Oh dear, DD's KS1 teacher wrote "there" when meaning "they're"...

(106 Posts)
JKB1 Fri 30-Nov-12 17:51:01

...and this was on a class assembly slide in front of the whole school plus the parents of the class. Is there any hope? You've got to laugh, then get on with the job of picking up the slack at home.

WowOoo Fri 30-Nov-12 17:54:07

Ooh, bad.
We had one like that last year. This year - perfect!

pictish Fri 30-Nov-12 17:54:08

Oh get off your high horse. I know the difference between their, there and they're, but I still unconsciously guff it up occasionally and write the wrong one.
Same with to and too.
Oh - and your and you're.

It happens. But you carry on being the teacher your children never had. grin

FermezLaBouche Fri 30-Nov-12 17:59:19

No, I don't think you've got to laugh! Ok, people might not be perfect spellers, but when you're producing a presentation for others, not being arsed to do a simple spell check is just so LAZY.
And I will join you on the "high horse" and say I really don't think it's a massive ask for someone teaching children to know these basic spellings.

Euphemia Fri 30-Nov-12 17:59:35

My Head teacher is the worst for poor grammar. She sends us emails saying "You all done such a good job on that," and wouldn't know an apostrophe from her arse.

Pictish I totally disagree with everything you said. Are you a teacher? If you know you get them wrong, ruddy well learn them properly.

I've said it before and will add it again, DD reception teacher wrote on her patterning worksheet
Do not scrible on your worksheet.

I lost all respect after that.

RightUpMyRue Fri 30-Nov-12 18:51:55

DD's spellings came back with the correction 'whoose' instead of whose. It had been marked by the TA and then checked by the teacher so both of them had seen it!

I'm sure they both know that's not a word and it was just a mistake though please let it be a mistake!

pictish Fri 30-Nov-12 18:52:08

You lost all respect after that?

Doesn't take much then!

And don't tell me to learn them properly - I HAVE! I am also a human being and not infallible. I make the odd mistake - as do you.

dashoflime Fri 30-Nov-12 18:54:43

Agree with pictish it's a common mistake. Calm down!

Wellthen Fri 30-Nov-12 18:56:54

'carry on picking up the slack at home'

yep, cause thats what's stopping your child getting that next crucial sublevel - homophones.

dashoflime Fri 30-Nov-12 18:58:09

Welthen grin

cilldara Fri 30-Nov-12 18:58:20

Well my DD's teacher told her that there were 4 versions of "There".
-their and wait for it....

Now I know we are in Ireland and some of us are not too hot on the 'th" sound but please!

sleeplessinsuburbia Fri 30-Nov-12 19:00:52

Yeah I think I'd realise the teacher was human and capable of mistakes and to be honest I think it's rude to make a big deal out of it.

JKB1 Fri 30-Nov-12 19:25:36

Of course everyone makes mistakes. Hope the head didn't notice. It would probably be helpful if the school sent home a few spellings now and then, but they believe the children learn to spell through being taught phonics. Maybe that's how the staff were taught.

heggiehog Fri 30-Nov-12 19:27:50

All human beings make mistakes.

I would never confuse "there" and "they're" normally but I don't have time to type everything half the time, let alone proof-read it all. Sorry.

A teacher making a mistake does NOT always mean that they don't know how to spell it correctly.

Wellthen Fri 30-Nov-12 19:32:16

they believe the children learn to spell through being taught phonics

partly, but the idiosyncrasies of the English language mean rote learning must play a part.

Oh and 'they believe' this based on research, experience and the desire to do the best for our children. (See: The Rose Report 2006). Your tone suggests you do not agree....I'm assuming you have also done years of research.

HumphreyCobbler Fri 30-Nov-12 19:36:41

you do know that using phonics to spell is not the same as spelling phonetically, don't you?

confusing there and they're is a bad mistake to make. I am normally the first on these threads arguing that everyone makes typos but this is a really embarrassing mistake. Especially in an assembly.

Niceweather Fri 30-Nov-12 20:14:10

Would have thought it was a problem till I had a DS with dyslexia. Would now be wondering if teacher had dyslexia and if so, would imagine that they had a wonderful understanding of how and other SENs can affect children. Would also be very impressed that they probably had to work extra hard to overcome it and that they therefore might be really dedicated to have chosen such a profession. And that they might be a really creative and divergent thinking individual. I was really chuffed when I found out my son's Head was dyslexic (I had noticed a couple of tiny oddities in her writing).

