Notes from the teacher

I often hear from friends, colleagues and readers that notes teachers send home to parents contain grammatical and spelling errors — not just typos, but deeply mangled syntax. I also found that when my son was a pupil at a Montessori school years ago. I wondered if the teachers were just careless or truly ignorant. It was disheartening to read notes and newsletters that needed editing.

On the other hand, I am sure that teachers receive error-filled notes from parents. That must be as frustrating as trying to decipher bad handwriting.

What shall we do about this? It seems harsh and perhaps disrespectful to send the notes back with corrections in red on either end. Still, we’d like to get the word to folks, so they don’t continue to make the mistakes — or worse, to TEACH the mistakes. Perhaps we can spread the word through this blog. If you encounter a grammatical or spelling error in a teacher’s or parent’s note, post a comment here or send me e-mail. You don’t have to identify the teacher or parent. You can be vague on the school or grade. All we’re interested in here is education, not shame or ridicule.

This article was originally posted by the Raleigh News & Observer, a subsidiary of The McClatchy Co.; is posted here to provide continuity; and is copyright © 2011 The News & Observer Publishing Company, which reserves the right to remove this post.