Tuesday, September 15, 2020

For Students: The Basics of Composing and Sending an Email to Your Teacher

More than ever, students are using email to communicate with teachers. Regardless of email service, Gmail, Outlook, etc., students often lack the basic skills of sending an email to a teacher. Many times, their emails contain characteristics of text messages and direct messages on social media platforms. 

On many occasions, students will compose the entirety of their message in the subject line. To help with this, start by explaining to students that email is a formal form of communication. This will be essential when they enter the workforce. A tip I give students is to treat an email with the same care they take when writing an essay. Remind them to spell to the best of ability as well as follow grammar rules. I remind students that email communication is different than text or direct messages. On those platforms, grammar and formality is not expected, but in email, it is.

Below is a series of screenshots that show the "basic" anatomy of composing an email from student to a teacher. Feel free to share these images with students.

When emailing a teacher within a school or district domain, there is no need to have email addresses memorized. By typing the teacher's last name, the address will appear in a drop down menu for the student to select.

Remind students of the importance of the Subject line. This is like a "Main Idea" of the message. Messages without a "Subject" are less likely to be read and more likely to be treated as Spam or ignored. Be very clear that this is NOT where you type the entirety of the message.

Let students know, below the Subject line is where they compose their message and use their best grammar.

There is much more to email than discussed in this blog post. This post is meant to address the bare bones basics of composing and sending an email from students to teachers. Once they get the basics, we can then focus on some of the more advanced features of composing and sending emails.

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