A few suggestions based on what I've seen personally in moderately affluent districts in northern NJ. Respond to emails from parents within one business day. If you'll need time to consider or to research an answer, a quick note to this effect is fine. If you review email on a particular day, note this in an autoresponse and give a way to contact you by phone in emergencies. Note that if the emergency contact method is to reach you by phone via the office, you'll have parents in an emotional state calling the office and talking to administrators. Always start your emails with a salutation or greeting. "Dear", "Hello", or anything else will work fine. When teachers start emails with simply the parents' name, it appears curt or dismissive. This appears to be a fairly widespread problem, as when I review emails from several years of having multiple children in elementary schools, I see this issue with nearly half. These teachers are often also those with which I've had the most difficulties and who I respect the least. Always end with a closing -- "Sincerely", "Best Regards", or anything else -- before your name. Just leaving a name suffers the same issues as starting the email with only the parents' name. Additionally, your name should be either your full name or your last name prefaced by an honorific such as "Mrs." You should not leave off with your first initial and last name, as it appears cold. Keep in mind that it's also prudent to proofread your emails. If the email is a response to a parent email, ensure that you've addressed everything they raised. In particular, verify that you have answered all direct questions and responded to any clear errors they raise (for example, if you misspelled the child's name in the email, giving a brief apology and excuse (typo, tiredness, etc.) is appropriate). If you're claiming in the email that their child did something inappropriate, be sure you have their child's side of the story as well and can express it as completely as possible. If you have previously misstated anything, give a brief apology and correction. Avoid defending your actions with assertions of your prerogatives to manage the classroom, teach, or discipline as you see fit, even if such an assertion is entirely accurate. It is highly likely you are correct about your prerogatives, but this is one of the least persuasive and most confrontational points you could raise to a parent. The parent does not want to know that you have the right to do something, they want to know that whatever you're doing is a good idea. Many teachers follow the positive->negative->suggestions->end on hopeful note agenda for parent communications. While most parents will likely be aware that this structured approach is somewhat artificial, it remains a good format. To make the best use of it, however, it's best to prepare the parent with previous contacts that are entirely or almost entirely positive. For some students, you might want to make sure you get this contact done quickly, before they have a chance to do something negative you will need to bring to the parents. It also may be helpful to pretend you're following the standard communications format, but leaving out the "negatives". The suggestions make the areas to work on clear, anyway.