You should ask at least 1 teacher in a “Core Subject” (Math, History, English, Science, and Foreign Language). The best options are teachers after 10th grade or club advisors. The teacher that you ask does not have to be one that relates to your intended major in college, but it could be very helpful if you have developed a great relationship with them. Whomever you ask to write your LOR should be someone who knows you well, is able to provide examples of your growth, and should be given ample time to write the letter. Was there a class or teacher you really enjoyed, have you built a relationship with a specific teacher who knows you very well, or have you struggled in a particular class that was especially rewarding in the end? The teachers that you choose does not have to be teachers in which you received the best grades in their class, it simply needs to be a combination of a rewarding class and a teacher that understand who you are as an individual.
When to Ask?
It is best to ask for teacher recommendations either at the end of your junior year (April-June), or at the beginning of your senior year (August-October). Depending on the school year for 2020-2021, we urge seniors to ask for recommendation letters by email. You must always ask for recommendation letters with a deadline in mind, and you must give teachers ample time to complete recommendation letters. You are not entitled to a recommendation letter from a teacher; a teacher has the authority to accept or deny a favor. Please thank your teacher after they accept them, and please display sincere etiquette when emailing your respective teachers for recommendation letters.
Once your teachers have agreed to write a recommendation letter on your behalf, it is highly suggested that you provide them with extra information about yourself, whether that's the BLA teacher recommendation form, or a brag sheet that provides answers to some questions that you deem representative of your character. It is up to your discretion on how much information you would to like to give to your teachers. Please try your best to give some information or materials that your teachers could reference from. It is highly recommended that you schedule a 15-minute meeting to review your goals for your LOR and the documents you’re providing! This is a great time for you to clarify and answer questions your recommender may have.
BLA students will request a letter of recommendation from their teachers through Naviance! If you see that your teachers have not submitted their letters of recommendation a week before the due date, it will not harm you at all if you send them a quick email reminder of the due date.
This is probably one of the most important aspects of this recommendation process! PLEASE thank your recommenders for their extreme kindness with a letter of gratitude, or even a heartfelt gift that you would like to give them. Also, it would not hurt to update them about exciting news in regards to your college application results, or even news that you did not hope for. Your teachers are wholeheartedly supporters for your success, so they will remain with you for the ups and downs of this process.
What are Brag Sheets?
It is a resume of everything you have done outside the classroom throughout high school.
You may include an extra resume in conjunction with the BLA Teacher Recommendation Request Form
You should keep record of what you have been doing since you started the ninth grade.
Component's of The Brag Sheet:
Extracurricular: Includes Student Council, yearbook, music, art, organizations, clubs, etc.
Sports: Includes organized sports in and out of BLA.
Summer Experiences: Mission trips, summer travel programs (not vacations), summer programs, summer camps, or community service projects, etc.
Awards/Honors: Includes school, regional or national recognitions in any subject, end-of-year awards, etc.
Employment: Camp counselor, babysitting, internships, tutoring, jobs, etc.
Hobbies: Interests you have that are not organized: READING (with a book list), computer programming, website design, etc.
Church/Community: Youth group/ leadership positions, community service, etc.
Why Do I Need A Brag Sheet?
Brag sheets help the teachers, counselors/mentors you choose write you a letter of recommendation.
It provide examples or anecdotes that support your personal or academic traits. You want your brag sheet to include information that will distinguish you from other qualified applicants!