WWYD – teaching material

Let’s say your grade school child brings home a newsletter from his class, written by the teacher, and you find a typo such as the one shown below. What do you do? Do you ignore it? Do you wonder why the English teacher could not take two seconds to spell check the document? Do you circle it in red and send it back with your child, with a note saying you expect better?


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  1. batya from NJ says:

    If you choose to circle it in read you run the risk of the teacher letting it out on your child & having somewhat of attitude with you at PT conferences. I really don’t think this is such a serious matter that requires you to embarrass the teacher & put her on the defensive. ”

    To err is human to forgive divine”.

  2. Mark says:

    And an equally bad sin is using the Comic Sans font :-)

    It’s just a typo … stuff happens.

  3. batya from NJ says:

    Whoops, typo, i meant in RED not in read-LOL!!!!!

  4. Ack. I might attach a note, but in an envelope, so the child can’t read it, just to point out to the teacher that you hope he or she will take the time to check over such things in the future. I also desperately wish the teacher wouldn’t use the dreaded Comic Sans font.

    • RubyV says:

      Yup. I firmly believe in the power of proofreading, spellchecking, and my favorite, proofing a hard copy. That font is truly painful. Chatting online with friends, facebook, anything of that sort? If it’s casual, then typos aren’t an issue. In your capacity as an English teacher? Honestly, this is the kind of thing teachers take off points for.

  5. Elayne says:

    It’s not really a spelling error. While typing quickly so as to devote more attention to the kids she the word. I had to review it several times before spotting the error.

    Did you know vowels don’t count when we are reading. Try it.

    My advice; forget it.

  6. ilanadavita says:

    I wasn’t thinking about the teacher being angry with your child but I wouldn’t circle it in red and send it back with your child out of respect for the teacher’s authority in his/her class. You don’t want the students going around saying that the teacher can’t spell.

  7. alarbean says:

    I would also ignore it.
    The only time my parents ever responded in that fashion to my teacher was when I managed to score a zero on a spelling (All the words ended in “le” and I mixed it up with an “el”.) and my teacher made me get my parents’ signatures and wrote a note that said, “Your son is obnoxious. He can’t spell appel (sic)”. My dad signed his name and wrote a note nearby ripping into her for calling me obnoxious, when it was obvious that I was just confused. He pointed out that she was equally obnoxious, since she evidently couldn’t spell apple either.

    When I was living with my children their “parsha” sheets were full of misspellings, missing words, incorrect grammar, and nonsensical songs. Those who can, write blogs. Those who can’t, teach. ;)

  8. ERICA says:

    What everyone else said. In a busy classroom (as in any busy workplace) things sometimes slip through the cracks. Hopefully, they’re not the important things! I too had to look at the letter a few times before I saw the error. It’s likely that the teacher missed it too, if s/he proofread it.

  9. batya from NJ says:

    Me again!
    I find it interesting how some commenters mentioned that they noticed the error right away & others did not. I personally happen to be someone who generally notices spelling errors (both my own & that of others) pretty quickly but not everyone does yet despite that & even though spelling errors irk me (which is why i always email you privately to correct MY spelling errors as soon as i notice them on your blog) i still wouldn’t bother making a big deal about this. instead, i’d say to pick your battles wisely!!

    • HSaboMilner says:

      I notice spelling errors EVERYWHERE. I hate it – I cannot even read a menu without finding typos and errors.

      • batya from NJ says:

        BTW, is it commentors or commenters…now, i’m ALL confused ;)!!

      • Mark says:

        HSM – I notice spelling errors EVERYWHERE. I hate it – I cannot even read a menu without finding typos and errors.

        Me too! In an average week, I email at least 4-5 blog owners (and sometimes various newspapers) about spelling or usage errors. Just call me the OCD editor. Most of the time they fix the spelling errors, but one particular blog owner doesn’t care about spelling, and won’t fix them, so I stopped sending corrections for that blog. Yes, I’m talking about you Mr. Angles :-)

        I’ve been reading the New York Times for more than 30 years and the Wall Street Journal for more than 20, and am shocked at how many errors appear nowadays. I think they rely too much on automatic tools rather that plain old human editing.

      • sheldan says:

        And the thing that gets on my nerves is the use of “it’s” when someone means “its”…

  10. J says:

    Here in Israel we have some wondeful spelling errors in English menus.
    The best to date is an item called “corrosion”. We finally worked out from the Hebrew that the proper spelling should have been ” croissant”!!

  11. sheldan says:

    All this over a typo…

    Haven’t you discovered that you mistyped something? Of course, the school should have proofed it, but this is relatively minor.

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