Sample Letter of Recommendation for Below Average Student (And How to Decline a Request)

When it comes to writing a letter of recommendation for a below average student, it can be a tricky task. You may question whether it’s worth the effort to write a recommendation for a student who has struggled academically. Or may see it as an opportunity to provide valuable insight and perspective on the student’s potential. Continue reading for more on this topic, plus these samples you can use: “Letter of Recommendation From Teacher For Below Average Student”, “Letter of Recommendation For Below Average Student Who is Improving”, and “Declining a Recommendation Letter Request”.

 

An Underperforming Student

If a student has struggled academically, it’s important to address those issues in a constructive and thoughtful manner that also highlights any improvements or efforts the student has made to overcome those challenges. It’s also important to keep in mind that a below-average student may still have strengths and qualities that make them suitable for certain opportunities or programs. It’s important to consider those as well when writing a recommendation letter.

 

Why Write a Letter of Recommendation For a Below Average Student?

There are many reasons why a teacher would choose to write a letter of recommendation for a below average student. The student in question may have:

  • Shown significant improvement in their academic performance.
  • Exhibited a positive attitude and willingness to learn.
  • Taken the initiative to seek out extra help and resources to improve their skills.
  • Demonstrated a strong work ethic and dedication to their studies.
  • Faced personal challenges that have affected their academic performance but have demonstrated resilience and determination.

Also, a teacher may simply believe that the student will be successful in their future endeavors despite their academic performance. It is important to note that each student is unique, and a teacher should consider the whole person, not just their academic performance when considering to write a letter of recommendation for them.

 

Letter of Recommendation From Teacher For Below Average Student

[Your Name]
[Your School]
[Your Street Address]
[City, State ZIP Code]

[Today's Date]

[Recipient's Name]
[Recipient Company/Organization]
[Recipient Address]
[City, State ZIP Code]

Dear [Recipient's Name],

I am writing to provide a letter of recommendation for [Student's Name], who has been a student in my [Subject/Grade Level] class for [insert time period] at [Your School].

Despite [Student Name]'s challenges, I have found them to be consistently respectful and cooperative in class. They have actively engaged in class discussions and have demonstrated a willingness to ask questions and seek additional help.

I understand that [Student Name] is seeking to pursue [insert opportunity/program/next step], and while I cannot attest to their academic performance, I can say that they have shown a positive attitude.

If you require additional information, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Sincerely,
[Your Name]
[Designation/Title]

 

Letter of Recommendation For Below Average Student Who is Improving

[Your Name]
[Your School]
[Your Street Address]
[City, State ZIP Code]

[Today's Date]

[Recipient's Name]
[Recipient Company/Organization]
[Recipient Address]
[City, State ZIP Code]

Dear [Recipient's Name],

I am writing to provide a letter of recommendation for [Student's Name]. I have had the pleasure of teaching [Student's Name] in [Subject/Class] during the [Academic Year] at [Your School]. While [Student's Name] initially struggled with [specific areas], I have seen a noticeable improvement in [his/her] work and attitude towards learning in recent months.

[Student's Name] has shown a renewed commitment to academics and has taken steps to improve [his/her] understanding of the material. [He/She] has taken advantage of extra help sessions, seeking out additional resources and working diligently on assignments. I have also noticed [his/her] increased participation in class discussions and a willingness to ask questions when needed.

While [Student's Name] may not have the highest grades in the class, [he/she] has demonstrated a true desire to learn and grow. I believe that with continued effort, [he/she] will continue to improve and be successful in [his/her] academic pursuits.

Sincerely,
[Your Name]
[Designation/Title]

 

How to Decline a Request from a Below Average Student

Sometimes a student who is below average may not deserve a recommendation. They could be far below average academically or simply be difficult to teach. Whatever the reason is, a teacher should decline to write a letter of recommendation in a polite and professional manner.

A teacher should explain that they do not feel they are the best person to provide a positive and effective recommendation for the student, given their academic performance and the teacher’s own knowledge of the student’s abilities and qualifications.

It’s important that the decline is done in a constructive manner, rather than simply turning down without a reason. Providing an explanation for their decline can help the student to understand why and how to improve for the future. The teacher should also express their willingness to assist the student in finding a more suitable reference.

 

Template for Declining a Recommendation Letter Request

[Student's Name],

Thanks for reaching out and asking me to write a letter of recommendation. Unfortunately, I don't think I'm the best person to write one for you at this time.

[Reasons for Declining. Examples: lack of knowledge about the student's abilities, lack of knowledge about the qualifications for the opportunity, or simply not having enough time to write a worthy letter.]

I'm happy to help you find a teacher or mentor who can write a better letter for you. Just let me know if there's anything I can do to assist in that process. I want to be honest with you, but also want to make sure we can find someone who can give you the best recommendation possible.

Best,
[Your Name]

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