Teacher to Teacher

Making Contact With Online Teachers

Once you have located several classes that appear to be appropriate keypal matches for your class you will make contact with the teacher to see if he/she is interested in the kinds of exchanges you and your class would like to initiate. How you will establish contact will vary from site to site. In some cases you must register on the site to enter and find keypals. In others, you might simply click on an e-mail address and make contact or watch a mailing list for responses to your query. Here are some directions for three of the sites mentioned in the first topic of Lesson 1. You are well on your way to making contact!

  1. ePALS Classroom Exchange - After you have searched and found several classes that you would like to contact you can click on the icon that says, "Contact this classroom." Note that in order to make contacts you must register to obtain a login and password.

  2. Kidlink's KIDCAFE sites - After subscribing to the mailing list for Kidcafe-individual or kidcafe-school you will see messages from the students coming across the list. The place where teachers of these students can meet is called the kidcafe-coord mailing list. You can subscribe to that mailing list by sending an e-mail to:


    In the body of the message put:

    subscribe kidcafe-coord (your first name) (your last name)

    You will receive notice of a confirmation message that must be sent within 48 hours. Do this to be sure your subscription is activated. Once subscribed you can contact the teacher of the students with whom you wish to establish an e-mail exchange. Remember that you are writing to a group of people on the mailing list and not just one teacher. Be sure that your message subject line gives the teachers on the list some indication of what is inside your message.

    The Kidleader mailing list is another place where you will find educators with classes of students who will be willing to have e-mail exchanges with you and your students. Subscribe to that mailing list the same way as above but put "kidleader" in the message instead of "kidcafe-coord."

A Sample "Hello" Message

When contacting the teacher for the first time be sure to tell the teacher that you have found his/her class on a website or mailing list (be sure to name it) and that you are interested in keypal exchanges with a purpose. Tell the teacher a little about yourself and your students. If you have a school website, include the URL. If you have a goal in mind in advance, be sure to include that in your introductory message.

You might want to compose a message that you can save as your standard "hello" message to send to partner teachers. You will write it in your own style but here is a sample to get you started in case you need to draft one quickly.

Dear ________,

My name is _______________________ and I am a teacher at _________________ school. Our school is located in _________________. You can see more about us at our school website: http://___________________________________. I found your e-mail address (and/or the school website URL) on this website: http://____________________________________

My students and I are looking for a class of students with whom we can exchange keypal messages that have a purpose and go a little beyond the typical friendly letters that students send. (I am a math teacher and am interested in exchanges that challenge the students to see a reason and purpose for math in the real world.) My students are ages ______ to ______ .

If you and your students would like to join us in an e-mail exchange we would be happy to hear from you. Please reply to my e-mail address which is (put your e-mail address here). I read this e-mail account at home (and at school) and check my mail _______ (daily).

All the best,
(Your name here)
(your e-mail address here)

Back to the Menu

| home | greetings | new | kids | teachers | visitors | resources |

Patti Weeg
April 17, 2004