Apology Letter To Teacher / Professor

Writing an apology letter to a teacher or professor is quite common. Since students spend the majority of time at school, it's inevitable that at some point issues will arise.

The most frequent infractions in a school environment that warrant an apology from parents and students include: misbehavior (behavior in general), absence from class, poor performance, cheating or plagiarism, being late, or talking in class.

Red apple sitting on a book in front of a blackboard

 

Obviously, some infractions are more serious than others. For example cheating and plagiarism are certainly more consequential than misbehavior or being absent from class. Nevertheless, both could have serious implications on a student's success.

Regardless of the seriousness of the infraction, learning how to write an apology letter to a teacher and then taking the time to craft a sincere apology letter is an important first step on the road to making things right again.

How To Apologize to A Teacher

Although a verbal apology may be sufficient, an apology letter is always better. It conveys a level of respect towards the teacher and acknowledges the gravity of the matter at hand.

Given that, it's the seriousness of the infraction that will determine the length of the letter.

In other words, a shorter letter is fine for things like late work and missing class, presuming these weren't significant issues. However a longer letter is warranted for plagiarism, misbehaving, or missing major deadlines.

Sample Apology Letter to a Teacher From A Student

This first sample apology letter is from a student to a teacher and can be easily tailored to your own situation. The column labeled 'Notes' will help guide you through the process.

  Notes for Students      Example: Apology Letter To A Teacher

Salutation
Regardless if you're on a first name basis with your teacher or professor, it's always best to address them as Mr., Ms., or Pofessor. It shows your teacher respect and that you're taking the situation seriously.

Dear ___________________________,

Apologize with a detailed account of the situation. Be specific.

Start with a broad term for the infraction (e.g. cheating, misbehavior, absence, tardiness etc.) then go in to specific details including time and place .

Please accept my sincere apology for what I (said, did, etc…) on [ Date ] . My behavior in your classroom was completely unacceptable, disruptive, and disrespectful to you, my classmates, and the school.

I was talking out of turn, egging on those sitting next to me and being verbally aggressive when you called me out on it.

You were right to reprimand me and I should never have talked back to you. For that, I am truly sorry.

Acknowledge the hurt and damage done.

This could include harm to the school / institution, the classroom, your peers, the teacher etc.

I know that my words and actions let you down and understand your disappointment in me.

I can only imagine how you must have felt when I attacked you verbally in front of the entire class.

Take full responsibility.

Make it clear that you understand that you were at fault, without making excuses.

I take full responsibility. I misbehaved and I was rude.

I know that my behavior did not meet the standards that you and the school expect (or deserve) from its students.

It was wrong of me to disrupt the class in the first place, and I was at fault again for talking back at you.

I appreciate your commitment to teaching and this school. I know that you dedicate yourself to your students, giving us the knowledge we need to succeed. To undermine that and disrespect you in the process was clearly wrong and shameful.

Promise that it won't happen again.

Include why it's important to YOU that it doesn't.

I promise that this will never happen again in your classroom or anywhere else.

It's very important to me that I regain your respect and trust.

This type of behavior is not who I am or who I want to be. I will always remember the hurt I caused with my blatant disrespect.

Include a statement of regret.

If appropriate to your situation, this is also where you can note what you've done to fix things.

I regret and I'm embarrassed by my actions and words. I let myself down. I let you down. I let the school down.

I've learned a lot about respect from this experience and I will keep that with me always, in both the classroom and out in the world.

End with a willingness to do whatever is necessary to correct the situation.

This apology letter to a teacher shows how the student understands that what they've written may not be enough and are willing to do anything to get back in the teacher's good graces.

If there is anything else that I can do to fix things and regain your trust and respect, please let me know.

Close

Sincerely,


Sample Apology Letter to a Teacher From A Parent

This second sample apology letter is based on a letter from a parent to a headmaster. They titled it Sorry For Our Child's Behavior and posted the letter to our site. It's a great example of letter of apology to a teacher or principal and can be easily tailored to any situation by a parent or guardian.

As a parent, you want to acknowledge your child's unacceptable words or actions while still showing faith in their ability to behave differently and do well by the school in the future.

As before, we provide notes to help guide you.

For a Parent or Guardian       Sample Apology Letter To A Teacher

Salutation

Regardless of your personal relationship with your child's teacher it is always best to address them as Mr., Ms., or Pofessor. It shows respect and acknowledges how seriously you're taking things.

Dear Mr. _______________________________________,

Apologize. Be as specific as possible.
Start with a broad term for the infraction (e.g. cheating, misbehavior, absence, tardiness etc.) then go in to specific details. Since you likely weren't present when the infraction took place, you may not be able to give a detailed account here..

I am writing to tell you that I am very sorry for my child's attitude and behavior towards you and the students and teachers of your [school / institution / organization].

Acknowledge the damage done and take responsibility on behalf of your child.

Make it clear that you understand that your child was at fault without making excuses.This could include harm to the school / institution, the classroom, your peers, the teacher etc.

I know there is no excuse for this kind of behavior. Students are there to learn and not mess around.

Both myself and Donald's father have had a good word with him and have made him realize that this is his last chance.

We have also let him know that if he ever steps out of line again that you are within your right to do whatever you may please and will have our full support.

Apologize and include a statement of regret.

If appropriate, this is also where you can note what you've done to fix things.

Kindly accept this letter of apology for any insult to you individually and collectively on behalf of our entire family.

We truly apologize and regret any hardship caused by our son's horrific behavior and ask sincerely for your forgiveness.

In the future both myself and my husband will be more mindful of such matters and seek additional guidance when sensitive issues such as these arise.

Donald will be sending you his own letter of apology under separate cover.

End with a willingness to be a part of the solution.

Show your intent to help make sure that this type of situation doesn't happen again and that your child is worthy of being part of the school and may even become an asset to the institution in the future. What you're trying to convey is for the school not to give up on your child or label them as a problem student based on this one incident.

I hope that you will accept this letter as a gesture of good will and commit with me to working together with my son to continue to move both him and your school towards greatness.

Close

Sincerely,


Tailoring Your Own Letter of Apology to a Teacher

By breaking down both the student's and parent's sample letters and providing notes alongside each section, you can see how easily it can modified to any situation where an apology letter to a teacher or professor is needed.

Use the 'Notes' to guide you while writing your own letter and replace the specifics with your own situation

The order of the statements is not important. What is important is that the teacher understands that you sincerely regret what happened, are taking responsibility for your own, or your child's behavior and apologized. And finally, that you are determined that it will not happen again.

 

Next step to consider: Your apology letter format. It plays a role in how effective a letter can be and how open the recipient will be to accepting your apology.


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