How to Write a Memo to Teachers

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Whether you’re planning to write to all of the members of your school's faculty or you’re seeking a formal way to communicate with one teacher, writing a memo is a good way to do the job. Though the topic of “memo size” triggers as many opinions as do conversations about politics, in general, memos should always be abbreviated communications. Use your own judgment when you draft language for your memo to teachers, keeping in mind that, in today’s busy world, short is always appreciated.

  • Distribution list
  • Computer
  • Printer
  • Paper

1 Use the format

Use the format approved by your school system or school board if your memo to teachers is to be sent via an internal delivery system. Alternately, use these four fields to start the communication: To: teachers' names and titles, From: your name and title, Date: and Subject:--a pithy summation of the topic. Use standard titling protocols. Place the word “Memo” or "Memorandum” at the top of the page.

2 Get to the heart of the matter

Get to the heart of the matter immediately by stating the reason you’re writing the memo, whether it is a notice of a faculty meeting, a request for data on a student, a discipline problem that needs to be addressed or a save-the-date notice announcing a dinner honoring the principal. Follow this succinct paragraph with a second one that outlines background data readers of the memo require to make a decision or understand the situation. Avoid clichés and rambling to keep the message professional and on target.

3 Delineates the action

Draft a third “call-to-action” paragraph that clearly delineates the action you want teachers to take after reading the memo. Include deadlines, pertinent addresses, phone number(s), email addresses, the names of parties gathering responses and a resource for answering questions about the memo (this may be you, so say so).

4 Strive for brevity

Strive for brevity by rewriting your memo several times, removing all nonessential words. Establish a polite tone. Focus on the reader by using action verbs and pronouns so the information is clear. Avoid preaching, lecturing or threatening. Instead, adopt a conversational tone and make a final check of the document to confirm that all the information contained therein is relevant.

5 Check the final memo draft

Check the final memo draft for language that could be misconstrued as being insensitive or offensive. Make certain every name listed in the “To” field is essential to informing and resolving the issue that spurred the memo’s publication. Spell-check the final version and check the punctuation—after all, you’re writing to an academic community and few things negate the impact of a memo more than sloppy mistakes.

6 Print out a hard copy

Print out a hard copy of the memo before you send it to catch errors before it’s too late. Distribute the memo to all of the teachers on your list by placing a hard copy into teacher mailboxes or distribute the document as an attachment via the school’s website to save paper and time.

Based in Chicago, Gail Cohen has been a professional writer for more than 30 years. She has authored and co-authored 14 books and penned hundreds of articles in consumer and trade publications, including the Illinois-based "Daily Herald" newspaper. Her newest book, "The Christmas Quilt," was published in December 2011.