Apology Letter To Teacher / Professor

Writing an apology letter to a teacher or professor is not uncommon. Since students spend the majority of time at school, it's inevitable that at some point certain issues arise.

The most frequent infractions in a school environment include, misbehavior (or 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 for minor things, 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, we believe that the seriousness of the infraction is what 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 / Professor

Below is a sample apology letter to a teacher that can be easily tailored to your own situation. The column labeled 'Notes' will help guide you through the process.

  Notes      Example: Apology Letter To A Teacher

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.



Tailoring Your Own Letter of Apology to a Teacher

By breaking down our apology 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 your teacher understands that you sincerely regret what happened, took responsibility 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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