How much sloppy work from the teacher should I tolerate before approaching the HT?

(220 Posts)
Alliwantisaroomsomewhere Wed 06-Mar-13 19:51:17

DS is in Yr 3 at a good enough school! There have been 2 or 3 minor spelling or grammatical errors in homework tasks which I have (very graciously grin) overlooked.

However, last term DS had to do some time telling homework ie write down what the time is on the clock face shown. Teacher marked all of the his work correct when over half was incorrect. I wrote a note to the teacher asking about it and she apologised profusely saying that she had marked the homework but had no idea how that had happened.

This week's homework for numeracy had a number pattern that was unfathomable and the literacy homework had a grammatical error that would have made the work confusing for children.

What really pissed me off a lot was that DS's literacy homework from last week was marked all incorrect when not only was it correct, but the week before's work was very, very similar and again all correct, but this was accepted by the very same teacher. Again I made a note in DS's literacy homework book, and all she has done is initial and date my comments.

The marking is very sloppy and I wonder whether I should raise all these issues with the HT or do I let it go and see if things improve. All parents recently received a note from the HT stating that moves were afoot to improve the quality of teaching and learning in the school.

Do I put up and shut up or speak up?

(sorry, very long and rather dull...)

Feenie Sun 10-Mar-13 13:56:54

And teachers, not teacher's. grin

clam Sun 10-Mar-13 15:27:57

We always ensure that spellings are given to children without capitals unless they are proper nouns, even in their word books. The child then needs to apply the capitalisation as and when appropriate in their own writing.

I must say that it hacks me off no end when I have to sit through yet another lecture in a staff meeting about using correct spelling/grammar/punctuation in everything, when it's the HT herself whose own English is pretty ropey. The newsletters home are an embarrassment.

PastSellByDate Sun 10-Mar-13 15:44:39

Indeed Feenie - should be teachers. Fair cop.

However my dear Feenie - any suggestions? Feelings on spelling list presented as such:

Reception
Addition
Division
Television

etc....

and then DD1 getting balled out in class for using random capitals?

She's totally confused because she's learning it the way the teacher first showed her - and she gets cross about my exasperation.

Apologies for spelling error - but hope my communication of frustration and plea for some ideas to help with this at home will be heard. I'm concerned about capitalisation at the moment - but agree apostrphes are also something to brush up!

Feenie Sun 10-Mar-13 15:48:02

Totally agree, PastSellByDate, there is undoubtedly a connection.

AScorpionPitForMimes Sun 10-Mar-13 18:34:36

It doesn't get any better - DD2 had the word ' proffesor' in her spellings last week (Yr7, they are doing Pygmalion). When I pointed out her teacher had put it on the blackboard wrong, she got very upset and didn't know what to do - spell it correctly or do it the way her teacher said. I hope she did the former and not the latter. sad

Alliwantisaroomsomewhere Sun 10-Mar-13 22:09:34

Thanks for all the input! I am glad that I am not alone (sadly) in my frustration with bad marking, bad grammar and sloppy homework tasks.

There were more errors in DS's homework this week. I was going to see the teacher, but after reading this I will arrange to see the Year Head. I remember during an introductory talk at the school to first approach teacher then year head then HT if there were problems.

Alliwantisaroomsomewhere Tue 12-Mar-13 10:30:01

Feedback from my meeting with the Year Head:

YH has dealt with lots of parents over the years and she would rather me come to her than chat in the playground - this was in reply to my saying that I was not there to moan or to be a pest. Her discussion showed me that she certainly HAS had lots of experience in talking to parents.

1. I should look at DS's homework on the day the children receive it so that any problems (like unclear photocopying) can be attended to before the weekend - homework is due on Mondays. This will save any "panic" over the weekend.
2. Some grammatical rules are inconsistent so DS's teacher's marking may not always be consistent.
3. If there are grammatical errors in the homework assignments then it is so that the more able children can correct them.
4. DS's teacher does A LOT of marking so I should appreciate that she works hard - I assume that is what the YH intended when she told me that the class teacher does a lot of marking.
5. Some parents would struggle with the homework tasks as even some parents may not be that able so I am in fact taking the assignments to a more able level (?)
6. One lot of homework should have had the sentences rewritten by DS.
7. She queried who made the scribbles on the cover of DS's literacy homework book. (?)

I felt like I was being taken to task for being rather unreasonable.

bonzoed Tue 12-Mar-13 12:00:14

What a joke. Go to the Head Teacher. The Year Head is an idiot.

SirChenjin Tue 12-Mar-13 12:06:48

Go the Head. That is an unacceptable response from the YH.

Is marking and following grammatical rules consistently not part and parcel of teaching fgs?

