If Teachers Were Honest In Their Email Responses

honest emails cover image

The act of checking one’s inbox is enough to send a teacher into cardiac arrest. Did you take a 2-minute pee break? Congratulations! You now have 27 emails to catch up on. Below is what you might expect if teachers were actually honest when replying to emails…

1. When someone hits “reply all”…

WHAT THE FUDGE, SUSAN?! I know technology can be difficult, but how have you worked at this school for over 15 years and you still don’t know the difference between the “reply” and the “reply all” button? Stop clogging our inboxes with your “LOLs” on a daily basis. Susan…get it together! I don’t have time for your insane questions that legitimately pertain to no one else on our faculty.

How you should actually respond: Say nothing. Are these annoying? Yes. Are they the thing you want to die in battle for? Hell to the no.

2. When an administrator tries to pawn off one more thing on you…

As entertaining as it sounds, kind administrator, I would NOT like to take on the glee club for a stipend that is basically minimum wage. I really don’t care how many compliments you give me. This tired teacher needs to be lying down instead of jazz squaring it up two times a week for forty-five minutes.

How you should actually respond: Thank you so much for thinking of me! Unfortunately, I have a full plate of responsibilities here that I do not want to jeopardize by adding one more thing. Thanks, again, for offering.  I really appreciate it!

3. When a parent demands you put together a month’s worth of “absent” work…

What part of your brain thought it would be a good idea to take a month-long family vacation to Mexico in October? I’m all about educational field trips, but lounge chairs and margaritas aren’t it. Would I mind getting together an entire month’s worth of classwork and homework? Would I mind?! YES…I WOULD MIND VERY MUCH. Take your vacation in summer like the rest of us peasants.

How you should actually respond: Thank you so much for reaching out. I will try to create a packet for your child, but please note that the worksheets cannot possibly replace the content and activities we do each day in class.

4. When a student emails you like they are texting their homies…

Dear “stoodent”…check your grammar before you email me again. Please do not “Yo, miss” me when you are trying to ask a question. You need the proper greeting if you want me to pay attention to you. Also, some basic grammar and punctuation would be nice. You aren’t DMing me or anything, so, like, you actually have to spell things correctly.

How you should actually respond: I am more than happy to answer your question after you try emailing me one more time with a proper salutation and a grammatically correct body paragraph.

5. When a co-worker sends you a frantic message when they should be sleeping…

Stop emailing me at 3 a.m. with the subject line “URGENT”! Your insomnia is not my problem. Even if you do your best thinking in the wee hours of the morning, it is not a good look to be sending mass emails at this time. Also, the only “urgent” thing right now is my beauty sleep. Leave me alone!!!

How you should actually respond: Sorry for the late reply! I have a strict rule of not checking email once I leave school for the day.

6. When a parent tries to tell you how to run your classroom…

Look…I don’t tell you how to parent your child so please don’t tell me how to teach my students. I actually went to school for teaching and I feel pretty confident with my ability to take the students from point A to point B. I really do not need your input when thinking about how best to empower, teach, and motivate my darling kiddos.

How you should actually respond: While I appreciate your suggestions, I also value my autonomy as a teacher to design my classroom in a way that benefits all types of learners.

7. When a parent explains that their son is the next Bill Gates and should be moved to a more “challenging” class…

Umm…your child has a B in grade-level math and isn’t getting key concepts that, quite honestly, should be review by this point. Let’s focus on getting him some help to boost his understanding rather than placing him in a class that merely looks better to outsiders.  

How you should actually respond: Thank you so much for reaching out about this matter. Would it be possible to discuss this in person during my morning office hours?

8. When an administrator emails you last-minute about another meeting…

Why in God’s green earth do we have another “stand up” meeting after school? I’ve got to be honest with you…I’m “meeting-ed” out. Unless there are donuts, I ain’t going.

How you should actually respond: Would it be at all possible to be given a little more advance notice regarding our meetings? I value collaboration and prep time and I want to make sure I plan my days accordingly.

9. When a parent complains about the low grade their child is receiving in your class…

Your child receiving a D+ is not my fault, ma’am. I’m a little bit confused about why I am getting the blame for your child not turning in assignments/large projects. I’ve posted the due date online and I’ve said it, ad nauseum, 50 times. That’s on your kid, boo!  

How you should actually respond: I am so happy you reached out regarding your child’s grade. Here is why he/she is receiving this grade and here is what all three of us can do to make sure he/she is fully grasping the material.

10. When a former student writes you a meaningful email about how much you impacted their life…

I. AM. TEARING. UP. Thank you, kind student, for making me feel like I am making a small, albeit, significant contribution to you and the world. I can’t tell you how important these emails are to us, teachers. They put a smile on our face and propel us forward into another day of most likely thankless teaching.

How you should actually respond: With a giant GIF of someone crying.

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