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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. I'd rather have a teacher who had trouble spelling than a teacher who lacked any form of empathatic understanding.
    As long as teachers make a real effort to ensure spellings are as accurate as possible in class surely its ok. We are all human, we all make mistakes. Surely, if a childs science teacher makes the odd spelling mistake, it won't affect them for their entire life?
  2. a_rooti

    a_rooti New commenter

    I will be starting my NQT year next week, in MFL. My spelling of the languages I teach is very good, but my English spelling is sometimes inaccurate. I don't think this is something that will heavily influence the education I provide for the pupils I teach.

    If I am unsure of a word, I use a dictionary.

    I think as long as pupils are encouraged to use correct grammar, check spellings when unsure and have a generally good grasp of English spelling, then if they or the teacher make the occasional mistake there is no real problem.

  3. opps, made a mistake
  4. zenzuata

    zenzuata New commenter

  5. zenzuata

    zenzuata New commenter

    Sorry, that's not meant to posts 2 - 63, just the original thesis.
  6. But isn't it disgusting when an adult who is paid to do a professional job, can't even be bothered to think before they write/type.

    I am constantly shocked when reading these forums at the number of people who don't know when to use their/there/they're, your/you're and here/hear. I know it's only an internet forum, but surely these things should be second nature, things one doesn't even have to think about?

    I do think standards are getting much worse too. Every year, the standard of the children's reports seems to be in decline, and I had teachers doing fourth and fifth drafts this year, and STILL not doing them properly. The stupid mistakes and lack of care is just criminal.
  7. I agree with those that have said being a weak speller does not make you a poor teacher. However, it does depend on the degree and if the teacher in question is very poor than yes it shouldnt be allowed. We are all allowed to make mistakes as long as correct them since we are a role model.

    Nobody is perfect at their job and teachers don't know everything nor are we expected to be perfect.
  8. Bad spelling? Come on, nobody is prefect!
  9. marmot.morveux

    marmot.morveux New commenter

    A very interesting debate, although a shame people have to be rude to each other in order to make their points.

    Here's something to add to the pot. I have just finished a PGCE in MFL. It has constantly been highlighted to us how foreign words on the board should be properly spelt so that we provide a good model to learners.

    When I do MFL spelling tests, I do not mark down English spellings - when testing French words -because I highlight that I am testing their French, not their English. Am I wrong to do this?

    I think that it is probably more important to know your weaknesses, than not to be allowed to teach. I know that I have certain weaknesses in French. Also, learning a foreign language can mess my English spelling up because I'm confusing English, German and French spellings in my brain. Therefore, I have to read more in English to try to avoid spelling issues.

    I would be interested to hear any thoughts on what I have just said. I'm not prepared to criticise any other posters' views. We all have our opinions.

  10. nobody's perfect, that l agree. I always carry a dictionary to class and encourage students to do the same.
  11. When you say cannot spell do you mean one spelling mistake per lesson, one per day, one per week or one per lifetime. Everyone makes spelling mistakes. My spelling and grammar is far from perfect.

    What it boils down to is what you feel teaching is about. Is teaching purely about perfect spelling and grammar is our main aim to create automatons with perfect spelling and grammar abilities? Or is the main aim of teaching to inspire individuals to achieve more with their lives and most importantly think for themselves?
    I have seen both methodologies in practice being taught. I prefer to inspire my students so that they achieve. I correct a few mistakes per page so that the student does not become disheartened and give up.

    If our primary aim is to create balanced productive members of society should we really be demonising teachers that have problems with spelling and grammar. Should we not instead concentrate on the teacher's ability facilitate student progression and success.

    Please excuse my spelling and grammar mistakes I am only human after all.

  12. "universities get applications from 1000 hopefuls, all with 5 A's...how can they tell who to accept?"

    No apostrophe in a plural.

    I think it's sad that people are reducing ability to teach to whether or not they can spell. As above (OP, by the way) we all make mistakes and I really don't think it's the end of the world. If I can't spell a word (my spelling is usually good but by no means perfect) I get a dictionary out. Isn't that setting a good example? It's just a shame that as teachers we are not allowed to make mistakes!

    I would also agree that in our generation at school we were not taught grammar and, of course, this has had an impact on how well we use it as adults.
  13. Not really answering the original question, but as a Physics teacher I never correct spelling - if the Physics is sound then thats all I'm looking for.
  14. The trouble is that if you're not too particular about spelling, grammar , syntax etc. it may convey the impression that you're a bit sloppy in other aspects of your work. I worked in a school where I was faced with a large poster proclaiming that ' music is an aquired taste'. Beautifully laminated ( and therefore unlikely ever to be corrected) it irritated me every time I saw it and any passing child should have assumed that that was the correct spelling.

    Good spelling is a basic tool of written communication. There is no doubt about meaning if words are spelled correctly, in context.It does not lessen one's ability to be able to think for one's self, prodigal_son,and your pupils will achieve just as much, if not more, by being able to spell correctly.

    Making the odd spelling mistake and being unable to spell are separate subjects but as teachers we should be aiming for the highest standards, not making excuses.
  15. "People who cannot spell should not be allowed to teach?" - On average how many mistakes can one make a week before we are unable to spell?
  16. The English language has only 40% of it's words as phonetically accurate spellings due to historical input of the Dutch printers and other input of other nationalities 60% of our words follow spelling rules or are just plain weird.

    This fact combined with a mild form of dyslexia and only ever being taught at school one spelling rule (i before e except after c) means that I am a poor speller. However this never held me back from performing on spelling test as I have an excellent short term memory and was and still am able to memorise lists and reproduce them accurately, however transferring them days later after I had 'learnt them', never happened.

    However, since coming in to teaching later in life from my spelling has improved no end having to teach pupils rules and spellings. As literacy is a subject I have always struggled with I start from the bottom up and prepare for each lesson, I have a better understanding of the pupils and their issues.

    Whilst I may be unable to instantly recall the correct spelling I can spot an spelling mistake in a piece of work, so I end up marking with a dictionary by the side of me. I am not the only teacher to do this and if you encourage the pupils to use a range of ambitious vocabulary I am sure most teachers will be stretched at some point.

    As for identifying ever mistake in a piece of work - No teacher has the time for this, let alone the damage it would do to a pupils enthusiasm to find more correction marks from the teacher than their own writing. Therefore I only ever pick three spelling mistakes - high frequency, useful vocabulary or ones from the weeks spelling tests.
  17. I think that teachers who can`t spell should not be teaching, especially English. There is an English teacher who purports to be dyslexic at my child`s school and I think this is just not acceptable. I accept that I am not perfect. If I am not sure about a spelling(rare) or a gender (sometimes) in MFL I make it clear to children that I will look it up in a dictionary. "Look even I have to look it up..." This is a useful lesson for them.
  18. #75 and 77 I completely agree with both of you.

    There are so, so many more important factors in teaching that being able to spell perfectly.
  19. I had to plan an limited teacher input lesson for member of SMT who had to 'teach' my class maths when I was out on a course as in her own words they will probably be better / faster than me and Maths is never my strong point... She usually teachers in Year 1.

    Should maths skill be linked to teaching.

    What about weight as we are to deliever messages on health eating should teachers be slim and fit...

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