Many colleges require letters of recommendation from the people who know students best in an academic setting -- your high school counselor and teachers. Letters of recommendation from teachers tell admission officers how students contribute to the academic and intellectual life of their high school.
Now is the time to ask those teachers whom you would like to write for you, especially if you are enjoying a class and connecting with the teacher or planning to apply under an early program. You want to ask teachers who know you well and have taught you recently in a challenging class.
When you ask, keep in mind that writing letters of recommendation is not part of a teacher's normal job duties and you should approach your teachers with a polite considerate request. Here are some pointers:
* Ask in person. No emails. A personal request is most thoughtful. Here's a sound bite: "I'm thinking ahead to college applications and wonder if you feel writing a recommendation is something you can do for me."