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...)

Euphemia Thu 14-Mar-13 20:06:30

My pupils receive excellent grammar and punctuation teaching, I can tell you. wink

I'm sure I tick an incorrect answer in Maths from time to time when I'm tired, but I would hold my hand up and admit a mistake rather than getting all defensive about it.

clam Thu 14-Mar-13 20:11:03

I despair, I really do.

NK366568b6X1269e5a0059 Thu 14-Mar-13 20:42:24

(sorry for the long user name, can't work out how to change it!)
Thanks for the replies. Yes of course we try to teach her to spell ourselves (duh! as if we wouldn't!) and I diligently correct her homework but really that is no excuse for her teacher not to correct words she has spelled wrongly in the work she does at school. Apart from anything else, you can get used to seeing something spelled incorrectly to the extent that it looks right to you (as shown by the number of people who write definately for example).
I've written a pretty pithy letter to the headteacher but given that my girl's leaving soon anyway I'm not sure I can face the aggro. My childminder, whose children went to the same school, said they had the same thing and it got sorted out once the children were at secondary school - but I can't help feeling that puts them at a disadvantage from day one. Is it worth complaining or shall I just bite my tongue?

Childrenareanigjtmare Thu 14-Mar-13 20:52:13

What school is this and NO speak aloud,do you want the best for your kid?

monsterchild Thu 14-Mar-13 20:55:55

"I like fish," Said the girl.

Even I know that's wrong, and I'm American! grin

Wigeon Thu 14-Mar-13 21:04:17

Oh god, I am twitching furiously at this thread and my DD has only started Reception...

The newsletter home has the occasional spelling / grammatical error, which I also graciously let pass grin, but I was fairly shocked to see that the Easter colouring competition photocopied sheet was entitled "Wigeonville Infant's and Nursery School". Gaaahhh! Inexcusable to use the possessive apostrophe correctly in the school's own name!

Euphemia Thu 14-Mar-13 22:45:11

Maybe there is only one child in that part of the school, Wigeon. wink

Alliwantisaroomsomewhere Thu 14-Mar-13 22:52:08

Oh, Euphemia! Nobody likes a smart arse, do they! (grin)

NK366568b6X1269e5a0059 Fri 15-Mar-13 10:56:35

Hi Childrenarea etc - don't want to name names but you are right and even though my daughter is leaving there soon I don't see why she should lose a term of proper teaching so I will be speaking up.
Thanks for all your opinions.

ZolaBuddleia Fri 15-Mar-13 11:20:32

As a former FE lecturer, and owner of a 2.7 YO, I too am frothing. It's ever likely so few young people on FE courses know how to write properly if they're given the impression at school that literacy doesn't matter.

Teachers and lecturers are constantly being told that their work isn't up to scratch, and, clearly going by this thread, that is sometimes true. However, surely someone shouldn't be able to qualify as a teacher if their own ability in literacy is so poor?

<turns puce>

Alliwantisaroomsomewhere Fri 15-Mar-13 12:08:23

ZolaB, my cousin is an FE lecturer, too and we had a really interesting though saddening conversation about how bad basic literacy is at his college.

I am in Early Years, and some EY practitioners are up in arms because there are moves afoot to increase entry level requirements for potential practitioners to include GCSE Numeracy and Literacy at least. I am really dismayed to have read that many people don't care about the level of maths and English that people caring for young children have. Surely it starts there, innit!! Definately! sad

My DD once wrote about her "favourite toy". Her teacher red-penned favourite and wrote favorit about it grin

Bugger. I mean above it grin

I'll get me coat...

Alliwantisaroomsomewhere Fri 15-Mar-13 12:14:16

Twiglets, the danger of threads like these is that they are infested with pedants! grin Don't worry! I had GRAMATICAL in one of my posts earlier.

As a matter of interest, what did you do about the spelling of favourite?

It was a supply teacher who was only there for the day, so I just laughed and ignored it...

