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To expect good grammar from a year three teacher?

(210 Posts)
MrsFC Tue 07-Sep-10 16:39:12

I live in zone four of East London, and while I am originally not from that area and have a different accent, DC, DP, CM, exDH and all DC's friends do, and have a fairly pronounced East London accent.

Now: I have NOTHING against an accent from anywhere in the country, I really don't. But I DO have issues with the bad grammar that can sometimes come with it, for example:

'we done this at school today Mummy'
'Where is the book we was reading Mummy'
'I didn't eat nuffink for lunch today'

I have spent the past five years patiently correcting DC and explaining basic correct grammar to him. I also explain that while lots of the grown ups he knows speak incorrectly, he must not correct them, but must listen to how his teacher and I speak. I am lucky in that he is a competent and avid reader and so I have been encouraging him to read Harry Potter books to try and instill it in him further (top tip - if you want your son to read Harry Potter, buy the Lego DS Game - it worked for me!)

Anyway - I digress. I went to pick up DS from school yesterday and they came out of a different gate.When we found them his new teacher said to me:

'I'm sorry you wasn't told'

I was taken aback and mentioned it to another Mum friend of mine with a child in the same year(I could only mention it to this one friend as the other Mums probably wouldn't have noticed TBH). She smiled and said I was being a bit snobby.

What do you think? And what would you do, if anything?

Tippychoocks Tue 07-Sep-10 16:40:49

I would think she is a numpty. But I would do nothing smile

MistsandMellowMilady Tue 07-Sep-10 16:41:19

Set LeQueen on her.


EndangeredSpecies Tue 07-Sep-10 16:43:35

The sentence about the other mums probably not noticing needs deleting ASAP unless you want to be flamed like a flambé brandy French leg of pork thing. <wanders off to post on food thread about flambéing>

Yes it's irritating but not as bad as the random apostrophes you will inevitably see when she starts correcting his homework. Brace yourself.

whatkatydidathome Tue 07-Sep-10 16:45:15

not sure if there is much you can do but I am also frequently shocked at the way in which primary school teachers communicate - in particular the appalling grammar used in notes home. The maths is worse - we discovered one parents evening that the year 2 teacher, who was also the mathematics coordinator, at our dds outstanding primary did not understand basic percentages (this came to light when she tried to explain our childs SATS results to us - she was unable to work out that in a class of 34 each child was roughly 3 % and so misinterpreted our childs results). The standard of education amongst primary teachers is shocking - and please do not chout - I know that there are lots of excellent, well educated primary teachers, many o fwhom will be readin gthis list but there are also plenty who reeally should not be allowed to teach as they are just not bright enough themselves.

Headbanger Tue 07-Sep-10 16:46:23

I would be pretty miffed, to be honest. And staggered that someone got through the years of education presumably still necessary to become a teacher without knowing the bare minimum of good spoken grammar.

Of course I wouldn't expect her or even university lecturers to unfailingly, for instance, use the possessive pronoun with the gerund (or indeed avoid the split infinitive - see what I did there?!). No-one's perfect except me. But the point is she is going to be instrumental in your child's development for a full year, and rightly or wrongly people are judged on whether they speak more or less properly. Again: nothing to do with accents. Or class snobbery. It's just wrong. WRONG. WRONG.

whatkatydidathome Tue 07-Sep-10 16:48:04

and yes I know I missed an apostophy blush but I also teach and always proof read any professional communication

Headbanger Tue 07-Sep-10 16:49:16

apostrophe, WhatKatyDid. Not an English teacher, I hope? <mischievous>

Jannamummy Tue 07-Sep-10 16:52:11

Pmsl at apostrophy!!

pebblejones Tue 07-Sep-10 16:56:05

LOL Headbanger!

BuntyPenfold Tue 07-Sep-10 17:01:13

whatkatydid my son had a maths teacher in primary who did not understand maths. Really didn't get percentages, or even multiplying. I thought I was alone!
She also corrected right spellings to wrong angry
When I complained that my son was being taught wrongly she told the class of 9 year olds that 'xxxxxx's Mum thinks she knows more than a teacher.'angry angry

Headbanger Tue 07-Sep-10 17:05:21

Bunty that's shock!

I intend to bring my children up to recite the following riposte: "Well yes then my Mum knows more than everyone, so...." grin

In all seriousness, I (and my DH) am slightly alarmed about how I am going to handle inept teachers (I am an English academic). Suspect the years ahead might involve a lot of biting the ol' tongue to shreds...

EndangeredSpecies Tue 07-Sep-10 17:06:28

I would have had to lie down in a dark room for a very long time if that happened to me Bunty. Either that or become a Daily Mail headline.

Headbanger Tue 07-Sep-10 17:06:44


There's a 'but' missing. And you'd think no-one would miss my butt <snigger>

OP - what would you like to do - speak directly to the teacher? If she simply cannot speak correctly then I'm not sure there's a great deal you can do about it...

Vallhala Tue 07-Sep-10 17:08:46

You could always make an exception to the rule you have given DS and tell him that in this instance he is allowed to correct an adult.

I'd be mentioning it to the HT next time our paths crossed too and asking him/her why the feck they were employing staff who didn't have a basic understanding of English grammar. IMHO the woman isn't up to the job and frankly I wouldn't want her teaching my DC.

AlCrowley Tue 07-Sep-10 17:10:05

My MIL says "I done it" and it drives me up the wall. I really don't want DS picking that up.

The problem is, while I know it's wrong, I can't explain why it's wrong - I never was a grammar boffin blush How would you explain it to a small child?

EndangeredSpecies Tue 07-Sep-10 17:11:31

Present perfect: I've done it, used to refer to something you have just done.

Past simple: I did it, used to refer to a completed action.

artyjools Tue 07-Sep-10 17:13:14

I recall a note on the wall of my son's nursery. "This is the work the children done". No kidding!!

EndangeredSpecies Tue 07-Sep-10 17:14:26

missed out last bit ... completed action with no relevance to the present time.

SmellsLikeTeenSweat Tue 07-Sep-10 17:15:28

YANBU. I'd be mightily pissed off too - and I do speak wiv an Estuary accent, but am not fick. Honest. It really gets me that teachers set themselves up as examples but can't spell/speak/use grammar properly. DS's teacher regularly would send his homework back covered in smiley faces along with the comment 'brillant'. Why couldn't she SEE that there was an I missing???

SmellsLikeTeenSweat Tue 07-Sep-10 17:16:46

*qualifier - not all teachers. But some seem to think they are on a higher plane.

sallyseton Tue 07-Sep-10 17:19:22

"I've done it" still doesn't sound right. I have done that- I have finished it? I have <insert verb here> it?

Artyjools that is terrible but I did laugh blush

cansu Tue 07-Sep-10 17:21:35

FFS I think you are perhaps overreacting a little. I think you should focus instead on the progress your dc makes and whether he builds up a good relationship with his new teacher. This certainly won't happen if you go on and on about her grammar! You have no idea about her ability to teach. Why not give it a few weeks at least?

sallyseton Tue 07-Sep-10 17:23:35

Don't think you can use "done" in that way- you can say "it is done" or that is "done". Well, gramatically you can use it like that but it still sounds a bit inelegant.

And I've spent too long looking at the word 'done' so now it doesn't make sense any more.

FioFio Tue 07-Sep-10 17:26:43

Message deleted

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