Emailing Teachers: 5 Tips to Successfully Email Teachers

This post is from our series on Virtual students and how school has become more and more online.  See our other posts from the Virtual Student series here.

School has gone virtual, classes have gone digital and homework is online.  Now teachers and students are emailing more than ever.  It is important for students and parents to be aware of some of the pitfalls of turning in homework via email, emailing teachers and developing a relationship online outside of class.


Tips for Students When Emailing Teachers:

1) Be MORE formal than in class

Use ‘Dear,’ use their full name with Mrs/Mr/Ms, and correct grammar.  This is your teacher, they do not officially grade you on your emails, but grades to factor in attitude.  Email can definitely include attitude, so make sure it is in check.

2) Sign Your Name and Class Period

It would be terrible to turn in an assignment and not get graded because they did not know who sent it.  Make sure to sign all emails with your full name and class period.  Some teachers have tons of students and this is super helpful for them.

3) Correctly Label Your File

When anyone downloads a file, they usually save it to a file within their computer.  It is extremely difficult for teachers to distinguish between 30 files that are labeled “History Homework” or “English Essay Gatsby”.  Ask your teacher if they have a preference, otherwise your default should be lastname_assignment_date.  Like vanpetten_gatsbypaper_102209.  This makes it easy for teachers to keep track and keeps you organized too.

4) Do It Early

Email deadlines change the game.  Having a paper due at 12am on Thursday is very different than having one due in class on Thursday.  ALWAYS be early.  Just in case it bounces back, the email address is wrong or you cannot attach it.  Give yourself at least an hour to work out kinks.

5) Never Mass Mail Your Contacts

This one I see all the time. You join LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook and it messages all of your contacts to ‘join you on ____’  NEVER do this.  You might think you only email friends, but mostly likely you have an old teacher, counselor or parent on their who does not want to be your friend on Facebook.

We have a ton more tutorials of online tools for teachers, students and parents check them out below.

3 Responses to “Emailing Teachers: 5 Tips to Successfully Email Teachers”

  1. Melissa
    October 18, 2009 at 3:21 pm #

    I really like the advice given in this article to students when e-mailing their teachers. I usually e-mail my teachers asking them for help if I don’t get a question on a homework assignment; and I always make sure that I address them properly and do not use shorthand like “G2G NOW,” or “TTYL.” I want my teacher to view me in a professional light. I also love #3, because more and more teens are just labeling their assignements under random names like “Scooby Doo,” or something along those lines. I like the example of the name of the file you gave. I think I will start using that format when labeling my papers online to send to my teachers. And I didn’t even think about #5! Thanks for the heads up! I have to inform my friends about that as well! :)

  2. Vanessa Van Petten
    October 18, 2009 at 3:59 pm #

    thanks so much melissa!


  1. Hey Prof! | Unflappable Phoebe - January 19, 2011

    […] Label an attachment with this format (so that a teacher can easily find a download): FirstNameLastName_assignment_ddmmyyyy. […]

Leave a Reply