What should students know about sending email to a teacher?

Kids are pretty savvy when it comes to how to talk to teachers (and how talking to teachers is different from talking to friends). But when it comes to email, some kids could use reminders about proper etiquette. Here are some guidelines:

  • Use a proper salutation, correct grammar, and full sentences.
  • Clearly state the purpose of the email (didn't understand the homework, forgot the field trip form).
  • Save problems, complaints, and other issues for face-to-face discussion -- that avoids a lot of drama.
  • Avoid anything that might be considered rude (check the message over to make sure nothing could be misconstrued).
  • Don't overuse emoticons.
  • Avoid attaching long, elaborate email signatures with images, song quotes, and so on.
  • Don't reply all and send superfluous messages to everybody in the class or community.
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Kid, 11 years old

Our computer teacher talked to us about that. He said to use proper grammar, sign your name, always include a subject, and don't bother the teacher after a certain time. For us, it's 6pm, but it really depends on the school. Also, the given, don't be innappropriate, and don't say anything you wouldn't say in person.
Kid, 12 years old

I disagree. If you have a question about the homework or something like that, I think it's actually more respectful to ask your teacher, rather then to just not do the homework at all.
Kid, 11 years old

I agree with you. It can be really useful if you don't know what to do, or if you're going to be absent, what work to do.
Educator and Parent written by mslemu

As an instructor at a community college and a teacher at a high school, I don't think emoticons would ever be appropriate in an email message to a teacher.