4 steps to write the perfect letter of recommendation

Writing a letter of recommendation for a teacher outside of the United States might be a little challenging. That is why we created a template with four points to include in a perfect recommendation letter.

Teacher recommendation letters are a very important part of the college application in the United States. Therefore, a letter that highlights the student’s academic and personal strengths, can have a powerful effect on the student’s chances of admission.  

American colleges are looking for letters that are personal and talk about students’ academic strengths.  Most importantly, teachers should write about the student’s personality and qualities that he or she can bring to the classroom.

If there were any personal difficulties in the student’s life that affected the student’s grade, the teacher should write about them. For instance, the letter should address a parents’ divorce or a family lost. 

Check out the four steps to take into consideration when writing a recommendation letter

STEP 1 – Introduction

You should introduce yourself, write the student’s name and credit yourself as to why you are qualified to write a letter of recommendation for the student. It is important to explain how you know the student and for how long you’ve known the student for.

Dear Admissions Committee,
I had the pleasure of teaching (student’s name) in his/her ____ grade (class name) class at (school’s name). I have known this student for ______ years and was delighted to serve as his/her teacher. From the first day of class, (student’s name) impressed me with his/her __________, and his/her passion for ___________________- both in and out of the classroom. (student’s name) is very talented and he/she has my highest recommendation as a student.

STEP 2 – Student’s strength in Academics 

A good letter of recommendation shows the student’s strengths in academics. For example, it may include a story on how the student overcame a challenge in learning a difficult topic in your class. It can also include projects and any extracurricular activities, such as Olympiads or clubs.

STEP 3 – Anecdotes & Out of the classroom experiences

You should think about what specific anecdotes you can share to illustrate your assessment and help the student come alive in the eyes of the reader. For instance, some potential anecdotes include times when the student you’re writing the letter for showed exceptional intelligence, compassion, motivation, tenacity, leadership skills, and/or teamwork abilities.

Besides that, you should provide concrete examples of your interactions with the student inside or outside of the classroom. You could highlight the student’s character, academic abilities or qualities.  The student should provide you with his thoughts on his goals and significant experiences that have shaped who he is today. The student’s insights can be very helpful but you ideally know the student well enough. You should trust yourself enough and write a letter of recommendation based on your familiarity with his academic work and personal life.

STEP 4 – Closure

This section of the letter of recommendation contains a brief summary of why are you are recommending the person.

I am certain that (student’s name) is going to continue to do great and creative things in his/her future. I highly recommend him/her for admission to your undergraduate program.
He/She is talented, caring, dedicated, and focused in his/her pursuits. (Student’s name)consistently seeks out constructive feedback so he/she can improve his/her (class subject) skills, which is a rare and impressive quality in a high school student. (student’s name) is truly a stand-out individual who will impress everyone he/she meets. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions at (teacher’s email).

(Subject) Teacher
(High School name)

Check out our blog post on how to ask your teacher to write a letter of recommendation.

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