Alliwantisaroomsomewhere Fri 15-Mar-13 16:31:54

UPDATE: I had sent the YH an email yesterday and copied it to the HT. The YH asked to speak to me after school and she said that she had talked to the HT and that she must apologise for the errors in the homework and in the marking. She said it should not happen etc etc etc.

Three days ago she treated me like an irritating mosquito. Today she apologised "profusely".

I will be interested to see how things go!

(As an aside I also wonder if she would have taken me more seriously when I went to see her if I was not a scruffy, overweight childminder in dirty jeans and hiking boots - wonder how it would have been had I been in a tailored suit.)

kitchenidiots Fri 15-Mar-13 18:40:06

I call them speech marks if they are around speech, quotation marks if they are around quotes etc - but as long as you use them correctly what does it matter?!
As I teacher myself I am always so careful that I mark work correctly because I would be mortified if I made a mistake and someone noticed! Teachers are supposed to be perfect aren't they?! grin

So, yes I think you need to do something about this. However, as a teacher myself I could suggest a couple of scenarios.
1) The teacher is aware of her failings and is struggling to hold it all together.
2) The teacher is having a rough time and her mind is elsewhere.
3) She is rushing it and is being sloppy.

Either way, the more sensitively you approach this the better, I think. From what you say she has apologised rather than been defensive about it so it might be that this would be a good opportunity for the HT to become aware of this and hopefully give the teacher some extra support. Obviously it can't continue though.

pinkysmummy Fri 15-Mar-13 19:02:01

Any one know whether the TA is allowed to mark work?

clam Sat 16-Mar-13 14:25:57

What sort of work? Don't think there are any hard and fast rules about it, other than what is considered good practice. Therefore, I would not ask my TA to mark written work or maths tasks, as I need an overview of what the children are doing in order to assess their progress and work out where they need to go next in their learning. But I might ask them to mark a short spelling test or tables test (if for some reason the kids weren't self-marking them) perhaps.
Depends on the quality of the TA.

LaQueen Sat 16-Mar-13 18:09:11

It is the large elephant, in the corner of the room, that many teachers are simply not up to the job. And, I know...I have worked with quite a few.

There's been a depressing downward spiral in ability for the last 15 years, I think? I have worked with several secondary school English teachers, who don't have the understanding or punctuation/grammar that my 10 year old DD has...and who laugh it off when they consistently mis-spell words on the white board, and my face looked like this hmm

Yet, we're meant to just sweep all that under the carpet, because, hey...they're doing such a good job, in a very taxing profession, and they're working under extreme pressures...yadda...yadda...yadda...

I don't give a toss what a great rapport a teacher has with their class, or how commited they are, or how intuative they are. If they don't have a technical understanding of their subject, from solid basics to an advanced level - they they shouldn't be feckin teaching it angry

A love of children, and a cheerful disposition simply aren't enough...and, surely, surely, surely it isn't asking too much for a teacher to have both good knowledge and the ability to convey it in an effective/engaging manner?

Because if they don't have both, then they shouldn't be in a classroom.

Lancelottie Sat 16-Mar-13 22:22:09

10 yr old DD corrects her teacher's spelling. Not an endearing habit...

Alliwantisaroomsomewhere Sat 16-Mar-13 22:49:06

LaQueen, well said.

simpson Sat 16-Mar-13 22:53:24

I had to point out to the office staff in my DC school that there were loads of spelling mistakes on the school website (not impressive for prospective parents/pupils obviously).

Also I read with yr1 kids and noticed a comment in one child's reading diary "X done good reading today, well done!"

simpson Sat 16-Mar-13 22:56:10

The comment was made by the class teacher, sorry forgot to add that bit. blush

TheOriginalSteamingNit Sat 16-Mar-13 22:58:04

In 1984, when I was a horrid little show-off six year old who had to write about her favourite book, I had 'eyre' corrected to 'Ayre'. As in the novel by Charlotte bronte.

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