Niceweather Fri 30-Nov-12 20:15:20

Whoops! Lots of mistakes in my post! Cringe!

I never muddled there, their and they're until after years of teaching 7 year olds, looking at it wrong all the time just confuses the brain! You star to doubt yourself! Also, maybe the kids did the PowerPoint?

morethanpotatoprints Fri 30-Nov-12 21:46:35

I don't think there is any excuse and at dds last school it was terrible. The worst was a huge crate of dressing up with a label Roll Play.

I wanted to be a Primary teacher but am severeley dyslexic. I didn't think that my English was good enough and expected better for my dc, so wouldn't subject others dc to my bad English.

I really shouldn't have bothered when I see such poor standards in many schools. wouldn't of is regularly noted.

Hulababy Fri 30-Nov-12 21:52:55

Everyone makes mistakes. If it is a one off don;t worry about it - assume teacher did the work whilst really busy or late at night and didn't think as well as they could at the time/ We've all done it some time or other I bet. When teacher realises she/he will probably feel so embarrassed!

If a regular thing - point it out. Not red pen ad all that passive aggressive stuff - just be polite and choose your timing.

Oh - and spelling tests have no academic value. They don't teach children to spell properly They teach children to remember spellings short term for a test. However most evidence shows that when it then comes to independent writing children don't actually apply the spellings they learn for a test into their work.

Phonics does teach spelling. Phonics is as much about spelling as it is about reading. Phonics is supposed to be used as a spelling programme.

Phonics only works so far- my son spells although as althow and sometimes as sumtimes.

I do get a little twitchy when my son brings literacy work peppered with errors,after the third printed sheet I got the green pen out and corrected the mistakes. Especially as my son believes teachers do everything right.


Welovecouscous Fri 30-Nov-12 22:03:37

That is poor.

I would rightly get told off if I put something in front of clients with an error like that. Don't think I ever have tbh as the culture at my workplace is very strict on spelling errors.

Hulababy Fri 30-Nov-12 22:04:02

Once they learn more sounds in phonics they learn the right spellings. It comes with practise. But that is day in day out practise not learning spellings by rote for a one off test. They learn which "phonics code" to use as the phonics programme goes in. By end of Y2 many will be known, sometimes before this. As phonics should continue into juniors - it often doesn't, but it should. And then phonics would help massively.

My DD has a lot of dyslexic type issues. Phonics has been the way forward and has made a massive difference.

bamboostalks Fri 30-Nov-12 22:07:26

cilldara sorry don't believe that at all. That's a well known Irish joke. Please don't further denigrate teachers by making up rubbish.

teacherwith2kids Fri 30-Nov-12 22:09:39

It's a mistake, and one I hope that the head will have had a quiet word with the teacher about.

If it is part of a pattern of a poor standard of written English around the school, in letters home etc etc, then it's worth getting het up about. Speak informally to a teacher or to the head, talking about how you are worried about the example it is setting to the children etc.

If, on the other hand, it is a single error by an over-stretched teacher doing the 100th 'something else extra' during their lunch break, then it's a mistake pure and simple and you should trust the school to deal with it internally.

justanuthermanicmumsday Fri 30-Nov-12 22:13:27

If it was a regular occurrence I might be concerned and send out a undercover spellcheck detective but "1 error and i will lose all respect" lool, tis so exaggerated. We all make mistakes, it is not the end of the world. Your child has hope of attaining a degree do not worry. The media covered this story recently I heard it on the radio, and I couldn't stop laughing they were over hyping it. I doubt teachers qualified as such, with very poor English skills.

I agree with PICTISH

zebedeee Fri 30-Nov-12 23:42:12

These spelling mistakes are all on one 'news' page of a website promoting their (DFE match funded) phonic books and workshops.

'Introductoy Workbook'
'two Sythetic Phonics hands-on workshops'
'The workshop will cover the English Phonic Code, blending and segementing,'
'how to create a synthetic phonics lesson including worbuilding'
'This photocopiable book includes blending, segmenting, reading, spelling, language development and comprehenion.'

The grammar is also a little odd in places...

Do you really think that 'Once they learn more sounds in phonics they('ll) learn the right spellings'? Maybe they should hone their whole word visual skills and be asking themselves 'does that look right?'.

Welovecouscous Sat 01-Dec-12 08:23:54

I used to teach future teachers at Uni and, sadly, the standard of spelling and grammar was often not high.

