Working with your child’s teacher

8 Tips for Emailing With Your Child’s Teacher

By Geri Coleman Tucker

182Found this helpful
182Found this helpful

Most teachers expect and welcome communication via email. But you should be careful about what you say and how you say it in the email.

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Ask if email is a good way to communicate.

Be sure the teacher is willing to communicate by email. Ask to exchange email addresses.

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Start each email with a positive comment.

Express how much you appreciate the teacher’s hard work or how much your child likes the class.

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Keep it brief.

Long emails often aren’t read closely.

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Don’t expect an instant reply.

Don’t expect answers on weekends, evenings or vacations. Teachers have family lives, too. Find out what the teacher’s policy is on how quickly you’re likely to get a response.

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Check the class materials first.

Don’t ask questions if the answers can be found in class materials. Many teachers now go to great lengths to put grades, assignments and other materials on a web portal. Check that first.

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Don’t copy the principal.

An email to your child’s teacher should only include other school professionals if they’ve been involved in the particular issue you’re emailing about.

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Keep the tone calm and respectful.

If you want to discuss a learning issue, try to stick with the facts. Instead of writing “no one is helping my son with his math,” you can cover the same territory in a less accusatory tone. For example, you can write, “He failed the last two math tests, and I’m concerned he needs some math help. Can you and I set up a time to talk about this further?” That may start the process of a helpful dialogue.

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End on a nice note.

Thank the teacher for taking the time to read your message, and say that you look forward to hearing her thoughts.

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About the Author

Portrait of Geri Tucker

Geri Coleman Tucker is a freelance writer and editor and a former deputy managing editor for USA Today.

Reviewed by

Portrait of Kristen Hodnett

Kristen L. Hodnett, M.S.Ed., is a clinical professor in the department of special education at Hunter College in New York City.

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