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People who cannot spell should not be allowed to teach - including those with 'learning disabilities'

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by anniebaker, Dec 8, 2005.

  1. cinderellyfaerie

    cinderellyfaerie New commenter

    How dare anyone say that because you cannot spell you cant teach, what kind of message must you be passing on to your students? -

    "sorry year 10 girl/boy but you probably wont be able to get work experience due to the fact that you have a problem with the big words"

    I have a problem with spelling, but yes i agree with post 12, we younger teachers ARE a product of our education - i never had a spelling/grammar lesson after year 6 - does this make me stupid or an idiot - i think not dear!

    Maybe you did not mean to offend people or maybe your really are just that mean, but either way what you said is extremely unsubstantiated.

    i hope you do not teach your children with this attitude
  2. psychophobic,

    Why should universities have to dumb down courses? I can understand wanting to help children get a few GCSEs but making it easy, so they feel better about themselves and have a chance of getting some sort of decent job.
    But not everyone SHOULD go to university. It is an academic place for people who WANT to learn and excel. If kids are weak in whatever area when they arrive at uni, tough - they should just work harder or drop out. If enough have to leave because school education standards are so low, then there will have to be changes.

    Too many people get a degree nowadays and there's no way to tell who is the most able. Same with Alevel - universities get applications from 1000 hopefuls, all with 5 A's...how can they tell who to accept?
  3. cinderellyfaerie

    cinderellyfaerie New commenter

    you're having trouble getting a plumber it take it annie?

    Maybe the problem with spelling, or at least part of the problem is that we don't actually have to spell well, microsoft does it for us!! (thank god)
    I can see part of your point about teachers teaching bad habits but surely you could apply your point of "they should just work harder" to teaching? - I can't spell so it means i have to work harder, and believe me i do

  4. Microsoft does not check spelling effectively, and the grammar check is poor too. I shudder when I get to read some of the rubbish that has been written by supposedly literate people.

    I agree that being able to spell does not make one a good teacher, but an inability so to do severely compromises one's claim to be effective.

  5. So here is a question.

    As only 5% of the population ever becomes completely proficient at English spelling and some of them don't want to teach, if the ones who aren't completely proficient should not be allowed, how will there be enough teachers?
  6. I don't think one needs to be perfect with respect to grammar and spelling if one is to become a teacher. However, I do think that one needs to be a lot better than some who post here.

    What angers me is poor spelling/bad grammar left uncorrected in a child's work just because the subject is not literacy. How are pupils ever going to know what is correct if their mistakes are not pointed out to them?
  7. "But not everyone SHOULD go to university. It is an academic place for people who WANT to learn and excel. "

    You can be academic, and not be able to spell. You can want to learn, and excel, but not be able to spell. Bad spelling should not prevent people from going to university. Equally, just being able to spell should not be a reason to go to university. Of course, we all know this country is not good at helping its youth to find their individual talents, and shoving everyone who can afford it into university is ridiculous. But it's equally ridiculous to suggest that spelling is an indication of intellect or diligence.

    In our society, 'proper' writing is supposed to be spelled according to 'the rules'. To write a convincing letter, essay or report, spelling is expected to be 'accurate'. We want our students to have these skills, and rightly so - it will help them in many areas of their lives. But remember, spelling is pretty damn arbitrary in English. It's just one of many codes we communicate by, and it's a code that some find easier to work with than others. If you are a good speller, bully for you, but it's really no biggy whether you are or not, and has no bearing on your ability to teach, or otherwise.

    Sorry I know I have gone on but sometimes at half twelve on a friday night when you are too tired to drink anymore, strange things happen... Last point: it's not about being able to spell yourself, it's about helping students who find spelling difficult
    to find strategies to tackle it (As some other posters have said they do).

  8. Post 25

    "What angers me is poor spelling/bad grammar left uncorrected in a child's work just because the subject is not literacy. How are pupils ever going to know what is correct if their mistakes are not pointed out to them?"

    Up to a point only. Put yourself in the position of a child who has a lot to offer but is weak in spelling and grammar. You write something intuitive in History, It comes back covered in red marks. You write something sensitive in music. It comes back covered in red marks. You write something for RE which gets straight to the point of what was being discussed. It comes back covered in red marks.

    Wouldn't you get the feeling, after a while, that nobody was interested in what you actually had to say?

