Telling Your Teachers About Your Loss

Going through a loss during the school year is hard, and it's difficult to know what to say to your teachers.

Teacher and grieving student talk about grief.

When I imagined myself in high school, I pictured close friends, good grades, and having an amazing time. But, when my dad died, that plan went downhill right away. I failed to do any assignments the first few days after my dad’s death, I was suddenly set apart from my friends, and my amazing time turned into a grief-filled time.


While getting back to happiness and spending time with my friends was a slow process, I decided that one of the first things I needed to do was letting my teachers know what was going on. I have always been a good student, and I was hoping to get into a good college in the future, but I knew that I couldn’t get much done those first few weeks.


Due to modern day technology, I was able to let my teachers know what was going on before I went back to school. While my mom had emailed all of my teachers and guidance counselors about what was going on, so they had some idea of why I would be out of it, I still had a few teachers that I needed to contact. But, I had no idea how to do that! I had never been in a situation like that before, and I didn’t even know what to say. So, here I have provided some things you should include when you contact a teacher, via email or in person:


- Who the person was to you. (your grandparent, friend, parent, etc.)


- When it happened. (over the weekend, Monday, etc.)


- What you are asking for. (an extension, just letting your teacher know, etc.)


- Thank your teacher.


An email with these things is easy and to the point. Your teacher will be made aware of what's going on, and will hopefully give you an extension on your assignments. And, if you choose to talk to your teacher in person, including these things will have the same effect. While I did not talk to many of my teachers in person about my dad's death, I would recommend, if you do, waiting until not many students are in the room, so you can have an actual conversation with your teacher and they can give you the most help they can offer.


If your teachers say yes to an extension, be sure to have your work in by the special date they ask, to show your gratitude for their kindness. And, be sure to ask for help when you need it. Teachers are there to assist you, and if you find yourself falling behind you can always ask them for help.


Written by Natalie Adams, the creator of Teenage Grief Sucks. Photo by Van Tay Media.

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Disclaimer: The content on this site is not meant to be taken as medical information, as it is written by teenagers. If you are in need of medical help, seek assistance from a licensed therapist or, if it is urgent, contact emergency services in your area.