How To Build Relationships With Your High School Teachers
By the end of your junior year or the beginning of your senior year, you'll need to ask one to three of your teachers for recommendation letters for your college applications. This is why it's important for some of your teachers to know you personally. We’ve provided a few helpful tips for getting to know your teachers better before application season.
If you ask one of your current or former teachers for a recommendation letter your senior year without speaking to them outside of the classroom, they probably won't have much to say when writing about you. Instead, start getting to know your favorite teachers as soon as possible. Whether they taught your favorite subject, made your least favorite subject fun or you took several classes with them, getting to know a few teachers well will pay off.
Seek Advice Outside of Class
One of the ways to show your teachers that you respect them and care about their class is to seek their guidance. Teachers almost invariably want you to do well in their subject, and most are happy to meet with students outside of class. For example, if you're interested in pursuing science or medicine, consider talking to your biology or chemistry teacher about careers. If you're passionate about writing, share some of your extracurricular work with your favorite English teacher.
Talk About Your Lives
Though teachers want to help you to succeed in the classroom, they also know that high school is a pivotal time for personal development and self-discovery. You don't have to share your most intimate secrets, but it can be refreshing to talk to your favorite teachers about your life. You can ask for advice or simply have a confidant, especially if you're having issues at school. Sharing your story and listening to their perspectives will bring you closer to your teachers.
Ask for Criticism on College Applications
As you begin writing your college application essays, teachers can help you edit them. They'll know whether you've truly conveyed your strengths and character. They also will have read many admissions essays in the past, unlike your parents.
It's good to give recommendation letter writers copies of your college essay so that they can reference it in their letters. But sure to give teachers plenty of notice when it comes to college essays and recommendation letters. Giving at least one month before the deadline is considered standard, but the earlier you ask, the better.