In the new age of remote learning, email has become one of my favorite classroom management strategies. Email has become my main mode of communication. My emails have increased exponentially and now I’m sending them to students, where I never would have done that before. I’m enjoying a couple of Gmail’s built-in resources and thought I would share.
Classroom Management Strategy | Send Scheduled Email
Many of us are working around new schedules that aren’t necessarily our originally contracted hours. Personally, I’m working during Jack’s naps, which will hopefully help me make it ’til summer. To fill in some of the gaps and to appear more present with our students, schedule emails to be delivered while you’re busy.
When you’re done writing your email, look down to the send button. To the right of the send button is a little arrow. Select that button and there will be a few options for when to schedule the email. I use this all year long to make sure I’m responding to parents during my contract hours (even if I’m frantically answering their email at 3 AM). If you want a specific time to send the email that is not available (like I did when I sent out reminder emails for the last week of school), then choose “custom.” You’ll be able to select the date and time that works best for you.
My attendance is dwindling. My students know they don’t have school for the rest of the year and even my driven students have started to no-show planned appointments. Reminder emails are one of those classroom management strategies that make an impact! Using templates, I scheduled reminder emails for the rest of the year in half an hour! Now all of my students get an email the day before their session and I don’t have to send it! Attendance still isn’t great, but I can at least document the reminder email went out and I made a good-faith effort to see these students.
Many of us are creating weekly or even monthly newsletters. Again, you can work on these during the week and schedule a time for them to go out. I’m planning to pound out some newsletters in a couple of hours and that will be the bulk of my work for one school for the remainder of the year. Then you can let them send out on their own or tweak them before they fly off into the world.
Classroom Management Strategy | Create GMail Templates
I know we all use templates constantly in our paperwork (if you’re not, you should). Since I am sending very similar emails over and over again, I activated the templates option in my Gmail and it was a game-changer. Remember when I was focusing on reminder emails for the rest of the year? I used a template to make it really simple and quick.
Google makes this really simple. You need to turn on permission for your account to use templates because it doesn’t automatically turn on for all users.
Go into advanced settings and select “templates.” I used command+f to find “templates” on the page very quickly.
Once you find the templates section, you have to click “enable.” Remember to save your changes and you’re ready to start making templates.
Write an email that you want to make into a template (examples below)
Start composing an email and then select the “more” button with three dots.
You can choose to save your draft as a template or overwrite another template.
You can make up to 50 templates, so go crazy!
If you already did the last two steps, this one will be intuitive.
You go into google, begin composing a new email, and then select the three dots button.
You select “add a template” and then you can choose from the templates you have already created.
Tips for Writing Templates
(1) Avoid using the student’s name. Start with a greeting like “Hi there!” or “Good morning!”
(2) Avoid gendered pronouns – use “you” or “class” to make the email less gender-specific
(3) Review the document before sending, to make sure that you aren’t forgetting any fill-in-the-blanks that you left in your template.
This is your friendly reminder that we have a scheduled meeting at TIME tomorrow. I look forward to seeing you! Let me know if you will need to reschedule.
Missed Appointment Email
I missed you today at our appointment. I hope everything is well with you. When you get a chance, please send me an email to check-in and reschedule.
Have a great day,
**Pro-tip: CC the parents on these emails.
I hope now you can see what a game-changer these classroom management strategies will be. They have made a tremendous difference in my productivity. Go into your email settings and quickly enable templates. You may not have any ideas for templates right now, but hopefully, my little voice will be in the back of your head this week as you write the same thing over and over. There is a way to make this one thing easier.
Looking for some therapy ideas? Try these.