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for expecting my son's school work to be marked by someone with a higher standard of english than him?

(56 Posts)
mostlyhappywithsomelowpressure Wed 16-Jan-13 19:42:22

My 7 yo son has lots of homework and one of the things he has is to make sentences from this week's spellings. It's a fun task and, though he gets wound up when he can't think of anything he works very hard at it and comes up with good stuff.

The work was initially (I believe) marked by the teacher and he was praised for using speech marks in part of it once, which I thought was a nice comment. But a few weeks in the writing changed. One week his name was spelt wrong (though it is on the front of the file the work comes in) but it is spelt unusually, a k instead of a c, I know it's confusing! Then another week it said 'be careful with you writting' WRITTING. I didn't say anything to that as my husband told me to leave it.

But today she has put 'Be carefully with your punctuation' and crossed out his speech marks which were in a totally relevant and acceptable place. Then she has put "can I come in" by way of exemplfying the correct use of speech marks. Now, if the use of speech marks is something they want to get away from so-be-it but 'be careFULLY' and to then not put the correct puntuation on her example of speech!!!!

I feel bad to criticise this woman but she is making my son feel like he's doing his work wrong (when he's just trying to do something a bit different) and she's really in no position to be doing so when she can't spell or use the correct tenses!!

And in case anyone thinks I might be slighting the abilities of a TA, I'm not, I am one and I would, rushed or not, make sure that if I were correcting or commenting on work, what I wrote was correct.

Shall I write to the teacher or just let it continue??

gimmecakeandcandy Wed 16-Jan-13 19:46:44

No way should you let this continue. That is shocking! Make an appointment with the teacher straightaway and give her examples and see what she has to say on the matter.

And let us know!

scurryfunge Wed 16-Jan-13 19:51:17

I would be asking why a T.A. Is marking homework.

TheSkiingGardener Wed 16-Jan-13 19:55:19

They either are qualified as teachers and shouldn't be, or aren't qualified and shouldn't be marking homework. I would definitely challenge on this one.

LRDtheFeministDragon Wed 16-Jan-13 19:59:55

Would you like me to correct your SPAG in the OP, or just in the title? wink

That does sound a bit crap, though. It's one thing for there to be a few typos like 'writting', but correcting him when he's correct already isn't fair.

OmgATalkingOnion Wed 16-Jan-13 20:01:03

Yanbu at all and I would def mention it.

'Careful with you writting' Blimey charliehmm.

TheNebulousBoojum Wed 16-Jan-13 20:24:29

Scurry, my TA marks work, and comments on it. She is an educated and intelligent person with excellent spelling and grammar.
OP, I agree that it's unacceptable for someone to make so many mistakes, I'd go in and ask the teacher to explain the comments and explain the low quality of them.
Which of course she won't be able to, or to justify.

phantomnamechanger Wed 16-Jan-13 20:24:55

it's not peer marking is it? I hate that with a passion! My 5 yo DD used to be furious that her Y6 reading buddy would write "god redding" week after week!

Ds is always having his spelling incorrectly marked by the kid he sits next to -

but if it is an adult, you need to say something and not let it go - could do better springs to mind!

mostlyhappywithsomelowpressure Wed 16-Jan-13 20:31:29

Thanks all. Feel less neurotic now.

LRDtheFeministDragon, please feel free to inform me of any corrections needed in my OP or title??!!! Is it the lack of capital letter? I thoroughly checked

As for why a TA is marking homework, I do not have a problem with that aspect if they are bright enough to be doing so. I am a TA as I said (a qualified FE teacher who decided to work with little ones and is now not in a position (for many reasons, including a non-curriculum degree) to get my QTS and be a proper teacher!!) and I have marked home work in the past :/

Thanks again.

TheNebulousBoojum Wed 16-Jan-13 20:33:04

Capital letter for English

LRDtheFeministDragon Wed 16-Jan-13 20:35:49

Oh, I hadn't noticed the capital letter thing. I thought it was 'higher standard of English than he'.

I am only trying to illustrate that all of us make mistakes (leaving aside those in the main OP because, frankly, it's long and there's more than one). It's fair enough to say the TA should be checking more carefully than you'd check your work on a website, but still ...

mostlyhappywithsomelowpressure Wed 16-Jan-13 20:37:03

phantomnamechanger - definately not peer mentoring, unless they have outstanding handwriting :D

I was so tempted to write my own comments to her but that's seems a bit snotty so I haven't.

