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  • Destiny Blue

Letters of Recommendation in a Virtual World


A good letter of recommendation for college is predicated on having a good relationship with your teachers. In “normal” times , you develop this relationship relatively organically because you see your teachers daily in school, and can engage them in conversation. And they see you in class, working hard, interacting with other students, and responding to life in the classroom. But today, things are a bit different. Online and hybrid teaching models severely reduce time in a group setting, and they can ruin personal communication between students and teachers.


To help you navigate this weird situation, here's a list of things to consider as you try to develop good relationships.


Be Polite


  • Use the chat or conversation functions in the virtual classroom environment to ask questions, make (relevant!) comments, especially when prompted.

  • Respond to teacher requests for participation. Dive in and do your part to keep the class moving.

  • When in online break-out groups, do what you can to lead and contribute in productive ways.

  • Turn on your camera!


Engage With Your Teacher Beyond Class Time


  • Once or twice a month, go to the “office hours” your teacher may hold.

  • If the “office hours” are inconvenient, end an email requesting a one-on-one meeting with the teacher.

  • When you have questions or concerns–or comments or ideas–reach out with an email. Personal contact is better

Give Your Teacher A Hand

  • Review a recent test, paper, or assignment and ask about how you might improve next time.

  • Ask about upcoming projects, assignments, or tests to get a jump on what you should

Believe or not, your teachers are just as exhausted with the virtual classroom and would rather be at school. Your job is to keep communication open so they remember you as their favorite virtual student!

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