I am a teaching assistant for a biology teacher. When I took biology 3 years ago, she was my teacher. There is another teacher who she works EXTREMELY closely with, and there is essentially no differentiation between the two teachers regarding what I help out with, and I am close with both of them.

Is it appropriate for me to get a letter of recommendation from one of them even though I took the class as a freshman and am now a junior teaching assistant? For any other freshman teachers, I would not consider getting a letter of recommendation; however, I have gone far above and beyond the normal duties of a teaching assistant -- namely designing and implementing labs, grading, and even teaching the class as a substitute (there was an official proxy but I did the teaching). Humbly, I am quite appreciated, trusted and I have no doubt that I would receive quite a stunning recommendation letter. I would love to have a recommendation from one of the two marvellous teachers that I TA for, but I cannot decide which one -- the one whom the position is designated to? I feel there is potential for the other to be offended, and I would much prefer that that didn't happen. A selfish part of me wants the 'better' writer to write my letter, although I don't know who that is and I would prefer not to think of it that way (though a part of me suspects that is it the teacher to whom my position is not officially designated).

Just to clarify, I am in high school, and the recommendation letter is for undergrad/combined university programs.

Is it appropriate for me to get a letter of recommendation from one of these teachers? If so, how should I choose?

Edit: one of the teachers is also the advisor for a club that I am president of.

  • 1
    Undergraduate admissions are off-topic here. I'm not sure what a 'combined' program is nor how their admission process differs, but I imagine that class performance will play a greater role than for graduate admissions, which are really primarily concerned with research ability (which is a quite different skill). So the usual answers you would get here may not apply in your case.
    – nengel
    Nov 26, 2017 at 6:52

2 Answers 2


yes, anyone who has supervised your work is suitable to be a recommender. You should solicit recommends who can give you the best recommendation and also whose professional status is most impressive.


Pick the writer who can best attest to your performance and ability to work in a graduate setting. Being a student is one factor, being able to assist in teaching in another.

You have the best knowledge as to who will be better for you.

  • Mm yes, thank you; however, is it academically acceptable for me to receive a letter from one of these teachers at all? I ask because I know that universities and applications place favor on recent teachers.
    – Equinox
    Nov 26, 2017 at 6:11
  • I don't believe there are restrictions except for writers who are family and friends. Although there is a preference for professors, employers would work as well.
    – Bluebird
    Nov 26, 2017 at 6:13
  • Thank you. Consider this +1, I don't have enough rep yet.
    – Equinox
    Nov 26, 2017 at 6:15
  • @Equinox place the tick to accept the answer - does not need rep...
    – Solar Mike
    Nov 26, 2017 at 6:25
  • Correct, I am waiting to see if anybody else answers with contrary opinions -- an accepted answer will often deter others. I am quite an active user of SE and SEO, although my posts are numbered.
    – Equinox
    Nov 26, 2017 at 6:29

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