It started with quite a simple email from a student I haven't seen in weeks:
Hi it's lowercasefirst lowercasesecond can u please drop me from the class
Class ends this week. I received this email over the weekend and, like I said, haven't seen this student in weeks. Now, I don't care that s/he wants to drop the class. S/he should. However, the school has a very late drop date for students and s/he could have easily dropped by that date. Also, this is the email you send to ask your English instructor a favor? You send an email with no punctuation, your name in lowercase letters, and a frickin' text message "u"?
Ugh. Moving on...
Their final essay was due last Monday. I had one student turn the paper in, via email, on the following Thursday. The email that went along with the essay?
Yeah I know it's really late, but don't try to minus too much points now lol :)
I was pretty shocked when I read this email because I had been, or so I thought, quite stern with this student when I realized s/he didn't turn in his/her paper. Apparently, it was all a joke that I wasn't in on.
To continue with the inappropriate emoticons, this email came from another student in that same class:
Hi Mrs. EA, it's your favorite student in the world lowercasefirst lowercaselast. I'd like to thank you for helping me this semester. I'm honestly not a slacker but, ok, let me be honest, I am ;-). I was just wondering if u could tell me were I stand in the class right now. Thanks in advance.
Seriously? That is really how you want to address your instructor? You are aware that I decide if you pass or fail this class, right? I haven't turned in the grades yet, so this might not be the best email to be sending to me right now.
All these emails boil down to a simple formality that is obviously absent from the relationship between me and my students. This is probably my fault. I like our classes to feel laid back, so I do have a tendency to joke around and try to put out a friendly vibe. But when things don't go too well, I always thought I was strict and I expect respect.
It makes me think about my relationship with my professors. I am opposite end of these emails-waaay opposite. It takes me about half an hour to draft an email to the professor, carefully planning the salutations and polite yet non-stuffy wording. I would never, ever, nevereverever, write such a "hey, wazzup?!" email to a professor or anyone I was in a professional relationship with. Many of my students just do not treat school professionally and so I get emails with winky faces. Awesome.