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Student Teacher's subject knowledge and grammar is appalling!

Discussion in 'Primary' started by s1oux, Mar 20, 2011.

  1. s1oux

    s1oux New commenter

    Its not just students...
    In my school, there are a number of teachers and assistants that are known to lack appropriate literacy / numeracy and are therefore kept in the infants each year.
    Similarly, at least one teacher has to have all written contact with parents checked.
    I'm always amazed at the lack of scientific knowledge. The basics which I assumed were part of every adult's general knowledge - just completely lacking.

    (I don't mean to denigrate infant school teachers - I know I couldn't work with the infants!)
  2. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    That seems very, very shortsighted of your HT. If children learn incorrectly in KS1, it makes it doubly hard in KS2. I'd work on improving the literacy/numeracy of those staff and ensure children were always taught appropriately.
  3. Actually, having just taught instructional texts, I also call them "bossy verbs". My class know that the "proper" name for them is "imperative verbs", though. While what you mentioned wasn't an imperative, it also depends on what your pupils have been taught. If your student has used this,
    then one of the suggestions is to use the second person ("you"), to address the reader. I don't tend to encourage my pupils to do this, although it might be a reason why your class - and your student - got confused.
    I have made the experience that British children (and adults) don't seem to know what each person refers to (1st, 2nd, 3rd...singular, plural), cannot identify active or passive sentences (one teacher told her class that it was all to do with past tense...), and have trouble highlighting the subject/object in a sentence.
  4. oldsizenines

    oldsizenines New commenter

    I used to be so good at spelling when I was younger. Now I'm in my first year of teaching I've never doubted myself so much! Hah! When a child asks me how to spell something particularly taxing I usually start with "Umm... let's test out our dictionary skills!" and why not - I'm not perfect, and we should teach children that they should be perfect either!
    But, OP, I totally agree with you. It must be difficult to sit and watch your children being misled under poor subject knowledge. Definitely speak to someone (it might be the student's University tutor maybe?) about it.
  5. oldsizenines

    oldsizenines New commenter

    *and we shouldn't teach children that they should be perfect either!
  6. I think she was suggesting that positive discrimination to increase the number of male teaching students may have (as positive discrimination will obviously always do) lowered standards.
  7. That was a reply to Tom.
  8. The inconsistencies of English spelling - see www.EnglishSpellingProblems.co.uk or my blogs - defeat half of all English-speaking adults. Only about 1 in 4 adults can spell well, and most of those would not dream of becoming teachers.
    Good spellers often think that anyone can learn to spell well, but this is not true. Only people with superior visual memories ever learn to spell English really well.
  9. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    WOW! Nice to know I have a 'superior visual memory' then.

    Standards are definitely improving in schools if only 1/4 of adults can spell well. I'd say about 1/2 my class can and they are a class notoriously poor at spelling, due to a teacher they had for 2 years not bothering to teach phonics or spelling at all.

    Thanks for that post, cheered me up no end!
  10. Can you point me to evidence that supports this?
  11. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Shhhhh! Don't ask for evidence! I might end up NOT with that superior visual memory after all! :)
  12. That's not what they're saying at all.
    When a course/profession's applicants are heavily weighted towards one gender, it's inevitable that efforts to increase proportional representation will lead to decreasing standards.
    Imagine a school where the head is forced by governors to maintain a strictly 50/50 sex ratio for the staff. Suddenly, five male teachers leave. ****. The school is forced to advertise (but can't state a gender preference), so 10 men and 10 women apply for the five positions. Ideally, the best candidates, regardless of gender, will get employed, but here, only men are allowed.
    Even assuming that there is an even distribution of talent among the applicants, so the worst male is no worse than the worst female, and likewise for the best, there will be a significant drop in standards due to the "positive" discrimination in play.
  13. ilovesooty

    ilovesooty Lead commenter

    I've seen you spamming this stuff about spelling on TES for years.

    I really don't care what you say: those with a poor grasp of literacy and who make no effort to improve have no place in the classroom.
  14. Lots of published adult literacy surveys have confirmed this over and over.
    The early part of my teaching life was in a grammar school. Even there, each class had only a handful of really good spellers. And even many of the Latin trained, 'good' university educated teachers regularly made spelling mistakes on reports and had to rewrite them.
    The stupidities of English spelling regularly ensnare many people, no matter how hard they try, because there is no way of working out if the spelling of an English word is is right or wrong. Every 4 words out of 7 have something daft in them, and u simply have to remember their dictionary spelling.
    Good spellers tend not to grasp just how difficult some people find this. They should think of something that they are really rubbish at and imagine being forced to become really good at it, despite their lack of talent for that particular skill.
    All of the most troublesome English spellings which regularly trip people up (e.g. their/there, its/it's, practice/practise) are completely needless hassles. In America 'practice/practise' has been conflated to 'practice' without causing any problems whatsoever.
    If at least some of the worst English spelling stupidities were reduced, far fewer people would have spelling problems. English spelling is quite simply insane: some different words have just one spelling (read, lead, row, use, excuse..) while other identical ones are spelt differently. That's why it keep defeating so many people.
    The main reason why it has remained like that is probably because too many teachers pretend to children that there is some kind of logic in it, making poor spellers feel bad about themselves from a very young age.
  15. should be 'it keeps'.
    Which proves that even an excellent speller can make the occasional slip.
  16. I'm surprised his PGCE provider hasn't picked up on this, granted my spelling and grammar isn't great but I've just gotten onto a PGCE course and we had to do a literacy test at the interview. Some people I know have beenrejected because of their literacy test...
  17. harsh-but-fair

    harsh-but-fair Lead commenter

  18. The Red Heron

    The Red Heron New commenter

    I find it equally as worrying though that here you are on a public forum flogging this student to death when you really should be discussing it solely with your line manager, headteacher and designated college tutor. I find it appalling that you need the geeing on of 30 complete strangers on here.
    If that student logged onto here and read this they would twig it was them in 5 minutes and hopefully they would confront you (what would you say to that by the way??) and report your lack of professionalism and integrity to both your headteacher and college tutor.
    Do you slate your colleagues on here when you have a bad day as well?

    I totally agree. Professional respect, trust and integrity is equally as important as any piece of punctuation and grammar. I would be appalled if my teacher mentor was posting about me on a public site as would Im sure the HT and College Tutor of the student-and I would suggest that disciplinary action would be appropriate.
    Voice your concerns to the right people, in the right setting at the right time and not on here I would suggest.
  19. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    Oh that's a bit tough Frank and Heron. They haven't named themselves, or the school, or the student, so I don't think disciplinary action would ever be possible, or made it particularly identifiable (unless this male PGCE student is the only one in the country with spelling and grammar problems).
    OK you might not raise the problem on here, and go and see your HT first, but this person hasn't done because for whatever reason they were unsure about whether this was an appropriate thing to do, so presumably felt it kinder to check out some opinion on here first, ANONYMOUSLY.
    Anyhow, if said student reads this thread, and the cap fits, and he wears it, it will help him make some career (or education) decisions before he is potentially pushed, or goes into a lifetime of uncomfortable teaching.
    There must be a course he can go on to get him up to Level 5 in English!!

  20. The Red Heron

    The Red Heron New commenter

    Not harsh at all, if that student logged onto here and read this thread they would know it was about them immediately just by the very detail that the op gives. They would have every right to report the teacher and the school to the local LEA as it crosses a boundary of integrity and trust in a professional setting. Far worse sins than being a bit conufused about the finer aspects of grammar I would suggest

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