Mumsnet Logo
My feed

to access all these features


to expect correct spellings from adults teaching my 4 yr old in reception?

135 replies

ellasmum1 · 17/09/2007 22:00

I am by no means the best speller in the world, but my dd age 4.6 came home from reception class on friday with a picture she had drawn and an adult had written "I like fairys" underneath it.
I doubted myself and checked the dictionary but it should definately be "fairies".
I do not know if the adult concerned was the teacher or teaching assistant but I feel quite worried about this. What, if anything would you do?

OP posts:

Sobernow · 17/09/2007 22:04

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

fransmom · 17/09/2007 22:05

you are correct, it should, indeed, be "fairies". tbh i would mention it to the teacher about your concerns. how can they expect the childrent to spell properly if they can't?

oh, sorry! yanbu


ellasmum1 · 17/09/2007 22:07

Thanks, you are the second person who has said not to do anything. I just keep thinking if I had written it or my teaching assistant had and was sending that home to parents I would rather someone told me!

OP posts:

Miaou · 17/09/2007 22:08

That's a fairly basic mistake - I probably wouldn't mention it this time but if it happens again then I would perhaps have a quiet word with the teacher in a low-key way.


Mung · 17/09/2007 22:08

Try and think that we all make mistakes sometimes and just watch that it doesn't happen again.
Not sure that I would agree that a teacher would take it out on the child if you confronted them though, I would hope that they were professional in the classroom (despite making spelling mistakes .)


notnowbernard · 17/09/2007 22:08



ellasmum1 · 17/09/2007 22:10

Its just really dented my confidence in the choice I made sending her there...

OP posts:

eleusis · 17/09/2007 22:10

I remember last year going to a curriculum evening where the nursery teacher talked about "fishes" and I thought eh? Isn't it "fish"? I even wondered if it was just an Americanism and maybe over here the plural is fishes.


Furball · 17/09/2007 22:11

I sent a note in with ds today the teacher replied with some spellings and then said hope this is allright


wheresthehamster · 17/09/2007 22:11

You're right - it is annoying and if you're like me you will scrutinise every word that comes home now!


  1. TAs (and maybe teachers) don't have to prove they can spell to get the job
  2. It may have been a parent helper
  3. It was the end of a long week
  4. Refrain from mentioning it unless it becomes a habit

hotcrossbunny · 17/09/2007 22:12

Are there any other adult helpers in the class? Parents, students etc? Was it definitely the teacher? If so I would be worried too.


luckylady74 · 17/09/2007 22:13

ignore it - and yes i'm a teacher and i have a 5 yr old - i'm almost positive it will be the ta, but i am positive i'll be shouted down for this view!
i know plurals will be taught to your dd correctly in the future as part of the course and i think that the sentiment behind the praise is self esteem raising stuff. people get awfully worked up about spelling and i get particularly annoyed by this when they expect the poorly paid teenagers who work at their dc's nursery to produce perfectly worded signs!
the best thing to do to help your dd with english skills is to give your dd lots of books and bring her up seeing you read and talk about books.


Wordsmith · 17/09/2007 22:13

YANBU. I am amazed how many teachers are crap at spelling and grammar (apologies to all excellent mumsnet teachers obviously). At one of DS1's parents' evenings, we were given his literacy objectives which included 'using correct punctuation' and 'full stops at the end of sentences'. needless to say there was no punctuation, correct or otherwise, to be seen on the whole sheet.

It's not just teachers - I work in communications and am equally amazed how many 'professional' copywriters and PRs don't know how to use a comma, never mind a semi colon.

(By the way my spelling is, obviously, beyond reproach. But my typing is carp.)


Sobernow · 17/09/2007 22:14

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ellasmum1 · 17/09/2007 22:15

Thanks, I am just going to have to bite my tongue I suppose. My friend who is a teacher said I should focus on being happy that someone took the time to sit down and write something on her drawing.

OP posts:

Wordsmith · 17/09/2007 22:16

Having said that, am I the only one who was at infants/juniors in the 1960's/early 70's and taught usig ITA (Initial Teaching Alphabet)? Or to put it another way - tach them how to do it incorrectly (even if it was phonetic, which is 'good'), then teach them the right way. Can't reason out why myself.


Wordsmith · 17/09/2007 22:16

Told you my typing was crap.


ellasmum1 · 17/09/2007 22:19

no you didn't wordsmith, you told me it was CARP! lol!

OP posts:

NKF · 17/09/2007 22:20

If you mentioned it to the teacher, what would you say? "You made a spelling mistake. I've lost confidence in you. Any more mistakes and I will putting in a report."

It's just not a plausible conversation really is it?

Spelling is an odd thing. Being good at it is often taken to be a sign of intelligence but I'm not sure that's actually the case.


wheresthehamster · 17/09/2007 22:20

My brother was taught ITA and my mum was really embarrassed when he hung a sign up in the garden saying 'CEEP OUT'


Wordsmith · 17/09/2007 22:51

As I said, I don't think YABU to expect decent spelling from someone who is responsible for passing on that skill to your child. I disagree with NKF. Spelling and grammar is part of communication and if you want the reader to completely understand your meaning you should try and communicate in such a way that the reader will indeed understand. An ignorance of basic spelling and grammar means that imprecise communication is much more likely.

And yes, I know I split an infinitive. It demonstrates that language does indeed evolve and some rules tend to obscure rather than illuminate meaning. However to deliberately write words wrongly (ie fairys, and the whole ITA alphabet) is simply counterproductive, I believe. Correcting a child's spelling is not something I would do at that age, but a teacher writing something him or herself should do it properly!


NKF · 17/09/2007 22:59

I didn't say that it was good that she made a mistake or that it's unreasonable to dislike that mistake. I was just responding to this idea that something should be said to the teacher. What exactly could one say?

I believe she could be a good teacher and still make the odd spelling mistake. Has no-one ever had a moment of blankness and wondered why a word looked wrong but been too brain fagged to work out why. I know I have and I'm sure it happens to primary school teachers.


bran · 17/09/2007 23:00

Eleusis, I think that fish/fishes is one of those weird ones - both are valid but different. There was a pedants thread about it a while ago.

I would be worried by a lack of spelling ability in a teacher but would probably not do anything about it unless it was more than just a word here and there.


HarrietTheSpy · 17/09/2007 23:03

YANBU. But I think I would wait until it happened again. Then say to teacher something on the order of:

Do you think you could ask whoever is helping you with spelling to be a bit more careful? Sorry, but I do think it's important to get it right (seeing as it's a SCHOOL and all.) Okay, maybe not the last part.

No wait a minute - it's a school FGS - there's no reason to be apologetic about teachers spelling correctly!!!


moondog · 17/09/2007 23:06

Ican't believe that Luckylady (A teacher) things it is unreasonable to expect people working with kids to spell properly.
Jesus,it's not hard!

I would correct with very thick red pen.

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Sign up to continue reading

Mumsnet's better when you're logged in. You can customise your experience and access way more features like messaging, watch and hide threads, voting and much more.

Already signed up?