Thursday, September 30, 2010

Yep, They're Teaching Your Kids, Too...

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When I was growing up, I looked up to my teachers. I felt they could do no wrong. Long after I realized that my parents were only human, I still adored my teachers. I lapped up what they served without question. It wawsn't until later that I realized they, too, were imperfect.

I wrote yesterday about how I have a thing with grammar and discovered a book where someone went through and did the editing after printing - yep, a library book. It cracked me up.

It doesn't crack me up so much when it's a teacher making the same mistakes. I hold teachers to a higher standard since they're the ones who are imparting the rules to impressionable children who may forever make mistakes if they don't know a subject backwards and forwards themselves.

And I do see it on a disappointingly regular basis. The wee ones' teachers send home weekly newsletters to the parents notifying us of what has transpired in the past week and what homework the kids should focus on in the coming week.

They aren't that complicated, nor are they terribly complex. That doesn't stop the teachers from making basic mistakes that cause me to cringe over what the wee ones are and will be learning from them.

Some recent examples:

Its the first Friday of the month... - Ummm, no, "It's the first Friday" actually. It is. It's. It's is a contraction of the two words it is. Its is a possessive pronoun meaning belonging to it. It does not own the first Friday, nor can it.

Between the three classrooms, we have... - Seriously? You can only be between two things. You have to be "among" three or more things. Or amongst if you lived in Europe and still tend to use some of their words.

Try to do this each day and make sure... - Run-on sentence alert. Those are two separate commands, each standing on its own as an individual sentence if needed. Please add a comma after "day" to show where the two sentences split.

Their is a field trip... - Really? Their, there, and they're sound the same, but they are definitely not the most complex of the homynyms. They're is a contraction. Their means belonging to them. The field trip belongs to them?

We hope your enjoying... - Another one? Your and you're are just like its and it's. Go back to the rule my third grade teacher taught: "When using a word like you're, it's, and the like, say it without the contraction 'it is Sunday' or 'you are a girl' to see if you should use the contraction or not."

Sometimes I think it's a shame that I don't have the patience for homeschooling. It's appalling to me that teachers who are focusing on grammar for young students don't know the rules themselves. I remind myself that I'm not perfect either, and instead I'll be going over the wee ones' homework daily to ensure that they learn to use grammar properly. It's probably not a bad refresher for me anyway!


~L0SERM0M~ September 30, 2010 at 12:30 PM  

HOLY COW!!! I need help. I did not even see anything wrong with a couple of these. =( Free grammar lessons for a L0ser??? Anyone?? Ohhh Gawddd, I am wondering at this very moment how many times I friggin screwed up just writing this comment. Don't judge. As you can tell I am NOT a teacher. Now, I'm nervous...shit.

Tara R. September 30, 2010 at 1:11 PM  

I was reading a blog today where the writer was complaining about grammar and spelling errors in resumes or bio profiles on job sites. He had some great points.

That is until I read the post prior which was filled with typos, punctuation and grammar errors, and misspelled words. Do as I say and not as I do?

Tracey - Just Another Mommy Blog September 30, 2010 at 3:33 PM  

I HATE that. It is one thing to make mistakes on a comment or message board. But when you type and PRINT something, I expect that you have at least done spell check and then proofread it! I will never forget my eldest's second grade teacher. He sent home note after note with the incorrect usage of "your" and "you're". The best part (or worst, I guess) was that he was TEACHING that exact lesson in class!!

It still makes me cringe.

karen September 30, 2010 at 6:21 PM  

I feel exactly the same way! I am the designated 'writer' in my office, which is required to send an annual report to the legislature. Sometimes I get so bogged down with the message, the grammar and spelling go right out the window!

pseudostoops September 30, 2010 at 7:22 PM  

As a former elementary teacher, I know how often things like preparation of the newsletter get put off to the very last minute and dashed off in a hurry. I'd cringe too, but I'd chalk it up to a hurried preparation and lack of proofreading rather than lack of knowledge of the rule.

Unknown Mami September 30, 2010 at 9:28 PM  

How do you keep yourself from sending them back with the corrections?

Tonya September 30, 2010 at 9:57 PM  

I'm with Unknown Mami -- I'd be so tempted to edit and send it back!

Michelle October 1, 2010 at 12:20 PM  

Losermom - Oh, come on now - you did a great job with your grammar. My judging really only comes into play when a) it's so egregious that there is a severe lack of education apparently or b) it's coming from someone who *really* should know better. You're safe :)

Tara - Absolutely do as I say and not as I do. Isn't that how you live your life? ;) I will say that I'd immediately toss any resume with glaring errors back when I was working.

Tracey - I'm with you. Obviously :)

Karen - That really doesn't sound like fun at all. On the plus side, anyone reading from the legislature probably wouldn't know the difference....

pseudostoops - Very true that those things get dashed off in a hurry. At the same time, some of those rules should be so ingrained that there could never be an issue, but they're repeated on a regular basis. Hurried preparation maybe if it happened once - and that I get (see my posts, for example!).

Unknown Mami - I've seriously considered it sometimes. I have written the corrections on them before ... and then recycled them.

Tonya - Somehow I don't see that being the most productive way to have a healthy relationship with the teacher, so I've held off. It's tempting sometimes though!

Me Too October 1, 2010 at 9:03 PM  

Ohhhh the "theirs" and the "your" drive me NUTS. Absolutely friggin nuts. LEARN YOUR GRAMMAR, people!!!

Found ya from Mama Kats!

septembermom October 2, 2010 at 12:49 PM  

Those kind of mistakes drive me nuts!!

Michelle October 2, 2010 at 1:20 PM  

Mee Too - Obviously, I'm with you. It was always easy for me, so I don't get why people don't get it... but people who can draw probably feel the same way about me when it comes to art!

Kelly - I figured they might :) There are definitely worse things out there, but that doesn't mean these don't drive me bananas.

Pat October 2, 2010 at 4:01 PM  

One of my kids' teachers had written a sentence on the board for the kids to correct its punctuation and capitalization. She showed them the corrected sentence as "Mrs. Jones drug the table across the room." She thought "drug" was the past tense of "drag." I mentioned to her later that the past tense is "dragged." But I don't think it changed her mind.

Michelle October 4, 2010 at 10:36 PM  

Pat - Ouch. I was playing that in my mind trying to figure out how I could make that work and ... no. That's pretty special :)

Lucy October 28, 2010 at 10:35 PM  

While teaching the Spanish unit in Social Studies, my 3rd grade teacher taught us all that the correct way to pronounce tortilla was not with the silent L. Nope, she said the L's--"tortiLLa". Needless to say, my Hispanic husband gets a big ole kick out of that story.

Michelle November 6, 2010 at 11:03 PM  

Lucy - That is ... special. Granted, I enjoy saying "Chi-hua-hua" (v "chih-wah-wah") because of an error a newscaster in Chicago made years ago, but ... that's just WRONG. I can only imagine how much your husband cracks up on that one.

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