You may think your first day of school is just another one of those days that you can be more nonchalant about than when you were a freshman. Think again. This fall you will be making out applications for college; and that long, difficult, and involved process starts right now, right as you enter each classroom of your class schedule for the first time.
Two words: teacher recommendations!
You will be asking three teachers for a recommendation that each will write for your college applications. These recommendations do count because they give authenticity to your grade transcripts and to your SAT/ACT scores. A good teacher recommendation will also add information about both your personality and the way you contribute and interact in classes while working with other students, while meeting obstacles and challenges, and while solving problems, both academic and interpersonal.
Yes, teachers observe quite a lot. So, certainly you will want to make a favorable impression rather than argue, interrupt, or goof off. Good recommendations rest on specific details teachers can dredge up about you and on anecdotes about you they can recall, so you will certainly want to contribute and create details around you rather than sit in the back of the room. Finally, some teachers become known to admissions officers because they are good writers and have offered what have turned about to be reliable assessments of successful students in that college. These teachers tend to be asked a lot for recommendations. You will want to stand out among others and be worthy of this teacher’s agreeing to write such a recommendation for you.
College Basics is not suggesting apples and flowers everyday. We are just pointing you are there in school, with teachers and other students, and what you offer and the way your act are, from day one, starting to make impressions. It is always good to put your best foot forward and remember you are being assessed.
If you anticipate that at some point a teacher who will probably write a recommendation for you may reasonably have a negative to add or a weakness to describe, that actually means a balanced and often well-respected recommendation, which you need not back away from. But, you should, once again, be savvy and mature enough to address that weakness or negative in some way: an additional essay, in your personal essay, or in your interview by talking about what you have learned or how you have grown.