Alliwantisaroomsomewhere Tue 12-Mar-13 12:17:28

Just remembered YH also said that sometimes errors were not corrected because it was not part of the learning objective for that assignment.

I appreciate that it would be soul destroying for an 8 yr old to have green corrections all over his work, but surely errors are errors?

I am going to leave it for the rest of the term and then see how things transpire. YH had said to me that they were changing the way literacy homework was being done across the school (though not because of the points I had raised.)

Wonder if Mrs T is reading this?

SirChenjin Tue 12-Mar-13 12:27:49

Errors not corrected are part of the learning objective? In what way is that helpful to anyone?!

Alliwantisaroomsomewhere Tue 12-Mar-13 12:33:11

Not sure if my meaning was clear, SirChenjin (hahaha at name smile ) : if the assignment was about speech marks, then the speech marks would be marked as correct or otherwise. Other stuff would not be, aside from spelling.

SirChenjin Tue 12-Mar-13 12:42:06

Ahh, see what you mean now. I think I'd prefer to have everything corrected that was incorrect, but I according to my 2 teens I am very ancient and old fashioned, so what do I know grin

Lancelottie Tue 12-Mar-13 12:44:52

Ah, a thread on which I can share my unreasonably bitter according to DH distress at DD's yr 6 Framework for SPAG Tests homework, which uses 'Jones' as an example of a plural FFS.

Alliwantisaroomsomewhere Tue 12-Mar-13 12:51:43

Jones - an example of a plural??? Jesus wept and I bet you did, too, Lancelottie.

So, what the fuck are we supposed to do? We tell the teachers and we get poo-pooed. Must I teach my son myself? Don't mean home schooling because that would drive us both nuts and I cannot afford not to work.

I suppose I will have to drill decent spelling and grammar in at home and hope for the best.

clam Tue 12-Mar-13 13:04:55

alliwant I am a teacher and I think your Year Head's response is the biggest load of bollocks rubbish I've heard in a long time.

Welovegrapes Tue 12-Mar-13 13:17:30

Very embarrassing response from YH - do they really think those comments are credible?

lainiekazan Tue 12-Mar-13 13:32:53

Oh, dear, but that year head sounds fairly typical.

Dd had a teacher who was the person in charge of English across the school. I tried to point out - most delicately - that homework sheets etc were rather peppered with spelling and grammatical errors. I knew she had produced them but I said that "someone" was possibly creating a bit of confusion. With a complete death stare she snapped, "How would you know what is correct? You are not a teacher ." confused

Alliwantisaroomsomewhere Tue 12-Mar-13 13:53:06

Lainiekazan, how did you reply to that idiot? Only 8 year olds think that teachers no more than everyone else?

(I am NOT teacher bashing!)

ZZZenAgain Tue 12-Mar-13 13:58:04

That's not exactly a confidence inspiring response, is it? Tbh I would be more worried after speaking to her. I suggest you go to the head about it. The problems are simply being swept under the carpet and not addressed. It is not about getting a teacher into trouble; it is about getting the problems sorted out.

I would also correct only the errors in the area which I was teaching, IYSYIM. (In teacher speak, I would mark according to the learning objective.)

So, if the exercise was about punctuating speech, I would only correct those errors. Otherwise some children would have a dispiriting sea of red (or green) marking completely obscuring their writing.

Another thing I do is to underline three incorrect spellings for the child to look up, correct and learn. Three is possible; 25 spellings in a page would just lead to despair!

The children know that I will only select certain key errors; they are not under the illusion that I think everything else is correct.

SirChenjin Tue 12-Mar-13 15:33:52

I'm still not sure how this helps them learn though Belle - surely if you are marking something and it's incorrect then it's better to show that it's incorrect, rather than let them continue on their merry way thinking that everything's fine in the areas outwith the learning objective?

Alliwantisaroomsomewhere Tue 12-Mar-13 16:40:29

ARGH! Sorry, a bit of drip feeding here: She did say that she would talk to her team about the marking of the assignments. More than that, she more or less said that I was being U!

Alliwantisaroomsomewhere Tue 12-Mar-13 16:41:48

SirChen, I understand that LaBelle means so I accept that - LaBelle's policy on marking is the same as DS's school so yes, that's acceptable and understandable. But to mark something patently wrong as correct and patently incorrect as correct is just bloody sloppy, I reckon.

SirChenjin Tue 12-Mar-13 17:19:31

I agree absolutely that something which is incorrect shouldn't be marked as correct, but really, really can't fathom why something which is incorrect but outside the learning objective for that particular day should be ignored. How can that be helpful in any way, shape or form?

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