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Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by allyd, May 2, 2008.

  1. allyd

    allyd Rookie

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    May 2, 2008

    How important do you feel it is that a student teacher knows how to spell? I am referring to 4th grade words, in regards to checking spelling tests, writing on the board, etc. I don't know how big of a deal this is. Is it the norm that teachers can usually spell? Every week after my ST checks spelling, I look over it and find at least 10 errors that they didn't. They also incorrectly spell common words in their daily writing on the board, which the students usually catch.
     
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  3. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    May 2, 2008

    I think it is very important for teachers to be able to speel the words that they write on the board and to be abel to correct student work that has words misspelled. At my school one of the areas we are assessed on is professional communication towards parents and students and it would be a very big deal to get low marks in this area. Teachers are supposed to model correct spelling when they write. Mistakes happen, but it shouldn't be a regular occurence.
     
  4. deedee

    deedee Connoisseur

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    May 2, 2008

    I know its very nerve racking when you are writing on the board, common sense goes out the door and you end up questioning every word you spell. Maybe shes just nervous. As for the tests remind her to double check ....odds are she knows she is a bad speller and pointing it out in a nice way may help her to be more aware of making those mistakes. I would talk with her about it! :)
     
  5. Canadian Gal

    Canadian Gal Habitué

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    May 3, 2008

    I'm dyslexic. I reward kids for finding my spelling errors and I actively encourage them to seek them out. Being dyslexic doesn't make me a bad teacher - it just means I can't spell worth ****.
     
  6. SueHue

    SueHue Comrade

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    May 3, 2008

    When I was still student teaching, I had a professor that showed my college class a study about spelling and writing on a board. I can't remember the stats about it, but I do remember the conclusion. When you are writing on the board, you are concentrating more on your penmanship, spacing, writing in a straight line, etc., rather than spelling. Until you get used to it, you tend to make spelling errors. She made us practice to help us be more prepared.

    Whatever the cause, I would say something. S/he needs to solve that problem ASAP.
     
  7. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    May 3, 2008

    I honestly do think it is a big deal to grade papers incorrectly on a regular basis. At the very least she needs to have a master copy of the spelling words that have been looked up in a dictionary to check tests. I can't imagine what would happen is she regularly sent home tests with incorrect grades on it. If she is a bad speller on the board, even common words, she needs to write it down ahead of time and have someone look over it. If you have an overhead or document camera maybe they could type and print it so that it wouldn't be an issue. Parents have become very upset about teachers sending notes home with misspelled words at schools I have been in.
     
  8. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    May 3, 2008

    I agree with Tasha, it is a HUGE deal. If the teacher cannot spell correctly, how on earth are the students to learn? Speaking from experience, I also know how some parents are always hovering, just waiting to pounce on the least little thing that their child's (student, substitute, new) teacher has done that was either incorrect (such as spelling) or that they consider wrong (a whole nother story). Further, if we (teachers) are so insistent upon being called, paid, and treated as professionals, I think it is high time that we acted like professionals. The least we can do is proofread our own work! Stepping off of my high horse now....
     
  9. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    May 3, 2008


    Tasha- were you being funny, or forgot to hit spell check on the words I corrected in red above? Funny to discuss the importance of student teachers being able to spell correctly and then not spell correctly while you are posting about it...
    :lol:
     
  10. Miss_J

    Miss_J Habitué

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    May 3, 2008

    I too am dyslexic. I do a lot of things to try and prevent spelling errors (lists of words I may need, I keep a dictionary and spelling ace with me all the time and tell the kids I'm not sure how to spell that let me check) but it happens. I'm still an excellent teacher! I have received many accolades from my superiors and parents request me although this is only my 3rd year. Spelling is spelling and teaching is teaching they are not one in the same. Everyone has a weakness it is just important that you note that weakness and find a way to work around it.
     
  11. Lives4Math

    Lives4Math Comrade

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    May 3, 2008

    I can't spell worth a darn. I got 2 points of view on the subject....One told me "don't tell the kids you can't spell a word" and the other told me "let them see you make mistakes and not be able to spell...They'll see that you are human too." When I taught 5th grade I let them know that I was a bad speller, check my spelling if you think something looks wrong...let me know! Now I teach K and they don't know the difference...a lot of times I ask them to help me spell so we spell phonitically anyway so it's not right.
     
  12. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    May 3, 2008

    Ya, they really ought to know how to spell 4th grade level words. I mean I mess up on certain science terms-- especially if its early in the morning--- but vocabulary words really shouldn't be THAT difficult.

    You could ask them to slow down their grading--- that could be a cause. While I was student teaching, I honestly would speed through my grading and hence made alot of mistakes: could be a reason why yours are having issues too.

    You also might want to have them do a spelling activity with the kids to see if they know how to spell the words. Maybe the practice would help them too :)
     
  13. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    I was waiting to see if anyone noticed . . .
     
  14. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    May 3, 2008

    In my district, parents have actually called the principal to complain about misspellings on bulletin boards....(teacher misspellings, not kids')...While we are at it- I have issues with the use of apostrophes (not apostrophe's...) Misuse of apostrophes makes me crazy...
     
  15. allyd

    allyd Rookie

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    May 4, 2008

    I whole heartedly agree that we need to be treated as professionals. Spelling incorrectly or making mistakes in checking tests will arouse the attention of the parents that want to "pick" at teachers. In our state, I am not sure about others, we are constantly criticized for the "amazing" amount of money that we make. There are letters to the editor constantly around contract time for the many districts in our area that critique the teachers' abilities and that many don't earn their pay. They just don't need any more ammunition! Thanks for the ideas and information!
     
  16. teacherstudent1

    teacherstudent1 Companion

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    May 4, 2008

    I loved your fist post, Tasha!

    I believe it is very important to use correct spelling, even though (and maybe in part because) I am a very poor speller myself. I have taught for many years and trust me, many parents will judge the teacher's competence on this, especially if you teach in a school where many of the parents are professionals themselves.

    Talk to the student teacher and help her to find compensatory skills to assist her. These could be practicing commonly used words, pre-printed materials for students, answer keys, and spell check on the computer. She should become a more successful teacher because of your guidance.

    And as mistakes will still happen, especially on the board, I love the idea of admitting to students that we all make mistakes, and engaging them to watch and help with this area as well. Many of my students found this encouraging, and this practice often created a supportive environment within the entire class.

    Good luck to you both!
     
  17. wig

    wig Devotee

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    May 4, 2008

    Spelling is not my strength, although I am not a terrible speller. However, if you know you are a poor speller, you use an answer key when grading spelling tests. It is also important to use spell checker when typing anything professional (work sheets, study guides, letters to parents, etc.)

    I also agree that if you are a poor speller, tell the students you are and if you make a mistake to tell you.

    It is important that we as teachers model good spelling and teach them tools to use when they are not good spellers.
     

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