Tuesday, July 12, 2022

The three R's

Several years ago, in a different school district, a high school counselor told me that students do not need to know how to write in cursive, don't need to know arithmetic, and don't need to know how to spell. They use keyboards, calculators, and spellcheck.

I remember telling that counselor that, if she were playing baseball, she had just struck out.

Today many high school students cannot read or write in cursive, cannot add numbers in their heads or correctly estimate totals (sums or products), and cannot spell.

Students without those skills are harmed - for life.

If you have a student in grade school, middle school, or high school, now is the time to get them the help they need.

These are basic life skills. If a person is balancing his checkbook, he should be able to estimate the new total, after he makes a deposit or writes a check. Should the new total be greater or less than before the transaction? And by approximately what amount?

There is one way to spell a word - the correct way. (Although I did have a person tell me that "it is a strange and narrow-minded person who can spell a word only one way." And then there is Mark Twain's version: "I don’t give a damn for a man that can only spell a word one way."

To me, a person demonstrates his intelligence through his spelling and his oral word choices. When I call someone and ask, "May I speak with Betty, please?" and the response is, "This is her", I am ready to gag. I mean, throw up. I'll probably just hang up.

I visited a third-grade class one day and the teacher said, "Him and I are going to the library." Seriously? And then the teacher made a similar error the next week in the kid's IEP. It was all I could do to refrain from saying, "WHAT?"

How do you handle incorrect grammar from children?