A month or so ago, I wrote a post on “What I Do When a Parent, Guardian, or Student Emails Me Re: Make-Up Work or ‘How to Get My Grade Up.'” (Nuanced title, right?) One of our colleagues responded to this article with a simple template for replying to students who email her about their grade. I thought it was EXCELLENT and wanted to make sure to share it as it's own blog post.
You post today REALLY resonated with me. I have spent so much time doing exactly the kind of work described in this email — and I even took things one step further by adding in hyperlinks to individual assignments! With interims mailed home today, I know I will get the dreaded “What can I do to pull up my grade?” emails starting as early as tomorrow. As soon as I finished reading your post, I took a stab at drafting an email that will simply SIT in my “DRAFTS” folder until I need it. I would appreciate any feedback you can offer — could the reply be shorter? I’m curious as to the exact wording you use!
[Enter student name here],
I’m glad you are reaching out for help. Your message tells me you are motivated to improve your grade, and I’d like to offer a 15-minute meeting to help you identify assignments that can be submitted or resubmitted.
Please let me know which of the following slots work for you and what day you’d like to meet:
- After school (2:30-2:45, I have to open the school store at 2:20)
- During your lunch shift
- Before school (7:15-7:30)
During this time we’ll make a plan and get you started. I look forward to your follow-through!
Final note from Dave: What I love about this is that Caren doesn't need to think about anything more than copy/pasting and inserting a student name when she gets the kind of email that sends way too many of us into that overwhelm twinge in our guts.
She's got a plan. She knows it can help students. And she knows it's fair for her, too.
Great work and thank you to Caren for sharing.