5 Reasons to Teach Email Etiquette at the Start of the School Year

5 Reasons to Teach Email Etiquette at the Start of the School Year

Teaching email etiquette to my new students is one of my first formal lessons in a new school year. When I teach email etiquette, I use this email etiquette teaching unit that includes a teachable presentation for direct instruction and plenty of student activities. Trust me, this is a fun lesson for the beginning of the year! When I take about two partial class periods to teach email etiquette at the beginning of the school year is a great introductory activity.
Email Etiquette Teaching Unit
Email Etiquette Teaching Unit

Here are five reasons to teach email etiquette at the start of the school year!

Teaching Email Etiquette is a Great Way to Ease into Content

After summer break, students (and let’s be honest -teachers, too) take some time to adjust to the rigor and routine of a new school year. Teaching email etiquette to students at the start of the year is one way to ease into the content. Yes, it seems like a light subject; it involved technology, and students have fun seeing the examples of what not to do, but email etiquette lessons actually carry a bit of ELA content. Think about it: students are reading, editing, crafting words, focusing on tone and format...there is a lot to unpack with email etiquette, but it doesn’t feel that way for our students. Teaching email etiquette at the start of the year is a win-win for everyone!

Email Etiquette is an Essential Skill

With the use of technology in the classroom and workplace ever-increasing, knowing how to properly send an email to teachers and community members is an essential skill. In many cases, it might even be someone’s first impression. As educators, we are responsible for providing our students with the skills needed for college and career readiness, and teaching email etiquette fits the bill.

Practical Implementation Tip: Assign students an introductory email. They would email either a prospective employer, a college admissions advisor, a scholarship application committee, etc., a letter introducing themselves and explaining why they are the ideal candidate. This assignment works well because students can see the application and value of the assignment!

You Can Incorporate Writing in Your Email Etiquette Lesson

Another reason why I love teaching email etiquette to my students because I can easily sneak in some writing instruction into my email etiquette unit. I teach my students about the introductory paragraph. We discuss the body of the email. We even discuss tone and talk about word choice. While teaching email etiquette isn’t as heavy of a topic as essay writing, it covers many of the same skills.

Teaching Email Etiquette is a Great Way to Get to Know Students

Furthermore, teaching email etiquette is a great way to get to know your students! After reviewing the slides in the presentation and working through all of the sample emails, I have my students practice their skills by writing me an email about themselves. It is usually a pretty quick email, but it gives them a chance to introduce themselves and let me know something about them that they feel will help me be a better teacher.

Practical Implementation Tip: Assign a hello email to your students the first week of school. After completing the email etiquette teaching units, assign your students a hello letter to introduce themselves to you and let you know one thing about them that will help them succeed in the classroom.

Teaching Email Etiquette Will Save Your Sanity

Finally, teaching email etiquette at the start of the school year will help teachers save their sanity. No, for real! The earlier you teach email etiquette, the sooner students' emails improve and become less cringe-worthy. I think it is safe to say that we’ve all received at least one student email that caused some sort of emotional reaction. By teaching email etiquette at the beginning of the school year, we can avoid some “why did u give me a D” emails.

With these five reasons, it is easy to see that teaching email etiquette at the start of a new school year is beneficial for both students and teachers. If you are looking for more practical implementation tips, check out this blog post about how I teach email etiquette.

5 Reasons to Teach Email Etiquette at the Start of the School Year



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