My daughter’s Year 4 teacher this year seems really lovely. Enthusiastic, patient, kind, all those important things. But there’s a small problem.
When I went into the classroom last week, I saw some posters on the wall that the teacher had made to inspire kids to use new words. There were lots of great words on the posters. But two of them were spelled the wrong way: “Phillipines” and “millenium”.
I have to admit, it bugged me. It’s Philippines. It’s millennium.
My kids’ teachers have made minor mistakes before. I’ve seen homework sheets with spelling or punctuation errors on them, like “it’s” instead of “its”. Sometimes I’ll point it out to my kids.
“Look, a typo,” I’ll say. “You know that’s supposed to be ‘its’, don’t you? Your teacher must have written that in a hurry and not looked back over it.”
I don’t want to make their teacher look bad, but at the same time, I really want my kids to have good written language skills. It matters. People make judgements based on that. Your job application could be tossed into the bin because of a spelling mistake.
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What bugged me about the words on the posters on the classroom wall was that I knew that my daughter would be looking at them day after day. They would be imprinted in her head as the right spellings of Philippines and millennium.
Look, I don’t think teachers have to be brilliant spellers to be brilliant at their job. It’s way more important for them to be able to get kids excited about learning. I really believe that. And my daughter is coming home from school each day just bursting to tell me all the things she’s done, so that’s great.
But I don’t know what to do about the misspellings on the posters. If I quietly point them out to the teacher, she might be offended and think I’m a troublemaking parent. Then again, if I don’t point them out, a student might one day tell the teacher she’s wrong in front of the whole class.
Should I say anything or not?