ByTheWay1 Sat 01-Dec-12 08:31:38

Doing the rounds on facebook... When I come across people who are angry at incorrect grammar just for the sake of it, I say quietly inside my head - "there, their, they're"

Ginandtonicandamassageplease Sat 01-Dec-12 08:33:43

I couldn't agree more OP. Obviously people make mistakes but if you are supposedly teaching children then, for goodness sake, get it right yourself. If you're not sure then get someone else to check it for you.
DS's school has just sent out an emergency contacts sheet with missing apostrophes - mums mobile, dads mobile etc. It's really annoyed me!!

TheNebulousBoojum Sat 01-Dec-12 08:35:19

'not being arsed to do a simple spell check is just so LAZY.'

Spell check doesn't usually pick up homophones. It isn't a substitute for a knowledge of grammar.
Our head teacher is prone to this in school assemblies.

heggiehog Sat 01-Dec-12 08:42:42

"Obviously people make mistakes but if you are supposedly teaching children then, for goodness sake, get it right yourself."

One more time - teachers DON'T HAVE TIME to proofread things. Is that so hard to understand?

Don't assume a mistake is because they can't spell.

TheNebulousBoojum Sat 01-Dec-12 08:46:26

We should make time if it is a presentation or a worksheet.
Only time that an error is acceptable is if you are writing at speed when marking or recording in a reading journal, and even then you should either go back and check when possible, or be willing to face corrections by parents.
It really isn't OK, modelling correct English is important.

TheNebulousBoojum Sat 01-Dec-12 08:47:01

I don't assume they can't spell, I assume that they can't be bothered.

ithaka Sat 01-Dec-12 09:00:15

Teachers don't HAVE TIME to proofread things? Well they'll have to FIND TIME, like the rest of us do. I would be humiliated beyond belief to make such a basic grammatical error in a report or presentation - but I never would, because I would check. As should any professional.

My OH is a teacher and would not defend what is either such sloppy practice or ignorance - neither of which inspire confidence in your child's teacher.

Ginandtonicandamassageplease Sat 01-Dec-12 09:09:04

Heggiehog - I used to be a teacher and I ensured I made time to check every single thing I wrote. Many other teachers don't however. I once was asked to proofread material written by a selection of teachers at a top independent secondary school which was due to go out to parents. The standard was absolutely appalling. There's no excuse for laziness.
TheNebulous - totally agree.

Welovecouscous Sat 01-Dec-12 09:41:20

Can't imagine any teacher agreeing with a child saying 'sorry my homework has mistakes in - no time to proof read'.

My sil is a teacher herself and has zero tolerance for mistakes like this.

Wellthen Sat 01-Dec-12 10:27:21

It is lazy (heggie are you a teacher? I think you're being overworked if you really feel that. If you're not and are being sarcastic then, well aren't you super mature?), its embarassing in a school assembly and certainly PART of a teacher's job.

What I object to in threads like this are the ideas that:
- a teacher's spelling represents how good they are at their job. Losing all respect?! I've never heard anything so pathetic. What about the relationship I have with your child, my development of them as a person never mind their history, geography, art, PE, RE, Maths, thinking skills, science etc etc ad nauseum.
- someone who teaches others should not make mistakes. Sorry, these people do not exist. Yes we try not to, certainly not publicly!! But it does happen. Get.Over.It

Feenie Sat 01-Dec-12 10:40:10

Agree with ithaka.

Elibean Sat 01-Dec-12 10:44:56

One off mistakes - we all make them. Its embarrassing, but no big deal and I would rather teach my children that everyone is human than model losing respect for a hardworking teacher over one slip hmm

If its all the time, that's different. Something to address. But even then, I would certainly not lose respect if the teacher in question was ace in other ways - some people are naturally good spellers, others aren't: yes, of course its their job to do it right, but they may need a heads up that they aren't - iyswim.

Our Head is an inspirational teacher, can get almost any child to excel in maths, and leads the school creatively and brilliantly. But he would be the first to admit spelling and grammar are not natural attributes smile

Feenie Sat 01-Dec-12 10:54:23

My Head put an errant apostrophe in the possessive 'its' so many times that I resorted to teaching it in a staff meeting, especially for him, in the guise of INSET training for lesson delivery.

It worked, actually. Can recommend it as a strategy to save one's sanity.

