Email Communication and Students

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I have recently set up classes with email addresses for the purposes of students being able to make contact with outside agencies where necessary for their PBL projects. A couple of students have started to email me. Today I received an email from a child who is off sick today. They just said hello. So I replied hello in return. They then started up a conversation asking if I had any fireworks last night and then I wished him well in getting better and that I would see him next week. Now, the reason I am posting about this is that I would like to sound professional minds out about whether or not this is crossing any lines? I want to keep lines of communication open with my students, but does casual conversation come under that? I want my students to feel comfortable enough with me to be able to communicate freely, but does phatic communion and personal conversation go beyond what a student/teacher relationship should entail? If I saw them on the street, outside of school, I would most likely have a similar conversation.

Please contribute your thoughts on this matter!

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2 comments

  1. Kimberley · November 11, 2015

    I think it is perfectly valid… we are trying to build a professional relationship with students. I had similar conversations with students via e-mailing in hols asking about books etc and with a couple I had threads going with us discusiing particular books we had read/ where to next etc…

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  2. Nicola · 14 Days Ago

    It’s tricky. I personally think those kinds of personal conversations are fine in short bursts – like a passing chat on the street; “yes we did have fireworks last night, they were lovely! We are looking forward to having you back in class, rest up and we will all see you soon.” It’s nice they feel comfortable to approach you. Any extended discussions should probably be in the public sphere or in a professional location like school blogs about book posts and a comment thread you interact on, or at school. That’s my opinion anyway.

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