Updated: Nov 10, 2022
So you just finished the semester and you've been working your tail off to turn everything in, but...you still have three assignments missing. What do you do?
First off, you will want to write an email to your teacher saying something along these lines:
Hi (teacher name),
I hope your break is off to a good start. I noticed I am missing the following assignments:
-Assignment name #1
-Assignment name #2
--Assignment name #3
Would you be able to unlock these assignments so I can submit them? If not, could I send them to your email and still earn full credit? If neither of those are possible, could I do alternative assignments to make up for the lost credit?
Thank you for your guidance,
Even if the teacher says they are not checking their email over the weekend/break/holiday, STILL SEND THIS EMAIL. It is proof that you are doing everything in your locus of control to improve your standing in the class and be a responsible student.
I have coached students in sending an email like this over and over and there is really something magical about what happens afterward. For one, the teacher automatically holds the student in higher esteem because of the assertive communication skills that are being demonstrated. 99% of teachers want their students to be effective communicators, so this is like music to their ears (or eyes).
Second, teachers LOVE when students ask for their guidance. This act of humility shows the teacher that the student is concerned about their performance in the teacher's class and wants to get back on track. The student is not demanding anything -- they are simply asking for an opportunity to demonstrate their abilities and earn a better grade (keyword is earn).
In the worst-case scenario that the teacher is totally inflexible and will not give the student an opportunity to earn back those lost points, the student at least knows that they did everything in their power to get the best grade possible and any feedback the teacher supplies after the email is sent will surely be valuable for the student to fully understand the structure of the class and the expectations that the teacher has for their students.
For all you educational therapists and tutors out there, this also serves as proof that you can present to the families so they can better advocate to the teacher, counselor, or administrator, if needed, for their child. If a middle school or high school student is writing emails like this and following through on a teacher's request, and is still not earning a passing grade, there almost certainly needs to be a change of classes or a meeting held to discuss what is going on.
If a student tells you their teacher locked an assignment and they cannot submit it, make sure they send an email asking for an opportunity to send the assignments in and earn credit.
Got questions about how to resolve school related issues? Leave a comment below or schedule a time to chat.
Sean McCormick, Educational Therapist