Letters of recommendation might depend on student participation during distance learning

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Students' performance and participation during the COVID-19 distance learning period will dictate their chance for positive letters of recommendation.

Leila Touati, Senior Editor

The request for letters of recommendation will be affected based on students’ work during the COVID-19 distance learning period. 

The expectations for remote learning are set higher this school year. All incoming Amador juniors and seniors experienced distance learning for the last quarter of the previous school year.

During this time, their grades did not drop lower than their third quarter grades. Starting August 11th, students will not have that option.

“The most important thing is for a student to be actively engaged in the class. This will allow the teacher to better know the student and to craft a more personal, individualized recommendation. I fear that distance learning will pose a barrier to the development of the type of relationships that result in the most effective and meaningful recommendation letters,” said Matthew Kelly, an Algebra II and AP Statistics teacher.

While distance learning may cause some challenges to properly get to know every teacher, it’s important to participate and work hard during this difficult time. Not engaging during classes may harm students’ chances in receiving positive letters of recommendation for their future. 

“Students have to treat distance learning seriously and if they’re meeting the expectations I have no problem writing a letter of recommendation for students. Sometimes students think that teachers are automatically going to write a letter of recommendation for them if they were just in their class, and that’s not the case,” said Lisa Perry, a sophomore English and AP Language and Composition teacher.

Distance learning is an opportunity for Amador students to show their independence and work ethic outside of the classroom. But teachers and students alike are bound to struggle with lack of communication and absence of proper internet access at home.

“If students are meeting the standards and are engaged in distance learning to the best of their ability, and I think we’re going to have to be flexible with that, I wouldn’t have a problem writing a letter for a student. I don’t have different expectations because we’re remote, I just want them to meet the expectations of my class,” said Perry.

This school year may be a little different but it’s important to continue to work hard and connect with your teachers. Being diligent with assignments and projects can make a significant difference in both grades and requesting for letters of recommendation.

In the words of Mr.Kelly, “Participate in class discussions, assume leadership roles in collaborative work, and work hard. Try to find the opportunities for self-improvement with which these unprecedented times present us.”