Question: I am a high school junior and generally a very nice, enthusiastic, and charming person, but in my freshman year one teacher just drove me nuts. Now, he is insinuating that he will write a "letter of unrecommendation" to all my colleges! What's worse is that this teacher is notorious for spreading untruthful rumors, and I'm afraid that his letters will contain libel and falsehood. Will the colleges contact me,personally, to verify everything in my teacher's disparaging letter?
Teachers don't automatically write recommendations; they need to be asked by you to do so. In fact, the "Common Application," (which you may end up using for many of your target schools) provides a specific electronic "invitation" that goes to only the two teachers you specify. Colleges that don't participate in the Common Application often have their own forms (either electronic or paper) that you will present only to your selected recommenders. Thus, this teacher who is pestering you will not receive a form nor should he have access to your college list.