TheNebulousBoojum, i didn't even think to go in and pretend I thought it was the teacher who had marked it, that would put them in a difficult position. However if they tried to play the 'oh it was the TA' card, I am my own proof that that is irrelevant!! ;D

StuffezLaBouche Wed 16-Jan-13 20:43:04

My TA marks homework and some test papers, as does the Chair of Govs who volunteers in my class twice a week. Both highly educated people who are doing me a massive favour.

Yes, though. Anything going home needs be correctly spelled and punctuated, without a doubt. I would say something, personally. What if this TA (or whoever it is doing the marking) has to work in a small group or 1:1 with your ds?

echt Wed 16-Jan-13 20:44:47


The errors and comments made by the TA, presumably in handwriting, aren't the equivalent of typos; this person is not sufficiently in command of written English to do the job they're doing.

Write to the teacher. Give her/him specific examples, photocopies of the work. Emphasise that you don't want your DS identified. The teacher should be able to use the info to make her/his own check of the TA's marking. Which they should have been doing anyway.

If you don't get a result, and I mean an immediate response and plan of action, then write to the HT.

HollyBerryBush Wed 16-Jan-13 20:51:24

If you are going to criticise someones use of English then maybe you should look at your post - granted you aren't an English teacher any more than I am but ...*One week his name was spelt wrong* - it should be wrongly

FWIW my son has and English teacher with a PHD from Cambs, and my son corrects her comments correcting his work because he can Fortunately she has a sense of humour.

Again got to be honest with you FE teachers aren't fully qualified, those I've worked with, I generally have to rewrite all their correspondence and read over their out going mail. I admit Im a crap typist and on forums I pay scant regard to punctuation or capitalisation and indeed I type as I would speak but standards of literacy are falling all over.

LRDtheFeministDragon Wed 16-Jan-13 20:51:47

I think they're like typos - why not? confused

You can make an error writing as well as typing.

didireallysaythat Wed 16-Jan-13 20:51:57

We had homework come back one week with "Please check your speling"

I assumed the teacher is just playing games with me....

Jojobump1986 Wed 16-Jan-13 20:52:20

You missed the 'c' in punctuation towards the end of the third paragraph.

Sorry, nothing helpful to add! wink grin

desertgirl Wed 16-Jan-13 21:03:35

She didn't say 'marked by someone with impeccable English' though, she just wanted the marker's English to be better than her son's - which doesn't seem unreasonable; and the mistakes quoted do seem to be fairly egregious - I would be raising it....

StuffezLaBouche Wed 16-Jan-13 21:07:02

Sorry LRD, I disagree. If you're sending something home you have a duty as someone paid to educate to ensure it's correctly spelled. It takes less than an minute to check if you're unsure! "Writting" is unforgivable...

LRDtheFeministDragon Wed 16-Jan-13 21:13:42

Fair enough. I just thought that was a big difference between the odd minor error (which they look like to me), and telling a child he's wrong when he's right.

The first is forgiveable. The second is really shit, IMO.

mostlyhappywithsomelowpressure Wed 16-Jan-13 21:19:31

Thank you desertgirl - was starting to wish I hadn't bothered saying anything with the sudden attack on me starting!!! Jeeez, missing letters out and ending sentences incorrectly on a forum is very different from spelling things wrong on....d'ya know what..........

So THANK YOU desertgirl and anyone else who has advised me on this. And sorry I bothered you to everyone else!!!

'spelt wrong' is fine, spelt incorrect would not be.

Good night

(remember now why I don't come on here very often!)

porridgewithalmondmilk Wed 16-Jan-13 21:22:11

Why are TA's marking work? confused

I am a head of department and I would not expect a TA to be marking work at all. It's one of the standards for teachers, not TAs.

nokidshere Wed 16-Jan-13 21:26:00

I only just found out about peer marking - I am incensed by it!!!!!!!!!!!!

I do not want my sons worked being marked by someone else who may or may not understand it as much as my child. And what if my child had problems with it? How would the teacher even know? It is something I am talking to the school about very soon!

LRDtheFeministDragon Wed 16-Jan-13 21:26:42

mostly - honestly, it wasn't meant to be an attack, and I did say in my post it'd be fair enough to say you use a different standard of accuracy on a forum, than you would if you were a TA.

I'm sorry if that was the wrong thing to say.

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