Would You Call Out Your Child’s Teacher?
This is where I don my nerd cap and damn it, I’m going to wear it proudly. I’ve always been a pretty good speller and often as I read my children’s papers and/or homework, I have to control my urges to point out each and every misspelled word. They are growing their vocabulary and I can’t expect them to be perfect spellers right out of the gate. I think the only thing that really help this is just plain ol’ reading. So anyway, onto my story.
Earlier in the week, my 7th grade daughter, we’ll call her A, came home from school asking me how to spell serenade. I told her and she exclaimed, “That’s how I spelled it and my teacher said that was wrong!” I guess they had a spelling bee in class and the word serenade knocked everyone out except one. I asked her how the winner spelled it and she said, no joke, “Screnade.” I asked her to give me the definition the teacher gave, thinking maybe she misheard her. She said blah, blah, blah…something about singing. I asked her about five more times to tell me how the teacher spelled it. Sure as shit, A said “s-c-r-e-n-a-d-e” each and every time. So the girl that totally jacked up the spelling won.
I asked my daughter if anyone questioned the teacher about it and she said they all did. Everyone was metaphorically scratching their heads but the teacher stuck to her illiterate guns.
After she told me this, in my head, I was like, “Are you fucking kidding me?” Screnade? And this is her reading/communications arts teacher!!!
Part 2 of the story…
My daughter came home from school today and began quizzing me on some things she was studying for a social studies test. She was testing her dear old Mom, trying to make me look like an idiot and it was partially working.
She asked me a question about Napoleon Bonaparte, which I had to ask her to say his name again, wondering if I heard her right. She repeated his name, saying it like ”Na-pole-ee-an Bone-a-party.” I assumed she hadn’t understood the “e” was silent at the end of his last name so I corrected her. Guess what she said?
“Oh, my teacher says ‘Bone-a-party’ all the time.” Awesome. This is her social studies teacher…the one who is responsible for teaching her historical events.
Can I even begin to tell you how close I am to losing my marbles on this?! Let me give you something else to chew on. One of the teachers is close to retiring and the other is well into her 40′s, probably pushing 50. These are well-seasoned professionals.
I will fully admit I am no scholar. I came from small town U.S.A. and I’m pretty sure A is learning the stuff I learned in high school. I’m about as average as it gets. But good god, even I know this shit!
I would cut them some slack if perhaps the social studies teacher had misspelled serenade and the reading teacher mispronounced an important historical figure’s name. THAT I would be able to start to understand. I can’t expect my kids’ teachers to be perfect but seriously? THIS IS THEIR AREA OF EXPERTISE!
Okay, I’m done ranting. I’m sitting on my hands to keep from sending off emails informing them of their misinforming their students. It isn’t about being right (okay, maybe just a little) but more about the fact that they are teaching kids the wrong information. They are sending my daughter and her classmates (and how many before that?!) onto the next grade with brains addled with things like “screnade” and “Bone-a-party.” This is the nails on the chalkboard kind of stuff for me. The thoughts that are eating me up are “What other crappy information has she been given?”
What would you do? Would you say anything to your child’s teachers or would you just chalk it up to some serious brain farting?
[Side note: I live in an area known for its award-winning schools in a fairly affluent town. Who's handing out these awards...Larry, Curly, and Moe?]
[photo credit: deviantART/fallOn]