At times, a telephone call or meeting may not be effective or may not produce results. Writing a letter is a good way to record a problem and the efforts to have the problem resolved documented.
Letters create pressure, build accountability, and encourage others to become more productive and responsible. Writing letters can also be a great way to sort out your ideas and prioritize your needs.
Here are our ten tips for letter writing:
Focus on one issue.
Keep your letter short and simple (no more than 2 pages).
Follow the chain of command and write to the person responsible.
State clearly why you are writing.
Make your letter personal. Talk about your own situation. Explain the problem and how the problem is affecting your family.
State what you want to be done, what action you want to be taken. Be as specific as possible about what you want. Be realistic and give reasons for your opinion.
Read your letter to someone else and ask what they think.
Suggest a deadline for a response to your letter.
Include your contact information in the letter.
Always keep a copy of the letters you send and receive.
About Elaine Caswell
At Elaine’s core, she is a teacher. Throughout her diverse roles as a classroom teacher, school principal, guidance counselor, superintendent, Director of Education and Director of Children’s Services at the Ministry of Education, Elaine has taught, mentored, built strong relationships with families and facilitated individual, group and systemic change.
About Louise Burridge
Louise is an occupational therapist. As one of the first occupational therapists to work in Saskatchewan schools, Louise has worked with numerous families to foster growth and development, facilitate accessibility and support inclusive education. Louise has continued this work as a Student Services Coordinator, at the Ministry of Education, and Director of Professional Practice with the Saskatchewan Society of Occupational Therapists. She now owns and operates OuTcomes Therapy in Regina.