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What standard English do you expect from a primary school teacher?

(13 Posts)
Fluffymonster Sun 18-Sep-11 10:33:30

My DD1 started reception a couple of weeks ago, and her teacher seems really nice, so I feel slightly guilty for even posting this! Also, I know there are 30 in DD's class, so she's probably rushed off her feet settling everyone one in at the moment.

Still - Friday's letter home from school contained what I would consider fairly basic errors - 'will' instead of 'we'll', and 'ensure' instead of 'assure'. I honestly think teachers should have a better grasp of english than that, and my heart sank a bit. Don't get me wrong, I'm not ready to march in waving my Queen's English banner, and in fact probably will shrug it off.

Just wondered what other people thought?

hocuspontas Sun 18-Sep-11 10:34:32

Well everyone will come on and say the TA wrote it. As a TA I will pass the buck and say someone in the office did. grin

moondog Sun 18-Sep-11 10:36:36

I'd send it back with the errors pointed out in red.

mrz Sun 18-Sep-11 10:37:28

People do make mistakes (doing something in a hurry/pressure etc) but it shouldn't be a regular occurrence. I would wait and see at this stage.

DownbytheRiverside Sun 18-Sep-11 10:38:18

I think she needs a proof reader, and more time.
What is the general standard of the English used in communications between school and home?
What is their website like, and the language on the displays in school?
It annoys me, in the same way that your title and lack of accuracy with capitals made me wince.
But I wouldn't dismiss a school on those grounds, I'd be more concerned about how well they coped with my child and what they see as priorities in EY.

PontyMython Sun 18-Sep-11 10:39:09

I'd wait and see too - it probably wasn't the teacher who wrote it. They tend to be too busy teaching to write letters grin

teacherwith2kids Sun 18-Sep-11 10:42:18

I am aware of some teachers whose brilliance as teachers is not completely matched by their facility with English grammar!

I would not, as a parent, lose faith in an otherwise excellent teacher (especially a Reception one) just because of such mistakes BUT if it continues I might find a way to enquire of the school whether letters home are proofread ... that way a more senior member of staff might pick up on a training need for that teacher ....

Stormwater Sun 18-Sep-11 10:47:37

I would say that, as you have shown in your thread title and your op, mistakes are easy to make when you are in a hurry or not checking!

However, I do expect teachers to use a good standard of English, and would wait to see if this continued before possibly doing as Teacherwith2kids says. A good teacher can be a good teacher whilst being dyslexic or not very good at spelling, but I would want my children to see things done properly, and also to not have their spellings wrongly 'corrected'.

coccyx Sun 18-Sep-11 13:20:54

Bet it was one of the Gifted and Talented kids from reception class that wrote it!

AbigailS Sun 18-Sep-11 13:25:50

And a headteacher that doesn't decide they want class newsletters to go out on Friday and tell the teachers on Thursday evening!

Shanghaidiva Sun 18-Sep-11 13:33:22

I would wait and see.
I run the school library and cringed when year one teacher told pupils the simple past of 'sink' was 'sunk'. I used to help with guided reading in her class and she was a lovely, bubbly teacher who really motivated the kids to do their best, but her spelling and grammar were not not up to the standard I would expect for a teacher.

MayDayChild Sun 18-Sep-11 16:19:29

DD reception teacher spelt her surname wrong on everything, peg, books, bookbag tag etc. Ditto several other children.
She and her TA blamed the office list being wrong. Strangely all the letters and correspondence from the office were correct.
Own up I say! Lack of attention to detail for a group of new children is inexcusable IMO.
But I love pedants corner so would notice all poor grammar and spelling!

Fluffymonster Sun 18-Sep-11 20:00:43

Oh did I make a mistake in the title and OP myself? Apologies. Thank goodness I'm not a teacher!

I'll wait and see, then - wouldn't have dreamed of making an issue of it anyway. Just wondered if it was worth being bothered by it at all, or just accept it as inevitable, and put it down to 'teachers in a rush', or 'standards not being what they once were' etc. Maybe it's PFB starting school nerves.

It's too soon to say if it's a regular occurrance. I didn't notice any glaring errors in the other two letters we received - apart from one was inviting the parents to the school for an introduction meeting, and unfortunately got the day of the week wrong, so that caused a bit of confusion, but that's just an admin error.

The most recent inspection report was very positive - lots of Grade 1's, and it was described as 'outstanding'. We put it as our first choice school mainly because of the report, and good word of mouth from acquaintances. Luckily DD got in, even though it's slightly out of our catchment area. It serves an area which is diversely populated - mixed social backgrounds, cultures and languages. Half the pupils don't speak English as a first language.

My impression is it's a busy, caring school, that manages to run well, on limited time and resources. The ethos seems encouraging and positive, and the children seem generally well-behaved, and happy enough at drop off and pick-up time. DD likes her teacher and she seems lovely.

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