Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Mountain or Molehill?

Yesterday, Cate came home with a booklet to record her reading books. There was a small notation in the book from one of her teachers (an assistant). It said, 'Cate is very good at recognising letters and there sounds. She said X is in my brothers name Xavier.'  

Okay, the correct way to write this is: 'Cate is very good at recognising letters and their sounds. She said, 'X is in my brother's name, Xavier.'

Now, I'm  not grammar queen and I make typos aplenty (read this blog is chock full of them). But this is from one of the women teaching my child!! I find that inexcusable in a homework booklet!

I debated whether I should say something. I asked a friend who is a teacher (not teaching at the moment but does volunteer at a primary school here in the UK) and she said I should just inquire, and not make a big fuss - she thought I should investigate the situation.

So I did. Her excuse, 'Oh, dear! Well, I had written about 12 of them that day. My mistake.'  

I just smiled and walked away, not making a fuss but not really satisfied. I know they're already a tad wary of me because I do ask a lot of questions. This stuff is important to me and my child's education - I want to be involved in a way that is not interfering, etc. but I can't just sit by and say nothing.

Now I'm really confused. Do I say something further? Do I wait and see if it happens again? Am I making too much out of it? I really don't know what to do here. Maybe calming down would help! What do you think? 


  1. No not at this time. I'm quite certain you have made your point. She will remember your comment and hopefully see that someone is reading her comments and taking them seriously.

  2. I think it depends a lot on whether or not this was the main teacher - in which case, inexcusable - or the TA. TAs here aren't always masters of Strunk and White...in the latter case I would let it go.

    Delia Lloyd

  3. It is unfortunate that not all teachers are good - in fact some are very poor. I think you just have to hope the good outweigh the poor!

  4. I would be horrified too. I've seen ungrammatical notes and emails from teachers too (here in the US) and just gritted my teeth before. Unfortunately, there just isn't enough emphasis put on grammar these days (I'm going to sound about 90 now) - and I know the generation that the teacher probably comes from was often not taught grammar at all in British schools, as in the 70s/80s it was thought to be too old-fashioned! Hopefully, by gently pointing out her mistake you'll persuade her to check her grammar in future. If not, you'll have to buy her Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss as a Christmas present...

  5. I think you made a mountain out of a molehill. Especially considering it was the teacher's assistance that made the mistakes. You must worry a little less. I doesn't quite matter that much yet.

  6. Perhaps mention it to the Head. There's a good chance this isn't the only teaching assistant who's making such errors, so perhaps a little refresher course from the Head for all, and a reminder of their responsibility, is in order!

  7. Re: Nappy Valley Girl's comment - I'm 35 and I totally agree! I wasn't taught grammar in school - I only knew what a verb was because of learning about them in French! Scary to think I used to have a career in website editing for an exam board without that essential education!

  8. If you're getting funny about her grammar (which isn't being seen by many-unlike your blog), you need to up your game too. I do enjoy reading your blog, but your grammar is pretty bad at times. It's when you make that classic mistake of putting an apostrophe where there shouldn't be one that really makes me cringe!

    (An example is "Mum's" when you mean a group of mums. Awful!)

    Sorry, but you did ask for comments!


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