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To wish teachers had to take a spelling proficiency test before qualifying?

(261 Posts)
ChwatFeechers Fri 10-Jul-15 12:49:51

DD, 11, is in her final year of primary school.

Yesterday she brought her books home from year 5. I was gobsmacked at the number of spelling mistakes which had been missed, whilst others had been marked in green pen. It wasn't an oversight either, as the same mistake was made often without being corrected, for example Febury for February.
There were also some grammar corrections to things DD had written correctly.
This isn't the first time I've noticed mistakes either.
AIBU to wish teachers had to prove they can spell adequately?

Ilovewheelychairs Fri 10-Jul-15 12:53:39

I believe (this certainly used to be the case), that teachers are only allowed to correct a certain percentage of spelling errors on a page, to stop a child feeling awful if their work came back covered in green (or at the time, red) ink. Things may have changed now!

helloalll Fri 10-Jul-15 12:53:43

Have you checked their spelling policy? At DDs school they only 'green pen' a few in each piece of writing but will discuss and get the children to look for others etc. I think they do it as so not to discourage a child by having loads of green marks...

TheNumberfaker Fri 10-Jul-15 12:58:01

Teachers I know only highlight 3 spellings per piece of work as it would be too disheartening to see it covered in corrections.

Oakmaiden Fri 10-Jul-15 13:03:57

To answer your actual aibu, they do.

But also, agree with everything said above. How old is the child whose work you are talking about?

Oakmaiden Fri 10-Jul-15 13:04:17

To answer your actual aibu, they do.

But also, agree with everything said above. How old is the child whose work you are talking about?

ChwatFeechers Fri 10-Jul-15 13:04:49

I can't believe they only highlight 3 pieces per work? Surely it would be better for the mistake to be highlighted so the child is aware?
Meh, what do I know.

Thanks for the replies.

slightlyconfused85 Fri 10-Jul-15 13:08:26

What everyone else says about marking policies, but yes yabu. All teachers take a literacy test (and numeracy) during their qualification year and also need maths and English GCSEs as well as a degree.

Bulldogclip Fri 10-Jul-15 13:08:50

Which explains the number of illiterate teenagers leaving school.

What a stupid policy!

SDTGisAnEvilWolefGenius Fri 10-Jul-15 13:09:31

Even if they are only allowed to mark three mistakes, surely if there is a repeated mistake - such as Febury for February, that should be highlighted at some point?

BarbarianMum Fri 10-Jul-15 13:14:28

<<I can't believe they only highlight 3 pieces per work? Surely it would be better for the mistake to be highlighted so the child is aware? >>

You sound just like my mum who had this self-same arguementconversation with my teacher 40 odd years ago. I think if you want to put children off trying out new vocabulary and more challenging sentance formation nothing works better than highlighting all their mistakes.

However, there is nothing to stop you privately insisting your dc learns key spellings such as days and months, or that homework is spelt correctly. Certainly my ds1 can get quite sloppy about spelling (making mistakes with words he does actually know) if not nagged.

partialderivative Fri 10-Jul-15 13:14:34

Which explains the number of illiterate teenagers leaving school.

Sounds like we have a DM reader in our midst

BarbarianMum Fri 10-Jul-15 13:17:24

<<Which explains the number of illiterate teenagers leaving school.>>

I am extremely literate and a poor speller. Luckily I can both use a dictionary have a wonderful device on my computer known as a spell checker to help with that.

Literacy has as much to do with use and understanding of language, grammer and punctuation as it has to do with spelling imo.

LazyLouLou Fri 10-Jul-15 13:18:18

Well, we used to correct everything. Then parents complained we were demoralising their kids.

So we argued that we were paid to correct errors, but agreed to change from red pens to green - we all know how cruel and angry the colour red is.

But it wasn't enough. So Whoever Was the Goviot of the Day got some Ed Psychists to force us recommend a lesser number of corrections per piece of work.

Now parents are complaining that we aren't capable of doing the jobs we are paid to do.

Please miss, can I ask... how do we teachers win this one?

