Writing a letter of recommendation for an elementary student for private school admission doesn’t have to be a chore.
Maybe you are being asked to write a letter of recommendation for a child as part of a prospective school’s admission process.
This post guides you in writing a letter of recommendation for an elementary student who wishes to gain entry into a private school.
By the end of this article, you’ll have the confidence and knowledge needed to write the perfect recommendation letter.
A quick tip: If you ever need additional remarks to add a bit more substance to your private school recommendation letter, consider grabbing a few lines from these general student comments.
How Do I Write a Letter of Recommendation for an Elementary Student?
Follow these simple steps, and you’ll have the perfect recommendation letter for your elementary student.
1. Follow the Guidelines.
First, stick to the requested format, if one is suggested.
If the prospective school provides guidelines that you must follow while writing your letter of recommendation, be sure to follow that criterion.
It’s essential to have a clear understanding of the expectations. Some schools provide a specific form or template to use while others simply give general instructions.
Regardless of the format used, consider drafting the letter of recommendation on your school’s letterhead. Doing so reflects professionalism.
2. Reflect on the Child’s Strengths and Weaknesses.
Before you start drafting your elementary student’s letter of recommendation, reflect on the child’s strengths and weaknesses.
How do they fair socially, emotionally, and academically?
Review previous report card comments, anecdotal notes, classroom observations, and other forms of formal and informal assessment data that paint a holistic picture of the child.
What traits and/or experiences stand out?
Any specific accomplishments and/or triumphs over challenges you’d like to highlight?
Do your due diligence by reflecting on the child’s past accomplishments, strengths, and even weaknesses.
This step helps you to draft your letter with more flow as you don’t have to stop so often during the process to think of what to write.
3. Adhere to the Core Parts of a Recommendation Letter.
First, outline your letter of recommendation according to the three main parts: opening, body, and closing.
Or in simpler terms, make sure your letter has a beginning, middle, and end.
This is the introduction. State how long you’ve known the child and in what capacity.
Formally address the letter to the appropriate recipient. If no specific person is provided, use the phrase “To Whom It May Concern”.
Start positive and strong.
To Whom It May Concern:
It is with great pleasure that I write this recommendation for [elementary student’s name]. I had the pleasure of teaching [child’s name] during the 2018-2019 school year when he was a second grader in my class. It was during that period that I observed what a bright and gifted child he is, excelling beyond the expectations of the grade level.
The body is the “meat” of your recommendation letter. Here you showcase the strengths of the child, making sure to provide 2-3 clear examples with details. Don’t just tell…show!
For example, if you’d like to speak on the learner’s quick ability to grasp and analyze mathematical concepts in an in-depth manner, provide a clear example in addition to saying so.
Readers need to visualize what you’re saying so that they have a clear picture of the child’s abilities, habits, and demeanor.
Below is a snippet of the body of an elementary recommendation letter.
[Elementary student’s name] is a problem solver and quick thinker. He confidently takes on any challenge presented to him. During the annual science fair, while presenting his project, he accurately and enthusiastically responded to every question given to him. When a few observers asked for clarification about his scientific process, he was able to do so without hesitation.
Furthermore, during math block, [child’s name] was almost always the first student to solve higher-order thinking word problems with minimal teacher support. I would increase the difficulty of the exercises in order to keep him challenged and motivated. His math and science abilities surpassed my expectations for a second-grader. His ability to think critically and clearly explain his thought processes to his peers intrigued me.
The conclusion summarizes your overall recommendation for the student. What are your closing remarks? What lasting impression about the student would you like to make?
Equally important is to note that you’re available to the admissions team to expand upon your recommendation if needed, so leave your work email somewhere in the application materials.
[Elementary student’s name] will be a great asset to your school community. He is intelligent, hard-working, a team player, respectful, and a wonderful child in general. He will undoubtedly surpass your expectations. I am very proud of his achievements, and I am sure that his talents will contribute an exceptional element to your school. I’m available to discuss this recommendation further if needed.
Sally Sue Bloggerton
Second Grade Teacher
4. Write Like You Really Know the Child.
Write in a genuine tone. The readers should be able to tell that you really know this student.
This step is easily accomplished by the child’s core teachers but may be a bit more difficult for teachers who work with the child only a few hours during the week.
So if you’re a specialist teacher or tutor, you may have to reflect a bit more in order to have enough in-depth information to write regarding the child’s abilities.
Additionally, it’s a major bonus if your enthusiasm and passion for working with the child exude throughout the writing piece.
This obviously impacts the child favorably in the eyes of the admissions panel.
5. Be Honest.
Above all, be honest. And if you must, highlight a weakness or challenge that the child is working to improve.
Are there significant academic and/or behavior issues? Then say so.
However, be tactful about it. Delivery is almost always more important than the message itself.
In the long run, sugarcoating reflects poorly on the writer of the recommendation letter.
It may be eventually revealed or implied that you intentionally omitted significant information which the prospective school should have known.
Remember that these letters of recommendation for elementary students are usually confidential.
If you want to ensure your letter stays confidential, ask the prospective school if the letter may be sent directly to the school instead of via the parent.
Sending letters directly to the school (without parents viewing the letter) is the most common method.
Revise and edit your elementary student’s letter of recommendation before it’s sent to the recipient.
Allow your draft to marinate for a day or two. Then read it again for errors and semantics.
Even better, ask an administrator or trusted colleague to review your letter of reference before sending it.
Glaring errors or an informal tone definitely send a poor, unprofessional message to the prospective private school.
A quick tip: Try to avoid using contractions (e.g. I’m, you’ll, etc.) in your letters of recommendation for private schools because they’re viewed as more informal in tone.
Tips for Writing a Letter of Recommendation for Elementary Students for Private School
- Meet the prospective school’s deadlines.
While procrastination is the norm for most busy educators when it comes to writing letters of recommendation for elementary private school students, don’t let that be the case for you.
Pencil the task into your weekly planning schedule.
Once you’ve sent the letter off, confirm to the parents that you did so – one less thing for them (and you!) to worry about.
- Reuse the general template.
Once you’ve written one letter of recommendation for an elementary student, reuse the template for future letters.
There’s no need to reinvent the wheel each time.
Take the format, and tweak the specific examples/details to fit the circumstances of each respective child.
With time, each letter becomes much easier to draft.
What If I Have to Write a Letter of Recommendation for an Average Elementary Student?
Writing a letter of recommendation for an average student is not much different from drafting a letter for a high-achieving or struggling learner.
Simply follow the guidelines within this article, and make sure to highlight specific examples of strengths along with details.
If the child is truly “average” in everything, consider focusing on the learner’s good work habits or collaborative skills.
- What academic potential is present?
- Has he/she progressed well within any specific class subjects since the beginning of the school year?
Above all, be honest.
If the child has the potential to soar but consistently gives just enough effort, then say so artfully and tactfully.
Wrapping Up – How to Write a Letter of Recommendation for an Elementary Student
Now you have the tools you need to write a superb letter of recommendation for an elementary student desiring to gain entrance into a private school.
Following the steps above, you’ll create a great reference that will serve as a valuable tool during the child’s admission process.
For more tips and examples, check out these letter of recommendation guidelines.