One e-mail I sent was a reply to a message this instructor sent out to everyone requesting specific information.
One was an e-mail following the course procedure for mistakes we found in the online chapter quizzes.
Timely, clear replies phrased in ways that aim to help students learn and that give students the benefit of the doubt are most effective.
College is about learning, and our job is to help guide students through this messy process.
When communicating with students, whether in an e-mail, in the office, or in the classroom, using a combination of inclusive, positive, and welcoming language is best.
I still remember one negative, almost hostile e-mail I received as a college freshman from a professor.
I have days where I am tempted to delete all my e-mail and not look back because I receive so many -- 50 to 100 every day.
For me, the number of e-mails from students has always been small (actually too small) — no more than 10-20 weekly.
I always frame conversations in terms of asking students, “What does success mean to you?
” Then, we discuss the behaviors needed for that goal.