Most email ends with a sender’s signature that includes name, job title, contact information, and an organizational logo. Often, the signature contains an inspirational or motivational quote by someone famous.

It’s better to give than to receive. Especially advice.

            —Mark Twain

The signature could include uninspiring quotes from the infamous.

If something’s hard to do, then it’s not worth doing.

            —Homer Simpson

The signature provides a golden opportunity to use play-on-words humor to create fictitious quotes.

            The problem with quotes on the Internet is you can never be certain they’re authentic. 

            —Abraham Lincoln

Your signature should be tailored to your email audience and reflect developmental differences. A sign-off for a middle school teacher will be entirely differently than a college professor’s signature.

In a virtual classroom, email is often the primary way students communicate with teachers. I want my students to feel like I have an “open door” email policy that allows them to ask any question.

Humor used appropriately will always soften any student–teacher barrier, and a lighthearted signature is one simple step for opening the door to communication.


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