At one point in my career in teaching, the members of the department of education made a rule which I thought was crazy. In their efforts to promote writing, they made a rule, which encouraged the kids to write.

They did not have to worry about spelling, spacing of the words, they were just told to write. When I got the group of kids and tried to read their story,which is what they called it. I was lost, the words meant nothing because the spelling was so far removed it made no sense.

I took one of the students aside and asked him to read it for me. I noticed the words he read were completely different from how it was  written on paper.

I did not expect this system of free writing to last too long. When a teacher has a class of thirty two students how can it be possible for the teacher to let the students read while s/h tries to make sense of it.Even if we gave five minutes to each student which multiplied by thirty two comes to  one hundred sixty minutes.

Each period was forty minutes. The school started at 9 am and was over at 3.45 pm.  out of six hours and forty five minutes, lunch was an hour and recess fifteen minutes. The total teaching time was five hours and thirty minutes.

I wasn’t sure we could teach the other subjects, if we devoted one hundred sixty minutes for correcting writing.

There was only one hundred seventy minutes left for the other subjects.

The group of students that went through this system, i.e just write do not worry about spelling or anything else , had a difficult time in the higher grades.

This is my post for “Just my writing.”

DP Daily Prompt: Let It Be

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A restaurant that removed your favorite item from the menu, a bad cover of a great song…. write a post about something that  should’ve  been left untouched, but wasn’t. Why was the original better?

The first year I started teaching I was bothered by the fact that, majority of   nine year old kids, could not spell even the very simple words. I wasn’t sure why that was the case.

I found every few minutes kids would raise their hand and ask, ‘Miss how do you spell’?

I found it quite annoying, that these children were unable to spell, I thought they just did not care.

In Language Arts, they had a speller, where there were exercises in spelling, phonetics, grammar, certain words that sound the same but mean different e.g, to, too, two, or there, their, they’re. To me if a child has this book as a guide, he/she can never have trouble spelling.

The book was introduced from grade one, you might think how can anyone have problem with spelling if they had such a valuable book.

May be I thought not much importance was given to this book or only the twenty words were given to the student to learn on Mondays and do the test on Fridays. The rest of the exercises were overlooked.

There were about five to seven students in my class who loved this book, the rest didn’t because they claimed it was too difficult. I know it was good for them and their claim was not valid.

Some parents complained they did not understand and could not help their kid. One parent called me at home, she said, she sat with her son every evening for more than an hour to learn the twenty words. I knew the parent although she was putting in the time, was not doing it  right . I told her five to ten minutes was enough to let the child learn those words.

I find in  our education system especially ones who are the decision makers, make their decision based on the number of parents who complain.

The end result was they took away the Speller, they made a lot of parents and children happy, but succeeded in producing students or even adults who cannot spell!!