Now that many schools have been either online or partially online for over a year, we can reflect on changes we need to improve our educational system.  I’ve received a lot of emails from my students during this past year and I have come to realize that we don’t teach students how to respectfully write to their teachers in an email.  So, I’ve come up with 3 tips we can teach our students that will help them to write respectful letters to their teachers.

1. Don’t write an email like a Text – Kids tend to think an email is like a text.  It is not.  Students should learn that they need to start with a salutation, maybe ask the person who they are email how they are, then ask what they need to ask.  It’s hard to receive emails from my students “I need you to do XXX.”  As much as it frustrates me, the kids were never taught now to email, so we need to start teaching them.

2. Be respectful – Kids need to learn to be respectful to their teachers and school staff.  Again, start the email with a salutation and make sure to use the teacher’s last name.  “Hello Mrs. Crawford.  I hope you are well…” A little formality goes a long way.  “Yvonne, I need xxxx” is not acceptable.

3. Always say thank you! – Children need to be reminded to say thank you after the teacher or staff member has helped them.  We all receive so many emails so a little thank you goes a long way.

One thing I started to do, which has helped a lot, is to reply to short disrespectful emails by asking the student nicely to rephrase the email before I will respond.  95 percent of the time they do and they apologize.  This is a life skill we are teaching, so don’t feel like you are being mean.  They need to learn this skill in order to function in the future in a job!