TheNebulousBoojum Sat 01-Dec-12 10:56:33

grin Feenie, how magnificently devious!

I remain your devoted admirer, NC notwithstanding.

Feenie Sat 01-Dec-12 10:58:31


TheNebulousBoojum Sat 01-Dec-12 10:59:01

Let's all stay sane in these last few weeks of glittery chaos and squabbling.

TheNebulousBoojum Sat 01-Dec-12 11:01:11

I think I posted last year about my approach to mulled wine. I try a new recipe every weekend during advent, and drink it through the week.
Then I decide which one is the best by the time my holiday starts.
However, my spelling and grammar stay impeccable.

Feenie Sat 01-Dec-12 11:04:56

Usually I drink wine only at weekends. At this time of year I crumble round about Wednesday grin.

Spelling and grammar remain unaffected.

Silibilimili Sat 01-Dec-12 11:08:52

Where's the attention to detail if it was a genuine mistake?!

I think it's unacceptable.

Celticlassie Sat 01-Dec-12 11:18:26

Of course it's unacceptable. How can they tell the kids to take care over what they're doing, when they don't take time themselves to proof read a presentation? Everything that is being sent out for others to read, should always be proof read.

And for those who say it won't make a long term impact - in Higher English (Scotland), making an error like this consistently in your essays could mean a lower mark, which may well impact on a candidate's future.

teacherwith2kids Sat 01-Dec-12 11:47:12


i think the key word is 'consistently'.

Where I work, for a 'one off' error, the head (who is, rightly, a stickler) would have a quiet word. The head herself gets everything that she sends home proof-read (as it happens, by me) to ensure that her letteres are as error free as we can manage.

For a pattern of errors from a member of staff, there would be a development plan including training, targets etc in order to ensure that it improves long-term, and a requirement to get everything 'public' checked (e.g. by a teacher 'buddy') before publication for that staff member.

teacherwith2kids Sat 01-Dec-12 11:47:44

(But when I'm typing quickly, random 'e's do seem to appear in words blush)

heggiehog Sat 01-Dec-12 12:08:05

Yes I am a teacher.

On some weeks I have between 10-20k words to write in addition to teaching full time. Sometimes I only have an hour or two between being given something to do, and the deadline. I physically do not have time to proofread everything I write, let alone spend time preparing the kind of lessons I would like to teach.

If you DO have time, great. I'm happy for you.

But it's sickening to know that I work so bloomin' hard to very tight deadlines, and if I happen to make even one tiny little error, I'll get lambasted by people who think I should "make time" apparently. I'm not Doctor Who.

heggiehog Sat 01-Dec-12 12:10:08

"Teachers don't HAVE TIME to proofread things? Well they'll have to FIND TIME, like the rest of us do."

ithaka It's truly amazing that you can command and bend the laws of physics and create time.

Celticlassie Sat 01-Dec-12 12:14:50

I don't think teachers have to proof read EVERYTHING. I don't, and my classes laugh at my typos regularly, on powerpoints, etc, but something that is being displayed to parents, I would make time.

radicalsubstitution Sat 01-Dec-12 12:51:00

Typos on internal memos/emails are undesirable but sometimes inevitable given the speed of response sometimes necessary.

Typos on reports to parents and letters home look very unprofessional.

There is no justifiable reason why a qualified teacher should be consistently making errors in spelling and grammar (other than on MN) on written communication to students and parents.

ithaka Sat 01-Dec-12 13:35:52

"Teachers don't HAVE TIME to proofread things? Well they'll have to FIND TIME, like the rest of us do."

ithaka It's truly amazing that you can command and bend the laws of physics and create time.

No, in common with most busy professional people, I prioritise, to prevent myself seeming incompetent in the workplace. No bending of the laws of physics required.
I am shocked you think proof reading a powerpoint prior to presentation requires incredible special skills - it doesn't.

Elibean Sat 01-Dec-12 13:51:26

Celtic and teacherwith - agree emphatically: 'key word is 'consistently''. One-offs are not the same as patterns of mistakes.


Welovecouscous Sat 01-Dec-12 14:02:10

I had a very pressured job with very long hours pre dc. A typo in something seen by clients would have been viewed very dimly. Result? Almost no typos made by me or colleagues in any public-facing work.

alcofrolic Sat 01-Dec-12 14:27:58

The teacher may have been nervous standing in front of everyone and made a silly error. I can remember the first time I played the hymn in an assembly. I was shaking all over (hair to toe-nail) and the music turned into a page of bouncing gobbledegook........ooooh, how I messed up......blush at the memory.
Assemblies are scary for lots of teachers!

