One of the ways that most faculty ring in the upcoming New Year is with copious amounts of letter writing. This morning I finally finished the last batch of one dozen letters of reference for graduate school and other important opportunities for current and former students. I have come to realize that I enjoy this process. My policy is to say yes to students who have earned a B+ or better in my courses.
Some of my colleagues write letters for students who have had two or more courses or only earned an A- or better. Given that so many of our courses are taught by contingent faculty it might be hard for a student to get two classes with the same instructor. And, knowing that some students “take one for the team” in one class, I know that in four short months I might not see a students best work. Instead, I might see the best that they can do at that particular moment. I usually find out the full story during my office hours. This helps me understand what is going on for the student, but I cannot let this information change my overall assessment of the work.
I am keeping my fingers crossed for these students. So many of them have so much promise and I hope that their dreams are answered with their want to attend grad school, art school, architecture school and more. Good luck! Happy to help you out with this next chapter.