Emails from the Edge

Ah, emails from students…after 10 years of teaching, I have lots of good stories about getting emails – the funny, the frustrating and the offensive. My favorite was a few years ago, when I got an email that began, simply, “Hey Woman!” When I noticed that it was sent on a Saturday just after 2 a.m., I just kind of rolled my eyes and chuckled. I did not respond. And the student wasn’t actually in my class that semester, so there was thankfully no awkward encounter that followed – though that might have been entertaining. More often than not, students are pretty good about their emails to me, though sometimes it is hard to know what they are actually saying, and quite often, I do just want to scream “READ THE SYLLABUS!”

That’s probably why I chuckled when I came across Laura Portwood-Stacer’s instructions on how to write to your professor. Dr. Portwood-Stacer acknowledges that the issue may simply be that no one has taught students how to write emails professionally, so she lays it out, step by step. I especially enjoyed this bit of advice: “If you call your prof. Mrs. or Miss, Lord help you.” Truth, students – TRUTH.

And while we’re on the subject, I have one more to add to her list of “dos” and “don’ts”: don’t email your professors, even the ones from last semester, after you get home from the bar. It’s just…not a wise move.

Check out the full list on Medium.

Do you have any funny email stories? Let us know in the comments.