Thank you to all who responded to my request. This letter writing is a
chore for those of us at the high school level. And as Kevan said, sometimes
respectfully declining is the choice to be made -- although that is a hard
I did a google search and this is the best I came up with
I have something that is from the 80's ( Counseling Today's Secondary
Students, K. Hitchner)
Teacher Recommendation Writing:
Six Key points
1. Introduce yourself and briefly explain your relationship to the
applicant. If you are familiar with the applicant in more than one setting,
2. Focus on the student's accomplishments in your classroom, and the skill
he/she has developed. Do not mention the importance of the course.
3. Negative comments can become positive., e.g. "Although she makes careless
errors. Mary develops formulas with considerable logical reasoning."
4. Never litanize co-curricular activities. Stick to the classroom! You
don't even need to peruse a transcript.
%. Ask the student to give you write input where necessary. You might want
to know, for example, which part of the course the student found most
meaningful, and where he/she found most success.
6. be specific as possible. Admission folk love anecdotal information, but
they want it short. Keep your recommendation to one page.
I also have a list of effective "word' choices that is too long to write
here but I'm going to write it up and if interested contact me privately.
I also have a list of questions the guidance office asks students to answer.
Seems this is something that we need and as soon as I have the time, I will
write a document.
I labor over these letters, but from what I understand from admissions
people they are only looked at if it's a matter of scholarship. So I don't
want to labor too much.