMORROW, TEACH-AH?", and I always have to responde with a polite, resounding "NO WAY." If I'm going to be helping you out, I think it's only fair that you help me out, know what I mean?

So, here is my new policy for recommendation letters:
I will write you a 3-5¶ recommendation of your scholastic merit to be in the college or university of your choosing, provided you:
  • Have already had me as a teacher for one semester before you request the letter.
  • Allow me at least two (2) four (4) full weeks to write your letter.
  • Write me a minimum 5¶ essay expressing at least 3 talents, skills, and characteristics you would like me to pass on to your school.*
Got it? No exceptions to this, please! So if you know you need a letter by, say, the middle of November, now is the time to start bragging on yourself in your essay so I'll have time to get your letter done. Good luck!

*I should receive this before my four-week writing period begins.

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