Email Expectations

What is good email etiquette and why should we care? 


Before the Digital Age, we picked up the phone and called people. Today, email has become the ubiquitous form of communication and is often mistreated as a form of text messaging. My personal feelings towards email in general are that they are not conducive to deep work, so I try to allot the bare minimum of time and effort into clearing my inbox as much as possible. I believe my time as an educator is better spent serving my students in other ways, but I do recognize that there are instances when email may be a necessary part of the job.


An Important Message to All Students Regarding Email

BEFORE you begin writing, consider whether email is the most appropriate form of communication for your request. If there is an important matter that needs to be addressed, always do so in person; if that is not possible, ask to meet virtually. Meeting face-to-face communicates an urgency that email fails to convey. 

Once you have decided that email is the best vehicle for your message, consider whether the question has already been answered or can be found elsewhere. Have you checked the course expectations and class notes? Have you consulted a peer? Next, consider the type of request you are making. If you are emailing your teacher to ask for an extension within 24 hours of the deadline, do not be surprised if you don’t get a response. 

Here are what I believe to be the bare minimum requirements for communicating to your teachers via email: 

  1. Include a short and concise subject line 
  2. Proofread the body of your email. 
  3. Include your name and class period in the close out line

  1. Include a short and concise subject line 

The subject line should be a clear and concise summary of the body of the content. A good subject line has the ability to make the recipient more receptive to your message. 

  1. Proofread the body of your email. 

A well crafted email is concise and takes care to respect the reader’s time. 

  1. Include your name and class period in the close out line.

This helps teachers easily identify you and is especially helpful if you are making a request to have something adjusted in your gradebook for instance. 

By following these guidelines, it shows your teacher that you respect their time and attention, and makes it more likely that your request will be seriously considered. 


Ms. Soo’s Email Expectations

Here are my personal expectations when it comes to email communication with students: 

  • Response time. I will do my best to respond within 48-hours, however, if certain requests require more consideration, please wait up to one week before following up. Please note that important requests should be made in person first
  • Ask three before me. If you are asking a question in person or via email, check a minimum of three other sources before asking. Doing so lets me know that you have done your due diligence and helps me know what the gaps are in your understanding. 
  • Follow the minimum requirements. Follow the minimum requirements above for crafting a well-mannered email. 
  • No response. I do not respond to rude, offensive, or otherwise inconsiderate emails. Questions or comments that are poorly crafted will also not be given a response. Requests that concern grades, extensions, and references are best communicated in person. 

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