"I send a note to the teacher."
Translation:Yo le mando una nota a la maestra.
What is wrong with saying, Yo mando una nota a la maestra? Using le sounds reflexive to me.
Because Spanish doesn't work that way. Direct and indirect objects are constructed differently to English. The pronouns for DOs and IOs do look like reflexive pronouns but you have to get used to that.
Is there a good trick for knowing when a verb/phrase will or won't require a DO or IDO pronoun? I can understand when it's reflexive, but other uses seem arbitrary to me
Why not ? Yo envío una nota a la maestra or Yo le envío una nota a la maestra
I think "enviar" is a better word here than "mandar" .
I understand that "mandar" is similar to the English word "mandate" and would be used for sending an order, command or instruction (which may or may not be in writing). For example: "The doctor says Luis has cracked a bone in his ankle. Please excuse him from games for the next two weeks." --- "El doctor dice que Luis se agrietó un hueso en el tobillo. Por favor discúlpelo de los juegos durante las próximas dos semanas."
"enviar" is used for sending an item.