Just Do It! Interacting With Your Teachers

November 3, 2022

An essential part of navigating middle and high school includes interacting with our teachers.

How to Talk to Teachers

Students can always find a range of obstacles that prevent them from speaking to their teachers. Maybe it is fear that their teacher does not like them. Maybe they are doing poorly in class. Maybe the teacher is intimidating or strict.

Mr. DeBirk teaches physics here at American Heritage, along with some creative classes. He recognizes that it is sometimes difficult for students to approach teachers. DeBirk commented, “It is always intimidating to talk to somebody out of your age group, especially older, and highschool is a time when you are not always too sure of yourself, so that is part of the difficulty.” DeBirk makes an effort to speak to his students in a way that makes them feel comfortable. He said, “You have to talk to the students as if they are an equal and as if you believe in them.”

Sophomore Charlie Allred agrees with DeBirk. He thinks that it is easier to reach out to teachers if they are welcoming and pleasant. Allred said, “[Teachers] have…seemed very nice and approachable which [makes it easier] to talk to them.” 

Another thing that makes it easier to address teachers is to show them appreciation and politeness. We get what we put in. Julianne Sessions, senior, stated, “I’ve gotten along with [teachers] really well… I’ve always respected the teachers, and they give me the same respect.” 

Communicating with our teachers may be challenging. It may take a lot of courage and vulnerability. Certain conversations may need to be planned or thought out, but the key to speaking to teachers is remembering that they are people too. Do not approach them with an attitude of disrespect or judgment. Do not approach them with a sense of entitlement or complaining. Be honest, reasonable, and patient, and you are likely to receive the same in return. 

A common thread in these comments is that both teachers and students alike deserve respect and acknowledgement. Communication is crucial to resolving problems and building relationships.  Even though we may be hesitant to ask questions, our teachers always want to talk to us.

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How to Email Teachers

Are you struggling in a class? Do you have a question about your grades or an assignment? Sometimes the best way to get in touch with your teacher is through email. Writing an email to a teacher is a very common way to reach out and address our grades or any problems we may be having in class. Chances are, we will need to write several of them while we are in school. However, most of us do not know that when writing an email to a teacher, it is a formal communication; it is not informal like how a text would be. We need to use a few specific guidelines that are not only more appropriate but also make our emails more impressive.


When composing an email, it is important to address your teacher properly. Make sure to include an appropriate introduction and ask your teacher how they are doing before asking any questions regarding your grade or schooling. Use complete sentences and avoid things like abbreviations, slang, etc. Remember that they do a lot for you and taking time to read the email and address your issue or grade is a favor, be kind and courteous when doing this. Greet the teacher in a happy and friendly tone and close the email in a grateful manner. This shows that you have good etiquette and helps the teacher feel more appreciated, which will encourage them to make an effort to help. By applying these tips and tools, we can greatly improve our email etiquette and show teachers we truly appreciate what they do for us. Samuel Van der beek, junior, said “I used to email teachers in an informal format and realized that email etiquette matters; we are the ones asking for a favor, and how we reach out to our teachers shows respect and gratitude.” Kapono Limon, junior, said “ It is very useful to know how to properly write an email when communicating to a teacher, it is polite and respectful and shows you are thankful for what they do.” It is very important to know how to write an email properly. The difference between writing an email to a teacher and texting your friends is huge. Emails are formal communication and with these simple suggestions, can be used to reach out to a teacher for a question or comment. Hopefully, we can remember this and apply it moving forward this school year.  It will impress our teachers and help us throughout our lives because email etiquette is always important.

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