Bohemond Fri 10-Jul-15 13:19:42

Your spell checker is not infallible BM!

BarbarianMum Fri 10-Jul-15 13:22:51

No, of course not. But it's good enough (esp when I use it) grin

DaysAreWhereWeLive Fri 10-Jul-15 13:23:00

Teachers are only allowed to correct a certain percentage of errors?

Oh, fuck being a teacher. This is the type of shit that makes me want to go and live in a cave and, erm, cave-school my children.

Gruntfuttock Fri 10-Jul-15 13:24:48

Not noticing or marking a child's spelling mistake is nowhere near as infuriating as a teacher crossing out words that a child has spelt correctly and replacing it with a wrong spelling, which is what happened to my daughter in primary school! Had I not noticed that, when looking through my daughter's work on a parents' day, my daughter (and this teacher's other pupils of course) would have left his class with worse spelling than they started with!

limitedperiodonly Fri 10-Jul-15 13:34:15

My teacher did that gruntfuttock.

I had to write an essay on what I did in the holidays and I said I'd visited Blenheim Palace - what a thrilling childhood I led.

She 'corrected' my spelling and added: 'i before e except after c'.

That's a worry on so many fronts.

EmmalinaC Fri 10-Jul-15 13:35:34

I can understand why a teacher might not want to give back a brilliant piece of creative writing covered in spelling corrections - but I would be very concerned if this is giving children a message that spelling is not important because it is.

I get more irked when teachers make spelling mistakes in their own writing/marking. DD's Y1 teacher has twice used 'infrance' instead of 'inference' which rather makes me wonder if she's know what 'to infer'
actually means...

flashfalshflash Fri 10-Jul-15 13:36:04

They do take an English and a Maths test, and the English test includes a spelling test

SquareStarfish Fri 10-Jul-15 13:40:54

2 things-

1. Do you realise how long it would take to correct or even just highlight every incorrect spelling in a piece of written work by 30ish pupils?

2. Part of the English qts test is spelling.

ShirleySmears Fri 10-Jul-15 13:41:45

Teachers do take numeracy and literacy tests and there are various theories regarding the "damage" done by too many corrections.

However, at our school, a lot of the marking is done by TAs who have barely a GCSE between them.

We have also just appointed a dyslexic teacher, she's brilliant in front of the children but she can't spell. She will be getting support (from TAs!) for marking.

WhirlpoolGalaxyM51 Fri 10-Jul-15 13:42:54

Ah I can vent on my only mildly related recent occurrence!

DD is Yr 3 and they get spelling every week to learn and do a test. They have a sheet with cover write check, and do 3 times, then I usually run through it to see if she can spell them as we realised she does better in the tests that way.

Anyway one of them was spelt incorrectly the US way rather than English can't remember what it was it had a "z" instead of an "s". So I ummed and arred (teach DD correct but will this undermine school a little bit) anyway in the end I told her that was US spelling and we spell it like this, and I put a little note at the top of the spelling sheet to say it was US spelling and we had taught UK. I assumed that it had been printed from a US site / a US spellchecker had gone over it. So, you know, it happens. But OTOH when they are learning spellings you want them to be right? Anyway.

DD spelt it the English way in the test and was marked wrong, she (blimey brave) said to the teacher is this wrong really isn't it the English spelling and teacher said you must learn and spell it the way it is on the sheet.

So, wasn't really happy about that. On the one hand I don't want to undermine the school by saying a spelling on the sheet was wrong, but I don't want to DD to learn the wrong thing. And, I can understand why the teacher did that, but it seems harsh. She could have said to the class it was spellcheck sorry this is US spelling the correct English one is this? Don't know. I know they don't have an easy job.

We have also had 2 impossible maths homeworks and 2 that were so ill thought out they might as well have been impossible, I wasn't very happy about that either. They are resource printed from somewhere, I'd have thought primary school resources would have been really carefully checked before going online apparently not confused

Mrsmorton Fri 10-Jul-15 13:43:31

grin at cave-schooling days

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