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Experienced Teaching Assistants - please help! I work with a Year One teacher who cannot spell. How do I deal with it?

46 replies

GossipMonger · 24/01/2009 16:18

I am a good speller.

Year One teacher is not. She is young - 25 ish and I am older - 38.

I have just started working with a child who is challenging but I work with the whole class as well. There is another TA who never mentions the fact that the teacher cannot spell but I just feel uncomfortable about the whole thing.

Words she has written wrong lately are


lison (listen! )

She wrote a list of words for learning which were might, light, fight, hight, sight!!

Mikey Mouse
Buzz Lightyeer

It just goes on and on and I dont know what to do. What would you do?

OP posts:
twoluvlykids · 24/01/2009 16:20


I'd have a word with the head

I'm a TA in 2ndary, and we have a few teachers who cannot spell, or write clearly, or even teach effectively.

We (the TAs) have a good laugh about them, because we know nothing will be done

frannikin · 24/01/2009 16:35

How did she pass her QTS tests?!

Clue the children up on it and see if they can spot the 'deliberate' mistakes....

ignore the mean woman in the corner, don't turn the children on the teacher

theresonlyme · 24/01/2009 16:36

I am a bit and that you laugh about a teacher who can't spell. How does that help the teacher? Why not point it out to someone who can have a word?

theresonlyme · 24/01/2009 16:37

I mean help the children.

FiveGoMadInDorset · 24/01/2009 16:44

Tell the headteacher

wheresthehamster · 24/01/2009 16:47

Could you have a joke with your teacher about how the parents are complaining about the spelling mistakes and that they think it's you?

stuffitllama · 24/01/2009 16:50

tell the head

tell her

tell the children

dear god

stuffitllama · 24/01/2009 16:51

tell the parents if you have to

don't sit on it -- don't think of her, think of the children

she was badly educated, why should they suffer the same fate

stuffitllama · 24/01/2009 16:52

by the way I'm not a teaching assistant experienced or otherwise so apologies for butting in

Paperchase · 24/01/2009 16:56

Talk to her.

constancereader · 24/01/2009 17:11

I would tell the head, she needs some help and it might make your working life difficult if she doesn't take it well.

I am always defending teachers on here as I found that an occasional typo was inevitable when teaching - but this is entirely different. She obviously has a real problem and it is not fair to the children.

piscesmoon · 24/01/2009 17:22

I would talk to the Head-she needs some help.

GossipMonger · 24/01/2009 17:27

Thanks for your input. I only started in Sept so am very new and the teacher is so lovely but I hate to be the one to stir up trouble and really wanted to lay low for a while!

Something needs to be done though. On the rare occasion I have said something she has admitted she cannot spell. Maybe I need to ask her if she would like things pointing out or not.

I might have a word with the Deputy Head and ask what I am supposed to do...........

OP posts:
twinsetandpearls · 24/01/2009 18:00

I was going to defend the teacher as I dont have the best spelling and sometimes spell a name wrong or I have to check when it is a foriegn word but those words are very very easy to spell.

I would talk to the head.

zanzibarmum · 24/01/2009 18:18

You review your recruitment process/criteria and then begin the process of getting rid of her. It would be like a school caretaker who couldn't work a screwdriver.

What worries me is that you have to ask the question.

Feenie · 24/01/2009 18:21

She's a TA, zanzibar! How would she have the power to "review her recruitment process/criteria"??

Feenie · 24/01/2009 18:21

And you're being rude again.

Whizzz · 24/01/2009 18:29

I'm a TA - I'd talk to her & see how I could help. Maybe a 'secret' signal that she needs to check the spelling on the board
Maybe it's nerves?
I've pointed out errors in the past to teachers - either in a quiet way or a 'oops, I think you've missed a letter out there!' friendly way.

cornsilk · 24/01/2009 18:31

Did zanzibar read the op?

Whizzz · 24/01/2009 18:31

Hi Cornsilk !

twinsetandpearls · 24/01/2009 18:33

I never mind being told my spelling is wrong by a TA, it doesn't happen that often as the words I spell wrong (and there are not that many honest) tend to be ones that would be recognised by a subject specialist.

CapricaSix · 24/01/2009 18:33

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Littlefish · 24/01/2009 18:36

I think it would be a good idea to talk to the teacher if you have a good relationship. She's already said that she knows her spelling isn't good. I agree with Whizz re a signal or "oops, I think you've missed a letter out there!"

I'm a very good speller, but still have a block about certain words. I always say to the children "I'm really not sure how to spell that so let's look it up in the dictionary together". There's nothing wrong with that.

However, it's not acceptable for her to simply carry on making mistakes and not noticing or acknowledging them.

If you feel you can't approach the teacher, then I would speak to either the Key Stage co-ordinator or if there isn't one, the Head.

CapricaSix · 24/01/2009 18:36

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

stuffitllama · 24/01/2009 18:37

You must do something. The children either learn incorrect spellings, or if they're told the teacher has got it wrong they learn not to trust their teachers.

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