Always use your Birdville ISD email.
Avoid sending emails from your personal email, especially to parents but colleagues too.
Use subject lines wisely.
Keep the subject 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 prioritize its reading appropriately.
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 (be sure it is spelled 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.
Be mindful of your tone and think before sending it.
Golden rule: always avoid writing emails when you are upset or angry. Your mood will be conveyed via 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.
If you’re feeling emotional or unsure, wait before sending it. Always think whether your words could be misconstrued. Ensure the tone of all emails is calm. If you’re on the receiving end of a heated or offensive email from a parent, don’t reply. Consult with a school leader.
Be mindful of length.
Lengthy emails should as a rule be avoided. Emails should be short and to the point. Anything more than 2 large paragraphs should probably be discussed over the phone or in person.
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.
Use emotive language to acknowledge someone’s feelings or requests, then address 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.
CC and BCC 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.
Always use BCC if you email more than one parent so you keep their email addresses private. BCC shouldn’t be used to let people “eavesdrop” on conversations. This is poor email etiquette.
Leave the message thread and avoid using capitals.
WHEN YOU USE CAPITALS, NO MATTER WHAT YOU WRITE, IT READS AS IF YOU ARE SHOUTING. Leave the capitals out but remember to include the thread - Reply/Forward vs. starting a new email. This allows the recipient to go back to what has been said without them rummaging through their emails to find it.
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!’
Do not overuse the high priority option.
The high priority option will lose its function when you really need it if it is overused. Moreover, even if a mail has high priority, your message could come across as aggressive if you flag it as ‘high priority’. Use this sparingly.
Avoid unnecessary links and attachments.
Try to summarise all the information in the body of your email. Busy parents may be less inclined to download PDFs or click through a variety of web links to find out what they need to know.
Send unexpected positive notes.
Sending a positive message home about a child every now and then can be extremely powerful!
Be a little more friendly and polite than you need to be.
Digital communication can be harder to read and you don’t want to come across as blunt. It’s also best to avoid things like humor or sarcasm.
Use a phone call or face-to-face conversation when necessary.
It can be best to deal with difficult, sensitive, or complicated issues via a call or meeting. Likewise, if the email exchange is going back and forth for too long, consider a phone call or meeting.
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