How to Ask Teachers What You Have Missed From Classes

Teachers may allow students to make up work.
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When you miss an academic class, your teachers might not be too happy about your absence. However, if you have a valid excuse and don't want to get behind on your work, you can request makeup assignments. When you email or talk to your teachers face-to-face to ask about your classwork, it's best to show remorse for your absence and kindly ask what you can do to make up the work.

1 Email Your Teacher

You can contact your teachers about missed assignments using email. Many high school teachers and college professors use email to communicate with students, parents and faculty. Politely state the reason for your email and apologize for missing class. It's your responsibility to make sure the work gets done, so ask whether there's a due date or a penalty for your late assignment. Your teacher might not volunteer the information unless you ask. Be sure to follow up on your original email and thank the teacher for her response. Complete the missed assignment as quickly as possible so your teacher sees that you're serious about the class.

2 Make a Face-to-Face Appointment

Call, text or email your teacher to see whether it's possible to set up a face-to-face meeting to discuss your missed assignments. According to the College Parents of America website, scheduling an appointment with your teachers ensures that they have time to meet with you and gives them a chance to prepare beforehand. If you just show up at a teacher's office or classroom, he might not be able to address your concerns. When you meet in person, apologize for your absence and express your desire to make up any and all missed work.

3 Show Humility

It's best to approach your teachers with a humble attitude about missed classwork. A teacher might be less likely to give you a break if you're demanding or you act as if you're entitled to make up the work. Sincerely apologize for your absence and ask whether there's a way to make up your missed exam, quiz, paper, laboratory assignment or classroom project. If it's a test or assignment that requires your teacher's oversight, express your willingness to meet at the teacher's convenience.

4 Some Considerations

Some teachers only allow students to make up missed work if they have a valid excuse. Oversleeping, forgetting a class and participating in recreational activities aren't excusable absences for many teachers, so they might not let you make up the classwork. According to the University of North Carolina's Center for Teaching and Learning website, teachers often create classroom policies designed to accommodate students who have legitimate scheduling conflicts or personal emergencies. You might need to provide a doctor's note or documentation of the emergency to get permission to make up the work.

As curriculum developer and educator, Kristine Tucker has enjoyed the plethora of English assignments she's read (and graded!) over the years. Her experiences as vice-president of an energy consulting firm have given her the opportunity to explore business writing and HR. Tucker has a BA and holds Ohio teaching credentials.