The perfect liaison between impractical face-to-face communication and informal text messaging, e-mail is the ideal way to contact teacher in times of need. Quick and convenient, email enables students and teachers to keep in touch while maintaining a professional relationship.
However, students often underestimate the importance of email etiquette, choosing to reply with an informal “Thx sm” instead of a proper “Thank you so much.”
To prevent “e-mail embarrassment,” check out the following dos and don'ts to help compose the perfect email:
- Do recall whether the teacher goes by Mr., Ms., Mrs., Miss or Dr. and be sure to address him or her by the proper prefix.
- Do begin the email with a concise greeting such as “Good morning” or “Good evening” rather than jumping in without saying hello.
- Do include a “Thank you” or “I appreciate it.” Teachers are busy people, and a little expression of gratitude could go a long way.
- Do strike a balance between formal and informal language. While an email isn’t the time to break out your SAT vocabulary words, writing clearly and deftly shows a strong command of email etiquette.
- Don’t include emojis or hashtags in emails. Does this sound ridiculous? Yes. Are students guilty of this crime? Unfortunately.
- Don’t sign emails with just a first name—most names are a dime a dozen, and including both class and class period helps the teacher sift through his or her inbox with greater ease.
- Don’t email the teacher at 2:30 a.m. if the assignment is due at 7 a.m. expecting an immediate reply. It’s not the teacher's job to deal with a student’s procrastination.
- Don’t forget to use spell check. A simple click of a button could prevent a lot of explaining and embarrassment in the long term.