Correcting Other Teachers

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Soccer Dad, May 28, 2010.

  1. Soccer Dad

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    Just curious, but how do the rest of you handle when coworkers are wrong? I have to bite my lip everytime I see blatant grammatical errors or misuses. Of course, I don't have perfect grammar by any means.

    My biggest pet peeve is when teachers don't put the period on the inside of a quote. I don't know why, but "I am nerdy". just bothers me.

    Anyone else?
     
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  3. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    Mine is the words a lot...two words! I see that on newsletters every week.
     
  4. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    Grammar is one thing. Historical inaccuracies made by some of the English teachers in my school make me cringe. Did you know, Chris, that Queen Elizabeth the first was a Catholic?
     
  5. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    There was a biology teacher who told her classes some seriously wrong things this year. The one where my husband finally spoke up was when she told the class that boys are born with all the sperm they'll ever need. (True about girls with eggs, not about boys.) Imagine how unfortunate that would be if it were true! He had to tell them that she probably misspoke in class, but that she did tell them the wrong thing then. She's just not very smart.
     
  6. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    I correct other teachers quite frequently with their spelling and grammar in my school. I would never dream of it unless I knew that it wouldn't upset them... it's just one of those reputations I have at my school, and it's always done in fun.
     
  7. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I think it depend on the context.

    If it's on a memo that will go to supervisors, or worse yet, to parents, I would let them know that I "caught a typo" they missed. You don't want anything official to contain a typo.

    But if it's just a note to me from someone else, while it made me crazy, I wouldn't correct it.
     
  8. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    People who have a history of asking me I correct, but never in front of students. Other people, I let it go.
     
  9. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    Good point, cutnglue... I never correct in front of students.
     
  10. Soccer Dad

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    Brendan, did you know that during the Civil War, the MAJORITY of the South owned slaves? Or that SPAM is called SPAM because of the Spanish American War?
     
  11. Muttling

    Muttling Devotee

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    There are only 2 times I correct others outside of teaching.

    1. When it's humorous and would be taken in good humor.

    2. When it's something that is really going to make a difference.


    I'll give you an entertaining when NOT to correct another person story.....

    My previous career was environmental clean up contractor for the miltary.

    I was at a public meeting for MMR on Cape Cod several years ago. Over 400 irrate people for an audience and the speaker before me was a National Guard Captain who was a real twit.

    A lady gets her chance to speak and says, "You're running your tanks by the fence at 3 in the morning and keep waking up my kids. Can you find a better time to drive them around?"

    His response, "We don't have tanks ma'am. We have self-propelled artillery pieces. I will see if we can adjust our training schedules."

    You could see her face turn beat red and her hands start gripping the podium.

    I was thinking, "Thanks dude, I've got bad news to tell them and you're warming them right up for me." I'm amazed that we didn't have a riot.



    P.S. - Was my spelling and gramar o'k? (Take it easy on me, I'm a math teacher and an engineer. They gave me foreign language credit for taking English.)
     
  12. Soccer Dad

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    Muttling: You put the period on the inside of the quote; therefore, no cringing!

    I understand that sometimes we just make typos, but I get really embarassed when a coworker makes errors on a sheet that will go home. For instance, "When you're done reading [no comma put here where it should be] answer the questions and summarize the passage to [wrong too]."
     
  13. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    I teach early childhood. My pet peeve is early childhood teachers (or any) that tell kids things sink or float because of weight. So if that is the case, a ship should never float! I hate trying to "repair" that misconception. Even if you try to explain it a million times, the kids will not let go of that thought.
     
  14. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I DO hate playing the game of

    "last year's teacher told us to do it this way..." when THAT way only works SOME times.

    For example-- "Last year's teacher told us to always divide the big number by the small number."

    Ummm-- that only works if it's an improper fraction. If it's not, then the rule won't work.

    Or "My old teacher told us you can't factor x^2-7."

    Well, actually, I can. You just have to learn about irrational numbers before YOU can do it too.
     
  15. Irma

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    I know it's not a teacher but our school secretary sends out mass e-mails, posts on district website and things parents and community views with horrible mistakes. It drives me insane.:dizzy: Either proofread it or take her off the job.
     
  16. Reality Check

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    I agree with the "NEVER in front of students" post and even better, NEVER in front of other people. Do it in private.

    However, if you're a "correction fanatic," give it a rest already.
     
