When I was growing up, I looked up to my teachers. I felt they could do no wrong. Long after I realized that my parents were only human, I still adored my teachers. I lapped up what they served without question. It wawsn’t until later that I realized they, too, were imperfect.
I wrote yesterday about how I have a thing with grammar and discovered a book where someone went through and did the editing after printing – yep, a library book. It cracked me up.
It doesn’t crack me up so much when it’s a teacher making the same mistakes. I hold teachers to a higher standard since they’re the ones who are imparting the rules to impressionable children who may forever make mistakes if they don’t know a subject backwards and forwards themselves.
And I do see it on a disappointingly regular basis. The wee ones’ teachers send home weekly newsletters to the parents notifying us of what has transpired in the past week and what homework the kids should focus on in the coming week.
They aren’t that complicated, nor are they terribly complex. That doesn’t stop the teachers from making basic mistakes that cause me to cringe over what the wee ones are and will be learning from them.
Some recent examples:
Its the first Friday of the month… – Ummm, no, “It’s the first Friday” actually. It is. It’s. It’s is a contraction of the two words it is. Its is a possessive pronoun meaning belonging to it. It does not own the first Friday, nor can it.
Between the three classrooms, we have… – Seriously? You can only be between two things. You have to be “among” three or more things. Or amongst if you lived in Europe and still tend to use some of their words.
Try to do this each day and make sure… – Run-on sentence alert. Those are two separate commands, each standing on its own as an individual sentence if needed. Please add a comma after “day” to show where the two sentences split.
Their is a field trip… – Really? Their, there, and they’re sound the same, but they are definitely not the most complex of the homynyms. They’re is a contraction. Their means belonging to them. The field trip belongs to them?
We hope your enjoying… – Another one? Your and you’re are just like its and it’s. Go back to the rule my third grade teacher taught: “When using a word like you’re, it’s, and the like, say it without the contraction ‘it is Sunday’ or ‘you are a girl’ to see if you should use the contraction or not.”
Sometimes I think it’s a shame that I don’t have the patience for homeschooling. It’s appalling to me that teachers who are focusing on grammar for young students don’t know the rules themselves. I remind myself that I’m not perfect either, and instead I’ll be going over the wee ones’ homework daily to ensure that they learn to use grammar properly. It’s probably not a bad refresher for me anyway!