Breaking scandal: Potomac teachers decide to standardize their letters of recommendation for the Class of 2022

The College Board

This April, the Class of 2022 is approaching a key step in their college process: asking for teacher recommendations. Yet, this year, the Class of 2022 faces a unique dilemma: many of them have yet to have a single conversation with their teachers. 

As junior William Alexander explains, “I honestly don’t think my teachers even know who I am. I have yet to turn my camera on or talk in class a single time. I think I may pretend to be home-schooled and have my mom write a letter of recommendation for me.”

Junior Anna Heller elaborates, “A few days ago, I said bonjour to my French teacher when walking down the hallway. She asked how my freshman year was going. Needless to say, I will not be asking her for a letter of recommendation.” 

This feeling, however, is not one-sided. Teachers are also feeling limited in their ability to build connections with their students. Upper School English teacher Dr. Metz said, “If Zoom did not give students names under their faces, I wouldn’t know how to call on kids. In-person days have become really stressful because I don’t know any of my students’ names. Luckily, I came up with a Plan B, and they all wear name tags now.” 

Left with no other choice, Mr. McLane and the College Counseling Team decided they needed to help the teachers out. In an email forwarded to the entire teaching staff, Mr. McLane wrote:

Dear Upper School Teachers,

As a Spanish teacher myself, I know the struggles that this year has brought to building strong connections with the students. Just yesterday I had to call a student Champ for the entire class because I forgot his name. Thus, as students begin the process of asking teachers for letters of recommendation, I decided to create a standard format for us all to follow so we hit the key points.


Dear College,

(Insert Student’s Name) was a pretty good student this year in my (Name of Class) class. He/She/They always looked attentive during Zoom, and they talked some as well. His/Her/Their work was great, and he/she/they were a pleasure to teach. He/She/They really stood out as a great/good/okay student. Even though this year was tough, (Insert Student Name) persevered/occasionally seemed to be interested/never fell asleep and completed the given work. Bravo!

Most importantly, (Insert Student’s Name) seemed like they were a nice kid. Although I never had the privilege of talking to him/her/them, I noticed that in the morning he/she/they seemed a little less tired on Zoom than everyone else. Their character was phenomenal, and they seemed like they embodied Potomac’s core value of integrity/respect/humility/courage/perseverance (choose one) really well. 

I highly recommend (Insert Student’s Name) to your school! 


       (Insert Teacher Name)


I hope this template will facilitate an easier college process for all involved. 



Safe to say, after the release of the most generic college recommendation of all time, parents and juniors alike have begun to protest. Juniors will be boycotting class until further notice. 

The college counseling department declined to comment.