  17. Soccer Dad

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    Alice, I have similar problems. My 9th graders can't grasp the idea that a good, solid essay should be more than 3 paragraphs. Also, I hate when teachers take the "easy route" instead of explaining. For instance, you can start a sentence with "because" and "and," you just need to know how to set up the sentence to make it correct. Of course, it's better to avoid using those types of sentences, but don't just say "they're incorrect, don't use them."
     
  18. Missy99

    Missy99 Connoisseur

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    I always tell students that they will learn how to do things like that in a later grade, rather than telling them they can't do it at all.

    However, I did become extremely irritated with another teacher when she told my third-graders they could write their narratives in second-person voice. I am their language arts teacher, and it had taken me all day to get them to the point where they understood first- and third-person perspective. There is such a thing as TMI. Thanks a heap!
     
  19. frogger

    frogger Devotee

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    I also do what Missy99 does with info with my class. I am trying to get them to understand the basics of fractions but I will say in other grades you learn more about it or how to do it this way, not that my way is the only way. For example, with fractions I have student who will make it an improper fraction but we aren't learning that in 2nd grade so I tell them that they need to keep the big number on the bottom however I did tell them that having the big number on top works in other situations that they will learn in another grade but this grade.
     
  20. msmullenjr

    msmullenjr Devotee

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    With my friends, I will make corrections in red pen and give it back to them. They all laugh. I am known for finding mistakes, so the secretary has me proofread everything before she sends it out. I do it all in fun and no one ever gets upset.

    There is one teacher at my school (not a friend) who has the WORST grammatical/spelling errors. We usually laugh at the memos and emails, but Iwouldn't correct her. We don't really get along.
     
  21. FarFromHome

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    I was watching the news last night about a school district 45 minutes away trying to pass a levy. They interviewed a teacher and she said something about how the budget would be "more tighter." It was really annoying to see a teacher make a mistake like that on tv!
     
  22. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    I was not aware of this. I guess it wasn't covered in my 3 history degrees....
     
  23. PCdiva

    PCdiva Connoisseur

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    I get an emailed newsletter from my gym. They constantly use the word your wrong. "Your going to see results!" One time it was 6 times in the email....I couldn't take it anymore. I sent a reply email, very nicely stating how they are VERY commonly used wrong and that your shows possession and you're means you are. I got a reply....no thank you just "That's why I'm a gym manager."
     
  24. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Here's something I don't understand:

    In 2nd grade, we teach the difference between your & you're. Despite the fact that this is explicitly taught, I get emails on a regular basis from 2nd grade team members who write things such as, "Do you know what your teaching for P.E. this week?" Another email said, "Come pick up next year's textbooks whenever your ready."

    I would never correct someone's grammar or spelling, but these types of mistakes bug me!!!
     
  25. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Yes. Yes! I also love "But so and so told me paragraphs have 5 sentences." Grrrrrrrrrr. Just because you wrote 5 sentences doesn't mean the paragraph is automatically finished!
     
  26. schoolteacher

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    Yes, I do correct my co-teacher's spelling or grammar errors in front of the children. I expect her to do the same for me.

    Exposing the children to incorrect grammar and spelling is WAY more deleterious, in my opinion, than hurting my co-teacher's feelings. My job is to teach these children proper grammar and spelling, and if we model it incorrectly on the board, there is an excellent chance that students will learn the wrong information.

    We are professionals. Spelling is not something that is innate in us. It is a learned skill. Even the best speller in the world can make a mistake. I explain to my students that learning is a lifelong process, and that there are many things I do not know. I love it when students or teachers point out my mistakes. It gives me an opportunity to model for them how to learn from making mistakes. We have an excellent culture in our class that allows anyone to make a mistake without being ridiculed; instead, others support them. It is not uncommon in my classroom to hear students say, "That's okay, we're all human."

    Our principal is on the lookout for any spelling or grammar errrors in our classroom. It is one of the things she is required to report on in her observations.
     
  27. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    My teacher and I did correct each other when I worked as an aide but that's because we had that kind of relationship. I wouldn't do that with just anybody.
     
  28. Allysundrop

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    You guys will probably eat me alive, but I'm an English teacher (HS) and a horrible speller. I told my students at the beginning of the year that spelling was my weakness. I think it helped them to know that I wasn't perfect! I also teach with a dictionary. Since I can't spell well, I always have a dictionary near me so that I can look up words. I think it also helps the students see that just because they aren't strong spellers, doesn't mean that they should just let it go.
     
  29. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    What a good idea! I am similarly afflicted (did I spell that right?) I am always making mistakes on the board, and they love finding them. Most famously, I spelled British with two "t's." (In my defense, shouldn't it be pronounced with a long a when spelled correctly?) I'll start keeping my dictionary handy.
     
