TJHSST Teacher Recommendations
When to Ask
You must provide the names of teachers that will write your recommendations by January 24, so ask your teachers as soon as you know you are a semifinalist. Teachers have only about three weeks to complete the recommendations and many teachers are asked to write recommendations for a number of students. Your teachers will appreciate being given as much time as possible to write you a good, thorough recommendation. A teacher may not be able to write a thorough recommendation for you if you ask at the last minute.
Who to Ask
You may only submit two teacher recommendations.
One of your recommendations must come from your 7th or 8th-grade math or science teacher. The other teacher can be any teacher of your choice. You should select teachers who know you well and can speak well of you, teachers who also can complete all sections of the form and answer all of the questions posed, and teachers who also can provide a detailed narrative response on page two of the recommendation form. The teachers you ask do not have to necessarily be teachers that have taught you in the normal school day. He/she could also be a teacher who supervises an extracurricular activity (for example, a math club) in which you are actively involved with at school or even a teacher you have in a program outside of school (for example, a summer school program).
You are not required to use a math and a science teacher or two math or two science teachers. A math/science teacher would write the required “math/science” recommendation and the second teacher could write your “other” recommendation. There is no particular benefit in having two math or science teachers write your teacher recommendations. It is far more important for you to have two teachers write for you who can answer all of the questions posed on the form, who know you well, and can speak well about you.
Students may request recommendations from seventh and/or eighth-grade teachers.
A scout leader or piano teacher may not be your best choice. Your “other,” recommendation needs to be written by someone who knows you well enough to evaluate your academic performance, how you work in groups, your classroom behavior, your interest in math, science, and technology, and be able to fill out all of the items on the entire recommendation. If the person you want to write the recommendation cannot do each of those things, their recommendation may not help you.
Teachers complete the recommendations online, they will submit them electronically.
How to Help
Have a conversation with the teacher. Make sure that the teacher is willing and able to write a recommendation for you and feels that he/she can complete all sections of the form (parts one and two). Ask your teacher whether there is any additional information you can provide him or her to assist in writing your recommendation. You might want to remind your teacher of any special projects or activities you completed in his or her class (not outside of his or her class) so that the teacher has detailed information to use when completing the form.