(Feenie - I found your post very comforting.....I started on the wine on Wednesday this week too.....grin)

morethanpotatoprints Sat 01-Dec-12 17:05:14

I can understand new teachers being nervous presenting their first assembly, but if they are like this in subsequent assemblies, they are in the wrong job.
I don't think this teacher was actually writing the spelling mistake whilst presenting, theires [sic] no excuse.
Maybe teachers don't have time to proof read, although I always made time. This was due to wanting to do a good job, one of the reasons I left was because time didn't permit me to always be professional. Anyway the end result is still the same and unacceptable whatever the excuse.

alcofrolic Sat 01-Dec-12 17:36:36

Whoops - skimmed the OP and mis-read it! Is that as bad as making a spelling mistake? grin

I still get nervous before class assemblies after 20 years on the job. You're under scrutiny from parents, other teachers and all the rest of the pupils.

You only have to read MN to get an idea of the judgements being made by parents at an assembly: Why has my precious child got a smaller part than the PTA chairperson's child? Why can't the TA control little Johnny (who just happens to have SEN)? Why didn't my child get the special award? Why couldn't we bring the grannies and aunts? Why doesn't the HT stop them fidgeting? Why weren't all children involved? Why does the teacher look so upset about everyone staring at my cute little toddler making that cute little noise?..... not to mention criticism about the content....Ugh.

heggiehog Sat 01-Dec-12 20:02:44

"I am shocked you think proof reading a powerpoint prior to presentation requires incredible special skills - it doesn't."

Well, I am shocked at your poor reading comprehension skills ithaka but there you go. Nowhere did I say that proof reading "requires incredible special skills." You are imagining that conversation.

I DID however say that I physically don't have time to proofread everything. If you can bend the laws of physics and make 5 minutes into 10 minute or 15 minutes then you are very clever indeed.

I'm afraid as a mere human being I am rather too stupid to be able to accomplish such a feat and therefore will only proofread as much as I am able to in the 5 minute slot that I have.

heggiehog Sat 01-Dec-12 20:10:06

"No, in common with most busy professional people, I prioritise, to prevent myself seeming incompetent in the workplace."

It is marvellous that you are able to "prioritise" in your job but not all jobs are carbon copies of one another. I cannot prioritise one thing over another in a short deadline if it means missing the deadline. Something has to give and it will always be the proofreading, rather than failing to prepare a lesson or speak to a parent or address a serious issue etc.

Above all else, my priority has always been, and will always be, the children.

I wonder if you think that makes me a terrible teacher. Teachers make mistakes, we are human. We do not have all the time in the world and we do not often have the chance to "prioritise" work. If you have not done the job then you likely will not understand why that is.

ithaka Sat 01-Dec-12 20:37:33

Nowhere did I say that proof reading "requires incredible special skills." You are imagining that conversation.

You said you would have to bend the laws of physics to proofread, which seems an incredibly special skill to me grin

As I said, my OH is a teacher and he would not be impressed by a colleague who made such a basic mistake in a powerpoint presentation give to parents. However you slice it, it is not good.

heggiehog Sat 01-Dec-12 20:58:56

No it is not good, and certainly not something I would encourage. I have a colleague who cannot spell for toffee and it makes me cringe every time.

But I do object to the idea (that crops up every week on Mumsnet, joyously) that spelling errors need to be pointed out and that the teacher needs to be humiliated, ridiculed, shown the error of their ways etc.

Sometimes a mistake is just that, a mistake. We do not need red pen. We do not need parents making snarky sarcastic comments in reading records. We do not need bitchy comments on internet forums. We just need more time and less paperwork so that we can actually do these things properly and still teach with enthusiasm!

joanofarchitrave Sat 01-Dec-12 21:16:31

[shrug] Poor spelling makes an incredibly bad impression. Sorry, but it does. When I'm reading the newsletter from the new head teacher, I do cringe at the three or four spelling mistakes per issue. I obviously don't say anything, I couldn't do her job for the world, and I don't gossip about it except on here, obviously, but I can't help how I feel about it; she is a role model for my son's literacy and it doesn't encourage me. She has doubled the length of the newsletter; I would rather she halved the size again, wrote less, and got it right. Similarly, if you don't have time to proofread a presentation, how about not doing a presentation; instead, scribble some notes so that the spelling doesn't matter, and just do a speech? Or get one of the children to write notes on what you are saying? Or make a presentation which is a single cue word per slide?

