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How to Get a "Strong" Teacher Rec?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by TerryLo, May 15, 2007.

  1. TerryLo

    TerryLo 2+ Year Member

    Dec 2, 2006
    I'm in the process of asking professors now for teacher recs, but many of my profs don't remember who I am so I was wondering how you all went about getting recommendations with that added personal touch.
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  3. Depakote

    Depakote Pediatric Anesthesiologist Rocket Scientist Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    If there's one thing the news has taught us, it's that teachers will sleep with students. Use to this advantage and you'll get tha personal touch in more ways than one...
  4. senseiturtle

    senseiturtle 5+ Year Member

    Nov 9, 2006
    What you need to do is develop a relationship with a teacher.

    No, not in that sense.

    Show up after class. Ask questions. Stand out academically. Talk to them about research and ask advice. Get to know them, and let them get to know you. Most of them aren't that bad, i promise.
  5. alesdu1

    alesdu1 Junior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jul 11, 2006
    If you are a junior already, its tough, but when I was a freshman, I got really involved with the aed chapter at my univ which is extremely active. I got to know the facul advisor very well and become good friends with him over this time. Then after I took his embryology course in the fall of my jr year........garrunteed (gosh wheres spell check on these things) letter of rec

    also, some univs allow you to do research unpaid for transcript credit. another way.... Other than that, seneiturtle's is probably what youll hear from most people....
  6. mdm_sparkle

    mdm_sparkle Junior Member 2+ Year Member

    May 16, 2006
    You will probably get the same advice from everyone but - build a good rapport with your instructors, docs you shadow and folks you work with. Ask lots of questions professionally and if you have the opportunity get to know them personally (though not as intimately as some people insinuate :rolleyes: ) It lets them know you are not only great as a student but you have a life too. I have never seen my letters of rec - but apparently they are awesome. All of my interviewers commented on how strong they were - of course that could be baloney since I am waitlisted but I digress . . .good luck to you!
  7. scrubsaresexy

    scrubsaresexy 2+ Year Member

    Mar 5, 2007
    podunk, md
    I agree with everyone else. I've just finished up my freshman year, but I already have a good idea of who I'll be asking. (I go to a very small school, so I already know just about everyone in the bio and chem depts). I think the key is to build personal connections with people. My first semester bio lab instructor is known for her research in Woods Hole, MA every summer, which is where my sister happened to be stationed doing research with NOAA, so I started out the semester asking whether she worked with my sister, etc. She didn't, but it was a good start and I'm also taking A&P with her next semester. She's already excited about me being in the class, since most people don't take it until junior or senior year. My gen chem professor and I got into a conversation at the end of the semester about my EMT class this summer, and it just happens to be where he used to research pollution (it's a lovely neighborhood, really :p). I'm almost 100% sure that, as long as I keep in communication with these people, both of these professors would be willing to write me a great LOR. In any case, I would try to relate to your professors personally. Even small things like that are something that professors remember. Just stop by your professor's office during office hours and have a conversation with them!
  8. TerryLo

    TerryLo 2+ Year Member

    Dec 2, 2006
    thanks for the tips! But since I'm already applying in June, I was wondering if there is any quicker means to go about getting a good rec...or am I just completely screwed? Hah! I have talked to some of these profs during office hours, but I guess I didn't talk to them enough since they don't remember me. I've heard of people getting interviewed by the profs themselves so as to build a stronger, personal foundation. Would that work? Again, many thanks for the advice!
  9. CATallergy

    CATallergy 2+ Year Member

    Jan 23, 2007
    consider yourself lucky. I'm a nontrad, and have been trying (so far unsuccessfully) just to find out my teachers' names!
  10. badasshairday

    badasshairday Vascular and Interventional Radiology 10+ Year Member

    Apr 6, 2007
    I have heard that sexual favors work pretty well when you need a good LOR quick.
  11. crimsonkid85

    crimsonkid85 7+ Year Member

    Jul 3, 2006
    is there a student-faculty dinner at your school? if so, invite your prof!
  12. Doc Henry

    Doc Henry blowin' in the wind 10+ Year Member

    Feb 4, 2007
    I just had to find a non science prof for a letter and I thought I was screwed because in the past 3 years I have only taken 2-3 non science classes and one was online. I picked the prof who I though might remember me best and emailed him (because he isn't teaching this term). In my email I gave some reminders about who I was and then made sure to say that I understood if they aren't comfortable writing this letter...blah blah...

    In the end he basically had me write the letter. He had me write my "life story" in an email to him with all the elements that I thought were important and now he is writing the letter....

    good luck!
  13. MattD

    MattD Curmudgeon 7+ Year Member

    Oct 9, 2003
    Hang out in the gym and wait until you see one of your teachers. Evaluate his/her bench press discreetly. This way you will know if you are getting a strong teacher's rec or a weak teacher's rec.

    I had a professor who would show up at the gym all the time... You didn't even have to see him to know he was there, when the place mysteriously started to reek of icy hot, you knew he was around. Dude was a hoss though :)
  14. emaj1n

    emaj1n M1 2+ Year Member

    Oct 16, 2006
    For crying out loud (yes, I said it), why don't people get to know their professors anymore. Talking to my professors, finding out about their lives, telling them about mine, sharing a beer here and there (yes, I'm serious), was one of my favorite parts about college.
  15. HailMary

    HailMary My mom thinks I'm cool... 2+ Year Member

    Jul 27, 2006
    Santa Monica, CA
    I don't think getting to know your professors is really an option right now since you're applying in June. I'm in the same boat, and I'm actually about to go meet with an old Bio professor who I had in 2005 (I'm a non-science major, so getting a second LOR for a science class is tough).

    Here's what I did: Email the professor and see if you can sit down and meet with him/her. When they agree, bring them a folder with your CV, personal statement, transcript, list of schools you're applying to, and any paperwork your school's letter service requires. I even put in a stamped and addressed envelope for once the letter is ready to be sent.

    It won't be as good as if that prof and I had been bff, but professors who teach large lecture courses are used to this. Just make it as easy as possible for them by including anything they might need.

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