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Teacher with poor grammar

(98 Posts)
Cortina Wed 16-Sep-09 10:52:32

My son's year 2 teacher has very poor grammar.

Am I being too precious and stuck up about it? Does it matter? I am not comfortable about it.

She says things like 'they is in their bags' 'they was going out' etc. It's actually very, very poor to the point that all the parents have noticed.

My son is copying her and I am concerned. If I am honest I worry about how educated she is etc. She is new to the school this year. Her written grammar is also poor from what I have seen so far.

I want to add she's very nice, friendly, warm and approachable in every other area. WWYD?

Pyrocanthus Wed 16-Sep-09 11:02:22

I think you need to discuss your concerns with the head. If she's as bad as that, it really is a problem and you are not being precious.

fircone Wed 16-Sep-09 11:04:08

That is very poor.

I get my knickers in a twist about teachers making even minor errors, but your ds's teacher is in another league. How could anyone have employed someone like that?

I don't know what I would do, which isn't very helpful! Going to the Head wouldn't achieve much, as they can't suddenly sack the teacher. I suppose the Head might agree to monitor the teacher in question and observe whether she needs to improve her speech. But even Henry Higgins didn't transform Eliza Doolittle overnight.

Hobnobfanatic Wed 16-Sep-09 11:07:15

That's appalling! I would have to complain to the head.

Pyrocanthus Wed 16-Sep-09 11:14:41

I agree that it's hard to imagine what will happen next, but speaking to the head is the only thing you can reasonably do. If the teacher got through an interview without the problem being spotted, maybe she can turn on the grammar when she has to. She may still be on probation, so might be motivated to improve.

RealityIsNOTDetoxing Wed 16-Sep-09 11:15:19

Message withdrawn

castille Wed 16-Sep-09 11:19:53

From a teacher that is awful, I'd be horrified.

I'd talk to the head.

BonsoirAnna Wed 16-Sep-09 11:22:15

That's terrible. I would write a polite letter to the head, copied to the governors, asking them to set out what they believe this teacher's qualities to be and how they can justify her position, given her poor mastery of English grammar.

womblemeister Wed 16-Sep-09 11:23:17

IMHO complaining to the head won't get you very far, you'll just be fobbed off esp. if she's new. IFWY I'd try taking it up with her (in)directly. Try to engage her in conversation about DS' progress in general, then casually drop in "BTW but I'm a bit concerned about DS's grammar, heaven knows where he's picked up <grammatical error> from, probably heard his friends saying it. Would you mind correcting him whenever he says things like <grammatical error> again?"

SlartyBartFast Wed 16-Sep-09 11:29:29

i don't think you can complain about it tbh.

how rude to complain!

if he learns proper grammar from you he will survive.

Cortina Wed 16-Sep-09 11:39:07

If I don't complain I think someone else probably will. Thing is she is very warm and brilliant with the kids otherwise (or so it seems as early days). If pointed out to her by another member of staff in a friendly way couldn't she 'change' I wonder?

Perhaps it won't impact negatively on my son or others.

It's a great school so she must be good in all other respects I think. Would poor grammar be enough to stop a teacher getting a job?

Cortina Wed 16-Sep-09 11:42:11

Just to add not sure how poor her written grammar is. I think I've been more aware of small mistakes to be honest given her spoken English.

ZZZenAgain Wed 16-Sep-09 11:54:17

your ds is spending a lot of hours with her each week and over the year she will be modelling language to him for a considerable amount of time - I would not at all be happy about that. Of course the dc will pick up on it and imitate their teacher. How could they not do so?

I doubt she switches it on and off though, presumably this is just how her English is which would not really matter if she was not in the teaching profession but unfortunately that is what she is doing. It is a shame when she is such a pleasant person but dc not need to be modelled good language usage at school. I'm afraid I feel it is essential really. No idea what I would do though, I'm sorry, I hate this kind of situation personally.

clumsymum Wed 16-Sep-09 11:56:01

I don't think it's rude to complain at all, we surely have a right to expect minimum standards of english and numeracy from our teachers?

Would it be right to allow her to teach if she couldn't do simple maths? This is exactly the same, and I'd be fuming.

I complained to the head a few years back, because every classroom had labelled drawers, and the draw where the paper was kept had been labelled "stationary" in every case.
Yes I'd talk to the head about it, in concert with other parents preferably. Alternatively, put your concerns in writing to the board of governors (who will have made the appointment).

Pyrocanthus Wed 16-Sep-09 11:56:58

If her written grammar is reasonable, then she could change the way she speaks in class. I think (I may be wrong or out of date) that in secondary English children are taught about register, the different ways in which you might speak with your friends, at home, or at school or work. She needs to speak reasonably standard English in the classroom so that the children can learn to do the same.

I don't think it's a personal attack to draw attention to it, Slarty, if that's what you mean: it's not the same as complaining about her accent, or saying she's not posh enough. It's about having the appropriate skills for her job.

If you are going to speak to the head, Cortina, be very positive about her good points, but say you have some concerns, etc.

ZZZenAgain Wed 16-Sep-09 12:03:28

I don't think it is snooty to want a teacher to use standard English in the classroom. Your ds will have his dp to model it to him but there may be dc from foreign backgrounds whose dp cannot do this for instance, so I think it is in the interests of all dc to hear it at school.

This is not about looking down on regional or class accents and finding them inferior. When your dc have to hand in written essays or pass written exams, they will need to produce standard English texts surely?

fefnone Wed 16-Sep-09 12:58:05

When you say she is new do you mean she is in her QT year? If this is the case then I think that you should approach the Head as this can then be addressed and dealth with as part of her appraisal and her own learning curve.

AtheneNoctua Wed 16-Sep-09 17:29:34

You are definitely not being precious. How can a teacher teach something she very clearly does not know. I wouldn't go to a doctor who didn't know the difference between a leg and an arm. And I wouldn't send my child to be educated by someone who was clearly lacking one... no matter how nice she is.

somethinganything Wed 16-Sep-09 18:39:25

Not precious at all - that's pretty standard stuff. I'd definitely mention it.

narna Wed 16-Sep-09 18:50:18

I think thats pretty shocking actually,i would def complain.

I'm a cm and one of my ex-parents dc had a teacher with atrocious spelling. She's spelt something wrong in his reading book so dad crossed it out, corrected it and wrote above 'must try harder next time' grin

The following week, someone else started doing reading with him hmm.

I had this with dd2 school years ago - she is crap at english now.

I would mention it to her at your parents evening.

MrsMagnolia Wed 16-Sep-09 19:23:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

dogonpoints Wed 16-Sep-09 19:25:44

That would really annoy me.

MakemineaGandT Wed 16-Sep-09 19:30:46

You are perfectly within your rights to complain - your son is not going to school for fun - he is there to learn. I would be very concerned (and angry actually) if my children were taught like that. Speak to the head....

dogonpoints Wed 16-Sep-09 19:32:17

I distinguish between dialect and poor grammar. A teacher should know that difference too.

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