As my daughter was enjoying her kindergarten year, I used to cringe whenever I spent time in her classroom. She had a caring teacher, walls full of books and other learning materials, and a relatively small class. So why my reaction? Each time I was in the room, my eyes were drawn to a large handwritten sign that was the focal point of the wall. And in the middle of that sign was a significant grammatical error.
So each visit to the K classroom, I wanted to take a red pen and mark up the wall. The eduwife’s better judgment always won out. I left the sign alone. And I never said anything to the teacher, not wanting to embarrass her or create an issue where one doesn’t need to be.
We all make mistakes. I make them quite frequently (particularly on this blog, where I never read or edit anything I throw up there). But it begs the question. What should a parent do when he or she sees a mistake in need of correcting? Do you call your child’s teacher on it, or do you just let it go?
Over the weekend, a high school friend shared a note that had come home in her child’s class. The (unedited) note reads:
“We are no longer completing book essays. Instead, we are completing weekly reader responses. This is handed out on Mondays and are not due to the following Monday. I have required that three entries be completed by Friday as a way to monitor their time. All directions are located on their response log!”
The note went home to all families in the class. It came from an English teacher. How many errors can you spot?
So what’s a parent to do? Do you reach out to the teacher? Do you keep quiet? Do you go to the principal?
Most parents seem to opt for silence. I’ve heard from some who worry that if they raise the issue, the teacher will take it out on the child (and while I find this hard to believe, it has been known to happen). But is that the right thing to do, nothing?
If parents are going to work with educators, and do so in a productive and positive way, we need to find a way to have such discussions. Or we need to be prepared to live with the consequences.