Partnering with Teachers in the Admissions Process

Posted by Glynn Below - 13 August, 2018

Billy Howard shoot - JPGS - 6695073Whether a family is beginning the educational journey with their child in Kindergarten or joining Randolph in the later years, the importance of partnering with teachers cannot be overstated. The most successful students usually have an excellent behind-the-scenes support team who want conspicuous success for them. 

The parents who understand the value of a strong parent/teacher relationship seem to enjoy school days fully. Teacher feedback and recommendations are an important part of our admissions process at Randolph. We want to help you understand why and offer tips for obtaining the most positive reviews. 

Why teacher recommendations are part of an admissions file

We look for students who are willing and able to do good work. Parents and friends have a unique perspective on a child, so it’s important to note that teachers have a unique perspective as well. Simply stated, we want to know, from the teacher’s seat, if the student is willing to work hard and able to do the work that’s required. Your child’s teacher spends a great deal of time with your child and is able to provide important information. In a perfect world, parents would be partnering with the current teacher to the point where they could write the teacher rec. While recommendations are confidential, it’s the sign of a great partnership if a teacher has been able to convey areas of strength and challenge to parents long before a teacher rec is requested.  

How to obtain the teacher recommendation

Requesting a teacher recommendation for your child who is applying to another school can be awkward. It is always our hope that a student’s teacher wants them to succeed and is therefore willing to partner with the family. A professional teacher respects a family’s right to make educational decisions that are in the best interests of their child and will generally respond promptly to a parent’s request for teacher feedback. 

All admissions file readers, whether they are in a K-12 or college environment, are looking for honest and confidential feedback about a student’s academic and extracurricular experiences. Teachers should never be asked to write about a student in any area other then what they teach.

We encourage the child or parent, whoever is requesting the recommendation, to be mindful of the timing and thankful for their efforts. It is always best to ask a teacher after he or she has spent some time with the student.

When requesting teacher recommendations:

  • Make sure to deliver forms to the teacher well before the deadlines.
  • Kindly remind the teacher to submit the form as soon as possible, but no later than the deadline for the school where your child is applying.
  • Be sure to include an envelope addressed directly to the school’s admissions office. Randolph’s Admissions team provides stamped, addressed envelopes to families.
  • When giving reasons for applying to a new school, fewer details are always better; it’s best to simply say that there are a variety of reasons that the family is investigating options.  

Teacher feedback from a Randolph Visit Day

Another important piece of an admissions file is the feedback that we receive from Randolph teachers.  We understand that visiting a strange school can be difficult for some students, but it’s important to prepare kids for the day.

It’s our hope that a visiting student is polite, respectful of our school rules, and curious enough to ask questions to help understand the community and culture of our classrooms. Engaging with strangers is tricky, but we hope that students interact in a positive way.

Our teacher feedback points include the following: 

  • Student socialization with other students
  • Student interaction with adults       
  • Willingness to explore new things
  • Willingness to ask and answer questions 
  • Ability to actively listen to others

Final thoughts 

Teacher feedback is intended to aid in the right admissions decision. Most parents realize early on the benefits of an honest and positive relationship with their child's teachers. In the end, the goal is to help families determine the best placement for their child. 

Our Admissions Philosophy is often at the heart of our conversations. We hope it might serve to help you guide your child: 

Randolph seeks the very best students and the most supportive families from wide-ranging backgrounds with an eagerness to learn and contribute to our community and programs. Randolph's mission-driven admission practices are established to foster a student-centered learning environment for developing strong character, moral leadership and courageous habits of heart and mind. 

 Please feel free to contact us with questions at any step in the process.

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Topics: admissions

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