Email etiquette for teachers – 10 tips

Communicating via email is no longer a luxury for some, but a necessity for working. As a teacher, it most probably is your primary source of communication with colleagues, parents and depending on the age group you teach – pupils, too. Before one starts it may be wise to consider the appropriate etiquette for sending professional emails, as it is imperative for effective communication.

Read on for 10 top tips to becoming the best communicator! 

  1. Always use your school email. 
    Avoid sending emails from your personal email, especially to parents but colleagues too; it is just simply unprofessional. Very close co-workers and friends can be exempt from this rule. 
  2. Use subject lines wisely. 
    Keep them brief and to the point. Your subject line should always link to your email’s subject and not something that will get attention for the sake of it. That way people can judge whether it’s a priority email or not, and can prioritise its reading appropriately.
  3. Start and sign off in a courteous manner. 
    Opt for formal greetings rather than informal ones, especially when writing to a parent. Greetings such as ‘Dear’ and “Hello” followed by the recipient’s name (spelt correctly) are a safe way to start off. ‘Hi’ can also be used, although slightly more informal, but will work well if you have a closer relationship with the recipient.
  4. Be mindful of your tone. 
    Golden rule: always avoid writing emails when you are upset or angry. Your mood will be conveyed via the email and can lead to embarrassing and unwanted consequences. Have someone you trust read it before you hit that send button, just to make sure the tone is right.
  5. Be mindful of length. 
    Lengthy emails should as a rule be avoided. They should be short, sweet and to the point. Anything more than 2 large paragraphs should probably be discussed over the phone or in person.
  6. Proofread
    Read it multiple times and check for typos that might not have flagged up. If you are still unsure, ask a trusted person to proofread it for you or copy paste it in word.
  7. Emotive language. 
    Use emotive language to acknowledge someone’s feelings or requests, then head onto addressing the issue at hand. This shows your recipient that you care and that the action you are planning on taking will be followed through. Skip the emoticons though, as much as you may love them, for they look tacky and unprofessional.
  8. C.C wisely. 
    Use the CC feature when necessary and remember to include everyone that needs to be kept up-to-date and informed. If you need someone to follow-up with an action, you should state this clearly in the email using their name.
  9. Leave the message thread and avoid using capitals. 
    WHEN YOU USE CAPITALS, NO MATTER WHAT YOU WRITE, IT READS AS IF YOU ARE SHOUTING. Please, please leave the capitals out but remember to include the thread. This allows the recipient to go back to what has been said without them rummaging through their emails to find it.
  10. End on a good note. 
    A personal message or note at the end is always uplifting – make sure you end your email on a positive note like, ‘Have a nice day!’

    Remember, great communication is the foundation of building great relationships. Follow these simple tips and be an awesome communicator! 

What tips would you suggest? Leave a comment below, like and share if you enjoyed this post. 

Till next time…


2 comments on “Email etiquette for teachers – 10 tips”
  1. Heather Skeen says:

    Great tips – and a perfect time to share with so many teachers and students moving to online learning.


    1. Thank you! I’m happy you think they are useful, please feel free to share!


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