  30. bandnerdtx

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    Ally, I think that's wonderful! Spelling is a skill, as someone else stated earlier, and I think it's our job to teach the kids how to effectively overcome any weak areas we may have as individuals.

    I try not to correct anyone until I am asked. If it's a problem I see again and again by the same person, I might gently mention it. I would *never* correct a teacher in front of his/her students unless I was asked by the teacher to do so.
     
  31. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    It depends on what kind of error is being made and who it is. If it's someone I know well, I'm more likely to make the correction. I would never do it in front of students, and I would never be snotty about it.

    Since I'm an English teacher, I am typically the one who gets to proofread for others.
     
  32. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    A couple of years ago, the school counselor was helping out by posting a congratulations to so-and-so for winning the county spelling bee on the sign out front. She spelled congratulations wrong.

    We were chuckling about it, and debating about who was going to tell her when we noticed a man out there taking a picture of it. We ran to the principal's office, who ran out there and argued with the man for fifteen minutes about whether he should take a picture of it. Turns out he was a photographer for the local newspaper. The principal won with some very fancy words about embarrassing the child, etc. (and fixed it while she was talking so that he couldn't take a picture of it). We were watching the drama from our windows and from the front hall, and of course scattered when we saw her face as she came back to the school. I'm sorry to say that most of us found it to be pretty funny, but the principal was not amused. She had been a county winner herself several times when she was in school.

    The school counselor is in now in charge of the newsletter, and she always has someone proofread everything.
     
  33. Rox

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    I have a coworker who has a different grammar than me, although it isn't "wrong" by linguists' standards. I don't think it's necessary to correct her. My students often find mistakes in other people's work and we often have discussions on how or why we write the way we do.

    As for periods or commas outside of quotes, some countries (Canada, UK, etc.) put the punctuation outside of the quotes. I don't believe in following English "rules" if they don't make sense. If I want to write: When you finish typing, press "Enter". I'll punctuate it in a way that makes sense. There is no punctuation on the "Enter" key, so why put it inside the quote?
     
  34. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I thought it was okay to put punctuation marks outside the quotation marks. I think that common American usage wants us to always put the period inside the quotation marks, but that's not always logical. I personally put the punctuation where I think it should go logically--sometimes inside and sometimes outside.

    Edit: I just checked OWL at Purdue and it says that usually the punctuation goes inside the quotation marks but that sometimes the rules of punctuation may change if you're writing in MLA or another style.

    http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/577/01/
     
  35. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    Hold on. If it's a quotation in which someone is talking, then it goes inside. But if it's a word or short phrase that you want to highlight, then it doesn't go inside, even if it does come at the end of a sentence.

    I know this because my high school English teacher "drilled" it into our heads. She said, "You will look like an idiot if you don't punctuate correctly."
     
  36. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Correct shouldbe-not only did my English teacher drill this concept, but also my typing teacher.

    On a humorous note, my school had an English teacher a few years back who did NOT get along at all with the superintendant, who was also acting as the principal at that time. Both were extremely stubborn and strongwilled. (The P/super was, forgive me, a blowhard jacka$$ who was obsessed with status and titles-the type who insisted on being called "Doctor" even though his doctorate was rumored to be purchased.) Anyway, his monthly newsletter articles were famously littered with grammar and spelling errors, so the English teacher started posting the articles on a bulletin board, corrected with red ink...she left at the end of that year...

    :eek:
     
  37. Unbeknownst

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    lol, this is why I don't correct grammar outside a professional setting.

    For me personally, it's impossible to compose a letter/memo/paper without grammatical errors. It's the importance I place on proofreading afterwards that prevents me from making most errors, but it still doesn't catch them all.

    I probably edit my messages on AtoZ more than anyone else here on the forums. I always type a message, post it, read it, and ALWAYS change something.

    I really believe I've never posted a message without editing it 5-10 seconds aftewards.

    EDIT: I had to change this one as well!
     
  38. Soccer Dad

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    Oh, let's not forget about the Oxford comma!

    After a conversation on here, I eliminated it from every sentence using "and" unless to make it more clear. (And that's after 40 years of using it!)
     
  39. Unbeknownst

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    I'm sorry, but you can't talk me out of the Oxford comma.

    I'll use it, and I'll force my students to use it as well.
     
  40. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I've never heard of the Oxford comma.... :confused:
     
  41. Soccer Dad

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    JustMe: I love history, English, and science, but dislike trig.
     

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