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Thursday, March 16, 2006

"I can't grade this."

Okay-today my post is a rant about teachers. My second-grade son McCall is making his way through the academic year in a way that can only be described as "slogging". Everything has been a monumental effort on his partas well as his parents' part. I consider myself a very involved parent and do my best to stay in touch with the teacher as well as volunteer in his classroom weekly to both help and be visible to him and his teacher. His teacher is let's say not the most positive person in the world yet, she is generally concerned about McCall and his needs. She must have "days" though like we all do and several times this has come through in revealing notes home on school work or adressed to me personally. I think I received one last week though that was the final straw for me.

On a weekly spelling test (which by the way is one area where McCall excels and is very proud of his success) McCall has clearly rushed to complete the sentences that included challenging words such as "Iditarod", "Anchorage", and "veterinarian", because his handwriting left much to be desired. Well, as his mother I was able to read through the sentences without too much effort and noticed that all of the test words were correct but he missed a letter in a basic word in one of the sentences. However, one would not have any idea of the fact that the purpose of the test had been fulfilled because across the top of the paper in red ink (of course) it read, "McCall, you have to write neater. I can't grade this."

Where is the supportive and caring teacher in that comment? And where are the assignments sent home to help him work on his handwriting and fine motor skills? McCall is not academically deficient in any way but anything related to writing is avoided, even dreaded. I am just so frustrated that this teacher is missing out on the opportunity to help by blotting out his efforts completely. Am I neurotic about this? Well, probably but I guess that is the mother's prerogative. I just hope I don't have to go to college with this kid to get him to write legibly. Maybe I should encourage Medical School! In the mean time I am getting really good at borrowing from the tens place.


michelle said...

Ah, the dreaded homework assignments and teacher problems. It's almost enough to make you want to home school like Jill, eh? Well, no, not really. I really like having my kids gone at school.

Lucas hates writing, too. He's in first grade.

Jill said...

It sounds like McCall's teacher has forgotten that he is a 2nd grader. A 7 year old's handwriting is never excellent, and is still in the learning stages. I think she's missing the point for sure, especially if he got the actual spelling words right.

I do an online curriculum with Landon ( and am really happy with it. He never gets in trouble for his penmanship or spelling tests with me.

Kristi Brooke said...

oh the joys of school. it took one teacher like this for me and i think i checked out of school forever. i believe you are the true teacher the ones at school are helping you not the other way around.