Monday, September 21, 2009

How to send an e-mail to a teacher - REALLY!

In your high school career you are beginning to communicate via the internet with your teachers. It is crucial to follow some basic guidelines when you do this for a couple of reasons.

First, your teachers are busy people (as are most students) and e-mail should be a tool which makes their lives easier rather than more difficult.

Second, and more important, your e-mails are a projection of your professionalism. Get used to writing professional e-mails so you are taken seriously by teachers, college professors, peers, employers, and others you think should take you seriously.

1. Write a subject line that tells the reader what the e-mail is about. For email about classes, include the class name and period in your subject line.

Don’t: SUBJECT: (don't leave it blank or put something like "hi")

Do: SUBJECT: Question about observation assignment Hon. Bio. Per. 5

2. Sign the e-mail with your full name and your class and period number. Many students have e-mail addresses which don’t include their name, and remember that teachers have about 150 students so be sure they know who you are!

Don’t: seeya J ;-)

Do: Sincerely, Juan Gonzalez, Hon. Bio. Per. 5

3. Write in a professional manner. Use standard capitalization and punctuation. Use your computer’s spell checker and proof-read your email before you send it. Remember, using ALL CAPITALS is like YELLING in an email.

Don’t: yo mr c wazup wat u giv 4 homwurk 2day

Do: Hi Mr. Cantor. I am absent today because I’m pretty sick. Can you please e-mail me any notes from class and our assignment? I’ll be sure to bring a note from my grandma so my absence is excused.

4. Only send appropriate emails. Please don’t forward chain letters or other Spam. Please don’t send joke or “inspirational” e-mails unless they relate to our class. Many chain letters are urban myths. Before you feel the need to forward the message about a new computer virus or free laptop giveaway, check to see if it is true or not. Also, I don’t “friend” current students on Facebook, so please don’t send a friend request until you graduate from NGHS.

i.e. I’d love to see a clean and school appropriate joke or cartoon about evolution that involves Charles Darwin and Sigmund Freud bungee jumping, but I don’t want to see any joke that might be mean, racist, sexist, obscene, rude, offensive, or otherwise irrelevant to our class.

5. If you send a paper or other assignment to a teacher learn how to send it as an Attachment. Name your file something that makes sense and is unique to your paper.

Don’t: biologypaper.doc (every student might name it this)

Do: JuanGonzalezSciFairBioPer05.doc

The computers at school can’t read “.docx” and other unusual file types. Always use “save as” to save your document as a .doc or a .rtf file before attaching. If you can’t do that, you can copy and paste your document into the body of your e-mail, assuming it isn’t too long and full of graphs etc.

6. If you don’t have internet access at home there are other options:
1. Use the library at school during lunch or after school.
2. Use the Chicago Public Library – There are several branches near school.
3. Use a computer at a friend or relative’s house.
4. Arrange to stay after school in my room, or another teacher's room to use the computer.


Jasmine said...

Hey Mr.Cantor, I have figured it out! thank you. here is the link to my blog.

jasminD said...

this is my new blogspot and my homework that was due Oct.5th so make sure to change it :)