    When I was teaching secondary music I tried to confine myself to three corrections in each page.
  9. Excellent made in the previous post!
  10. pedagog...agree with you completely about the PE teachers...they are the missing link.
  11. cinderellyfaerie

    cinderellyfaerie New commenter

    Daviddaw -

    I do have trouble spelling and my grammar, is good but not excellent. I try really hard, when i mark students' work, (never in red pen though). I'm an RE teacher and what i'm marking is opinion, good train of though, insightfulness and well as sound knowledge and understanding.

    I am good at spotting mis-spelt words and general grammar mistakes but surely any more than that would take up time that we as teachers just don't have.

    I am confused as too how thourough we are meant to be.

    And to those who on other threads have made what are basically hurtful comments about peoples grammar and spelling, well, my opinions of them are that maybe instead of wasting time being arbitarely nasty, maybe they could be constructive and let us illiterate folk know places we might be able to go to improve our simple minds.... spelling courses perhaps?? - I would love to improve myself. Maybe thats the difference between us and them - we want to improve!

  12. Re post 27:

    Gizzy, have you not thought about writing some praise about the ideas expressed, whilst also pointing out a few of the grammar/spelling mistakes?

    I reckon that some teachers might use the defence you cited whilst ignoring the errors in a piece of work because of either their indolence, or lack of knowledge.
  13. Cartainly I did; but I only corrected a _few_ of the mistakes if there were many of them - what was to be gained, anyway, by having twenty or more spellings corrected in one go? A small selection, particularly if they were repeated, would be more profitable.
  14. I teach English and would never correct every mistake - disheartening and pointless. I pick three spellings and perhaps one grammar/punctuation mistake. I would advise teachers of other subjects to do the same - pick about three mistakes to correct/mark. I try to pick up on the more frequently used words that are going to be most useful for the student to know. Perhaps in your subject areas there are specific commonly used words you want to correct, e.g. 'religion' and 'belief' in RE?

    Most schools now have a full school marking code, where there are simple margin letters (sp for spelling error, p for punctuation etc) which all teachers can apply quite easily so it should not increase your marking time too much. If not, find out what your English Dept does and use theirs.
  15. Does this help? From today's Observer:

    A social worker cheerfully admits to being handicapped in the areas of reading, writing, spelling, grammar, concentration, memory, pronunciation, orientation and self-esteem. However, when she was turned down for a senior post for precisely those reasons, she declared her dyslexia to be covered by the Disability Discrimination Act and took it to an employment tribunal.
    This being 2005, nobody suggested switching to a career less literate; she was awarded £30,000 and off she went, presumably laughing all the way to the bank.

    It's reminiscent of the fabulous one-legged Mr Spiggot, auditioning for the role of Tarzan and forcing Peter Cook to point out the problem: 'You are deficient in the leg division - to the tune of one', while trying to cushion the blow: 'Now, your right leg I like. I got nothing against your right leg. The trouble is,' [all together now!] 'NEITHER HAVE YOU'.

    Not quite as tasty as trousering £30,000 from public funds for the absence of basic qualification. But a damned sight funnier.

  16. I am deaf. I have friends who are deaf and blind who are teachers, both full time and part time and with and without classroom assistants. They are excellent teachers and the kids behave better and respect them more.
  17. Some people find spelling difficult: I have my good days and my mental block days. I like to share my "failure" with the kids because I like to show that I am human and can model good practice by using a dictionary in front of them.

    Universities only have to "dumb down" courses because they have chosen to let practically anyone and everyone go to university! That is what Tony Blair wanted and that is what he has got: it's all about bums on seats. I think you might consider that fact that poor literacy starts from a young age. How many kids read much these days? How many parents sit down with their kids and read?

    To be honest I am far more concerned about the teachers who feel the need to "spoon feed" kids to pass exams. I have inherited 2 classes that seem unable to think for themselves because they have virtually been told what to write and how since year 7. Where has all the passion and excitement gone?? Surely this is more important then occasionally spelling something wrong!!

  18. I have never heard such codswallop in my life.

    I teach a practical subject and cannot spell very well at all which probably stems from my yr6 teacher scrawling SPELLING across my book in red biro.

    Lets face it, who do you remember teaching you at school, the teacher who inspired you or the one that spells correctly.
  19. here here!
  20. Sorry to jump back to the very beginning of this post, but it stood out to me.

    For one, just becasuse a person has a Learning Difficulty, wether it be spelling, grammar or anything else doesn't mean with the right support they can't overcome this problem.

    Secondly, perhaps having more teachers with LD's would actually be beneficial. They would be able to understand LD students problems more easily and relate to them.

    It's like saying someone in a wheelchair can't teach because they can't walk around like all of the other students.

    BeingDyslexic.co.uk Author

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