We were thinking of asking my son’s AP Chemistry teacher to write him a letter of recommendation for his college applications this fall. However, the teacher makes many spelling and grammatical errors when I email with him. Should we choose a different teacher? My son has gotten A’s in chemistry both semesters, and I think a letter from this teacher would be a great addition.”
Good question, Kerry. First, don’t worry about the teacher’s writing skills. Colleges care more about the content of the letter than they do the writing style. A good letter of recommendation shares what the student is like in class. Does he contribute to class discussions? Does he ask intelligent questions? Is he interested in the subject matter as much if not more than he is getting an “A?” That's what's important, not whether or not the story reads like Hemingway wrote it.
You also mentioned, “We were thinking of asking…” Make sure your son—not you—does the asking. He’s the one applying to college. Teachers, counselors and admissions officers respond best when kids take charge of the process. It’s fine to be a supportive cheerleader and maybe even offer some organizational help for a disorganized teen. But make sure you don’t do the work for him.
Thanks for your question, Kerry. If you've got a question of your own, email me at blog [at] collegewise [dot] com. If I pick yours, I'll answer it here on our blog.