How to Write an Apology Letter to a Teacher

Two Methods:Sample Apology LettersWriting Your Own Apology Letter

Kids at school make mistakes all the time. But sometimes, they do something so bad that they need to make a formal apology to a teacher, principal, or other authority figure. Although it can be daunting to confess one's sins, adults understand that youth don't have full control over their behavior or the best judgment, so they are very likely to forgive past transgressions.

Sample Apology Letters

Sample Apology Letter to Teacher

Sample Apology Letter to Professor

Writing Your Own Apology Letter

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    Consider starting with Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms. However, judge carefully whether such a formal approach is necessary. Simply writing your teacher's name followed by a colon is appropriately respectful.
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    Start with a 1-sentence greeting to ease into the letter. You don't have to directly jump into your confession -- you could take a line or two to briefly thank them for their dedicated teaching, or to express hope that their day has been going well.
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    Summarize your errors. When you find yourself having to apologize to a teacher, it means there's been a breakdown of student-teacher respect. What did you do wrong, or what did you fail to do? Describe these things in your letter, and state that you intend to apologize for them.
    • If you feel the need to explain the larger context to clarify your perspective, go ahead. This might help the teacher empathize with your perspective of the situation, but keep in mind that it doesn't necessarily justify your behavior. If your teacher has a perfectly good grasp of what happened, just skip to what you action you are apologizing for to get the point across.
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    Directly apologize for your hurtful action. You should explicitly use the words "I am sorry for..." or "I deeply apologize for..." to make it clear that you are admitting your errors and seeking their forgiveness. Express that your actions were regrettable and that you will take care to avoid the same mistake in the future.
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    If you and your teacher had a spat and you believe they are partially to blame, be careful about expressing that in your letter. You should only subtly mention the teacher's behavior if it was so offensive that you need them to apologize for it. Even so, you do not want to accuse them of anything directly or of blaming them. Instead, you should couch your judgment of their behavior in terms of I-messages -- how you felt hurt, how you reacted, how you misinterpreted their words, etc.
    • As an example, you might be able to get away with writing: I apologize for my rude retorts in our disagreement, but I hope you understand that I felt insulted by your previous comment of (what the teacher said that insulted you)
    • Mentioning your teacher's behavior may be unnecessary -- they might have realized on their own that they were partially at fault in the situation and take the initiative to apologize.
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    Explain how you will change your behavior or attitude to prevent a similar situation from occurring in the future. In light of this situation's causes in the first place, explain how you can avoid similar conditions again.
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    Sign off with "Sincerely" or "Respectfully," and sign your name.
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    Fold the letter carefully, place it into an envelope, and put it on the teacher's desk. As a manner of professionalism, your teacher should get back to you within a week at most. If they do not give you any indication of having received your apology, find a time to privately approach them and ask whether they've received your correspondence. Be prepared to explain the contents of your letter in person, and to talk out the situation further. If your teacher received the apology letter but has delayed their response to you, it's likely because the situation hasn't been resolved in their minds and they need more from you in order to forgive you.


  • When you give it to your teacher tell her/him you'll never do it again and improve on it so they can trust you and forgive you.
  • If you have difficulty with wording your letter, ask a different teacher for assistance. They will know what is expected of you, and be more than happy to help.
  • You may have to bury your pride when you apologize. At the same time, however, the apology will benefit you by improving your standings with the teaching staff. Pride gets you nothing, good relations can often become priceless.
  • This is especially helpful if you have late work.


  • Don't write anything inappropriate, you can get in serious trouble! Try not to imply that it was their fault, this can also get you in trouble!
  • Don't add anything that makes the teacher feel bad. They will not take the letter to heart, and most likely, won't forgive you. Also, try to make your letter come from the heart.
  • Don't say that your mom or dad made you write this and its been written by force, you can get in trouble.
  • Never tell your teacher that you copied your sorry letter from the internet.

Article Info

Categories: Dealing with Teachers