RefuseToWorry Sat 01-Dec-12 23:04:38

Dear Parents and Teachers,

Let's be friends. How much more could we achieve by joining forces rather than attacking each other for our shortcomings?

I am a stickler for detail with perfectionist tendencies. I recently delivered a presentation which I had proof-read several times before the event, as well as sending a copy to my boss to check over. It was only during the presentation that I spotted an error on one of the slides, which I immediately apologised for.

We are human and mistakes are part of life. Who would you rather work with? Someone who encouraged you to forgive yourself for your mistakes, learn from them and move on, or someone who rubbed your nose in your inadequacies every time you messed up?

Welovecouscous Sun 02-Dec-12 00:29:09

Refuse, rather than apologising you should have said you didn't have time to proof read in your job, so errors were only to be expected.

teacherwith2kids Sun 02-Dec-12 10:49:23

What I do find a little depressing about this thread is where parents' [declared] priorities lie.

If I inspire your child to learn, spend my break times working 1 to 1 to address something that they find difficult, spend my lunchtimes marking their books so that they are clear what they need to learn next and feel that their great work is praised (and also deal with the 'falling out with their friend' issue which is taking over their day, and find their lost glove, and mop up the tears when they fall over, and check that the vulnerable child in the class has lunch today, and phone a specialist teacher who is coming in to work with your child next week), teach another inspiring lesson in the afternoon, take the whole school assembly which actually gets them to think about a moral issue, speak to 4 parents after school, put up a display to celebrate your child's work very soon after they have created it, then go home to create some more inspiring lessons for tomorrow .... then that is all valueless because I have made a single, very rare for me, spelling error in a presentation.

I am not saying the spelling error is acceptable. I agree that the head or another member of staff should have a quiet word and address a training need if it exists.

However if that spelling error negates absoliutely everything else that I do as a teacher to such an extent that whatever else I do you don't respect me or regard me as having any strengths as a teacher, I feel that you might be getting things out of proportion....

(And to the poster who felt that a teacher who had not given the spelling of a presentation sufficient priority.... it depends what the 'time that could have been given to it' was spent doing, doesn't it? Vs marking books - probably. Vs spending 1 to 1 time at the end of a lesson with a child who was at risk of falling behind - maybe...but if it was your child who was the one falling behind you might have a different view. Vs an emergency child protection conference - definitely not. One of the things that makes teaching challenging is that the 'unplannable' arises on a daily basis, and even the most careful prioritisation of workload can go out of the window in an instant.

Nishky Sun 02-Dec-12 10:55:53

Stands up and applauds teacherwith2kids, and no I am not a teacher, but I appreciate all that my children's teachers do for them.

ithaka Sun 02-Dec-12 11:55:53

Well, if the teacher really is too busy to proofread their presentation, maybe it would be better to give a good presentation without powerpoint. Most people hate powerpoint anyway and it is usually very badly used.

That is what I meant by prioritise - if you don't have time to do something, reassign the time you have to what you judge is more important. It is a pretty standard professional skill that I am sure the majority of teachers possess.

I don't intend to teacher bash, my child is only just in school so my exposure is limited.
I applaud your long list above and your caring nature towards children. I applaud the long hours you put in. I do want all those things for my child.

In my chosen career, I would probably get sacked for persistent spelling mistakes ( the printed word). Anyone in my industry who doesn't spell well, or if not their finest skill, proof read 100% of the time, does not succeed in the industry. In fact, they wouldn't even break into the industry.

My expectation of teachers was that they would spell better than me and have as good as if not better punctuation.
I am shocked over the mis-spelling of the simplest words and poor grammar.

If a nurse (physiotherapist, radiologist or occupational therapist all do similar length degrees) have spelling difficulty but need to spell medical words in their profession and more importantly read them in order to treat patients safely, can you imagine the problems if they didn't pay attention the the spelling of the medical terms?

In my opinion, the need for teachers to be able to spell in primary school is more achievable than my example.

teacherwith2kids Sun 02-Dec-12 12:20:34


I absolutely agree with you about ''persistent spelling mistakes'. If those happen, then the teacher, at best, needs additional training.

However, there is no indication in the OP that this was anything other than a single, out of character, error - and that is why I posted as I did.

