Education Grammar Parenting

What Would You Do?

Your child brings home a handout from school that is riddled with more than quite a few teacher errors (misspellings, grammar etc.).

In fantasies, what would you like to say or do? What do you do in reality?

6 thoughts on “What Would You Do?

  1. This actually happened to me a number of years ago– although not in the school district that we are in today…

    A note came home to publicize an event in the library with an author– and had (in big huge type) YOUR INVITED across the top. (My “what” is invited?)

    I sent it back with a “shame, shame” note attached, suggesting that since EVERY SINGLE teacher had seen the flyer as they passed it out to students, SOMEONE should have caught the error.

    I’m not a perfect grammarian– but the your/you’re and their/there/they’re is basic!

  2. I personally wouldn’t say anything to the teacher. I’ve found that most people are very defensive when it comes to even constructive critcism. I don’t think that teacher will likely appreciate such feedback, even though it is true.

    On the other hand, since you’re a teacher yourself, and a person with sensitivity, tact, and charm, you may be able to express it in the right way that the teacher will appreciate the feedback. I’d be interested in hearing what you do and how it works out.

  3. I wonder where she got her education? And forget about it!!!!! Maybe she drank too much wine that night when she was correcting the paper. (giggle)

  4. BTW, The note below was written by a 10th grade English teacher. My sister received it from my nephew’s teacher:

    “I am looking forward to another school year and to continue making a difference in the lives of my students. I consider English as a means of connecting to the world, other people, and oneself because reading and writing are such a powerful means of understanding life. My goal as an English teacher is to provide students with the resources to develop both as a student and as a person, in order for him/her to succeed in the future as an educated person and member of the community.

    While English is not everyone’s forte, I will work to the best of my ability to encourage, support, and challenge your child to strive and perform as the student he/she is capable of. I also recognize that students are at different levels of educatonal development and ability. One of the most important jobs I will work on is to reach out to students of all learning styles and levels of ability in order for all students to benefit and succeed from the different types of lessons and assignments I have planned for your child”

  5. I don’t do anything at all if there is a single instance, but once I hit the three mistake mark on a single handout – I have to admit – I have been known to highlight each error in yellow (studies show that red ink is too intimidating) and send the paper back into the teacher in a sealed envelope along with a note that says something like: “A little proofreading goes a long way! Some of us really do read – everything!” Of course, I add a little smiley face.:-)

    In my fantasy, I would bring repeat offenders to my house and make them diagram sentences. (*insert evil laugh here*) Does anyone else remember doing that?

  6. Devil’s advocate. Language is complicated. Part of me wants perfect structure, syntax along with a sophisticated, developed vocabulary. Part of me is not in the least offended by language error. How important is it, really?

    Years ago, readings in linguistics and the history of the English language made me realize quite clearly that during many junctures of history, language perfection is simply a tool to keep class caste structure in place. Those from middle class and wealthy neighborhoods (along with certain language orientated individuals) speak and write the King’s English. Others, because of class structure, do not really have the chance. Look how English has changed from Middle English to Shakespeare to present.

    It’s going to keep changing. From reading the highly intellectual USA Today, I garnered that Minorities born in America are now at 49%. Don’t you think our language is going to change? It’s a big world out there. Why were virtually all the boys from the boy’s prison I worked at poor? Why were there a disproportion of minorities in the boy’s prison? A class structure exists. Language perfection reinforces it.

    Non devil’s advocate? The above is bullshite. It’s a good thing there are teachers like you in Community College.

    Still, I have to say, the concept of language as the framework for a class caste system has always intrigued me.

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