I have said several times that the approach to a single error and a pattern of errors should be different. The first is a genuine mistake, which should be addressed quietly by the head or another member of staff. The second is more serious and would require a different type and level of input - though this might still be behind the scenes and invisible to parents.

With regard to your other example, I frequently appear on my medical records with my name mis-spelt, and I have been invited to an 'asma review' on more than 1 occasion....

See, the whole country has plundered to desperate depths grin

I of all people know just how bad spelling is from the yoof of today, I receive in excess of 3000 wannabe CV's a year to read.
Is this linked to the fact our teachers can't spell anymore either???

TheNebulousBoojum Sun 02-Dec-12 12:49:01


Spelt correctly but an odd choice of word. Did you mean plunged?

teacherwith2kids Sun 02-Dec-12 13:24:30


In my experience:

The vast majority of teachers spell very well.

A small minority have a weakness in spelling and / or grammar, which will generally be picked up and addressed in school. The extent to which this makes a teacher unemployable will depend on the subject and on their other strengths and weaknesses.

No teachers are wholly immune to making very occasional mistakes.

On this basis, I would not claim that 'teachers can't spell anymore'. I am in my 40s, and I well remember that my spelling at age 11 was very much better than my final-year primary school teacher's.

lilackaty Sun 02-Dec-12 13:29:48

Did she make the PowerPoint or did the kids do it??
I am a very good speller but still make mistakes at times. Yes, she should have checked it and she's probably really embarrassed but I don't think there is no hope.

Feenie Sun 02-Dec-12 15:58:12

'I of all people'

'CV's' ???

Glass houses there. Lots of 'em.

jamdonut Sun 02-Dec-12 17:21:23

Just wondering,if it was a class assembly, was the powerpoint or whatever ACTUALLY done by her, or had the children had a hand in it? Sometimes the children do the powerpoint presentations at our class assemblies and the odd spelling mistake creeps in. And sometimes the teachers copy word for word exactly what the children have written without correcting it,so that to all intents and purposes, it remains their work even if it is up on a screen.

Other than that...teachers and TA's are only human and we occasionally make mistakes, usually when we are rushing to comlplete something. Sorry.

jamdonut Sun 02-Dec-12 17:21:57

ooops...COMPLETE something. I rest my case.

maizieD Sun 02-Dec-12 17:41:53


Er, were you questioning the grammar or the punctuation?


When did 'any more' become one word? Was it at the same time as 'a lot'?

Feenie Sun 02-Dec-12 18:00:04

The grammar of the first phrase and the punctuation in the second part.

mrz Sun 02-Dec-12 18:05:07

by Wednesday I just want to sleep Feenie

Feenie Sun 02-Dec-12 18:16:54


maizieD Sun 02-Dec-12 19:07:32

Can I whisper, very quietly Feenie dear, that the grammar of the first is correct but the punctuation isn't... (it should have commas round 'of all people')

And CV's is also correct, it can have either as it happens, I use CVs but apple think they know better.

But it's chicken and egg. Which came first? Teachers who couldn't spell or today's children whose spelling is dreadful.

Feenie Sun 02-Dec-12 20:38:27

Really, maizieD? Can we call it clumsy then, do you think? It sounds awful.

CV's is most certainly not correct, Shattereddreams - plurals do not need apostrophes.

teacherwith2kids Sun 02-Dec-12 20:50:15


Could you possibly point me to the (widely gathered, obviously) evidence that teachers' spelling is dreadful? I appreciate that you have evidence from CVs (plural, no apostrophe unless you are saying that something belongs to the CV, e.g. 'That CV's font is unreadable', though even that is a clumsy construction and 'The font in that CV is unreadable' would make your meaning clearer) that those young adults who apply to you either spell poorly or make frequent typing errors or use spellcheck indiscriminately.

As it happens, my teacher over 30 years ago couldn't spell - so by your logic, my spelling should be terrible ...

You're all so defensive.

I actually stated children's spelling was awful.
If you use the full Curriculum Vitaes then they can belong to someone. Hence the apostrophe.
As I already said, I have limited exposure to teachers. And then my exposure to MN where it seems lots of teachers struggle to spell SIMPLE words which is what I find hard to take.

My experience was Scrible? Really? Perhaps a long word, a difficult word or not follow the usual rule word. But a word my 5 year old can spell.

All of you teachers here, I bet you needed high A levels to study at Uni. I didn't get enough A level points to become a teacher 20 years ago.

It's the 'what changed' bit I don't understand.

That's a generalisation btw

Feenie Sun 02-Dec-12 21:14:58

If you use the full Curriculum Vitaes then they can belong to someone. Hence the apostrophe.

Wtf? confused

There is no 'hence', Shattereddreams - it doesn't need one. Ever.

TheNebulousBoojum Sun 02-Dec-12 21:20:41

<Old crone enters hobbling, stage left>

'It's the 'what changed' bit I don't understand'

The demands of the curriculum changed. When I began, decades ago, the priorities were reading, writing and maths. How you taught it was entirely up to the teacher, there was no www or google, so the need was for a teacher with an excellent, established internalised understanding of what was being taught, and high level skills in those three areas.
We used to teach RWM in the mornings, and topic and PE in the afternoons.
The system had many faults, so they improved it. You are now living in the new, improved, upgraded version. As are your children.

<exit stage left, hobbling and cackling>

TheNebulousBoojum Sun 02-Dec-12 21:21:49

You are, of course, correct Feenie.
But who cares? smile

alcofrolic Sun 02-Dec-12 21:28:26

The plural of curriculum vitae is curricula vitae (curriculum=course and curricula=courses; 'vitae' is genitive and means 'of life').

So really, shattered's sentence should have read 'I receive in excess of 3000 wannabe cv a year to read' if we want to get pedantic! grin

(....I assume? Any Latin scholars out there?!)

TheNebulousBoojum Sun 02-Dec-12 21:30:01


I stand corrected, someone does care!

Feenie Sun 02-Dec-12 21:30:55

Probably just me, TNBoojum smile

Good pedant work there, alcofrolic. wink

radicalsubstitution Sun 02-Dec-12 21:33:34

I once received a letter from DD's cardiologist. Before he retired, he was one of the most well-respected and well-loved paediatric cardiologists in the country. He has appeared on numerous episodes on the BBC following a well-known children's hospital in London.

One line of the letter read 'she is no medication'.

He probably trained as a doctor (and worked for much of his career) in a time when written communication was typed by secreataries. I used to spend my summer as a university student working as an office temp, and much of my time was spent typing relatively mundane communications but there would be only one PC per office.

Typos happen. They look really unprofessional, but most people accept that they happen from time to time.

If the teacher didn't understand the grammatical rules, then that's another matter entirely.

Incidentally, I was really pleased that the letter about my DD's heart surgery was actually written personally by her consultatnt and didn't come from a 'standard letter bank'. The typo proved that!

alcofrolic Sun 02-Dec-12 21:35:25

<sips wine with satisfied slurp, in celebration of the fact that the 1975 Latin O level has, at last, been of use>

TheNebulousBoojum Sun 02-Dec-12 21:37:20

Yes, when I was a gel, A stream did Latin, C stream did typing.
I can't type without peering at the keyboard.

radicalsubstitution Sun 02-Dec-12 21:44:05

I was part of a small group at my girl's independent school who managed to convince the 'powers that be' that typing/word processing should be considered a 'DT' subject along with art/cookery/needlework/childcare.

It was very useful as a money-making skill for subsidising university.

Alas, I learned to 'word-process' on an Amstrad WPC. If Sugar thinks he's so damn clever, how does he explain that one?

alcofrolic Sun 02-Dec-12 21:44:29

Aaaah.... but can you decline 'puer'? Obviously much more useful than typing.

radicalsubstitution Sun 02-Dec-12 21:46:39

Is that where puerile comes from? I can't think of any other puer word in the radical mental dictionary.

maizieD Sun 02-Dec-12 22:51:11

Ahem. Is that apostrophe needed in 'girl's independent school'?

Is it an independent school belonging to the girl? (or to your girl?)
Or is it an independent school belonging to the girls?
Or even, is it an independent school for girls?

And we're worrying about 'there' instead of 'they're'...wink

radicalsubstitution Mon 03-Dec-12 07:39:03

Oh bloody hell. Too much wine and not enough proof-reading.

Actually, the school belonged to the Roman Catholic church.

Oh well.

sdrumm41 Tue 04-Dec-12 21:21:05

Have you got absolutely nothing better to do than to post this on here. More than likely your DD's teacher was up until midnight doing stuff for that assembly for someone like you to come along and pick holes in it. You can bet your life he/she works 3 times as hard as you do and would probably be mortified at the error.

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