WTMF?

WHO is teaching middle school and high school students that “high school” is ONE word? I thought it was just some of the un- and underprepared students I had but I was wrong.

Whoever you all are, and you know who you are unless you have a lot of McArthur Wheeler in you, which, I hate to think, is more than “possible” and likely “probable,” STOP teaching the “word” highschool.

About G Bitch

A mad black woman in New Orleans.
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2 Responses to WTMF?

  1. geauxteacher says:

    Well “G,” when I went back to school in 1990 to get my teaching degree at age 42, the theory was that English teachers should not teach grammar in isolation but should embed it in literary studies. I was required to take only one semester of “grammar” which was a semester spent learning why you shouldn’t teach grammar. I might have adopted that theory had my second year of teaching not been in a St. Tammany junior high school which required students to take a two hour block of English language arts. I immediately saw the need for formal grammar instruction. In 17 years of teaching I learned something new about grammar every year and parents thanked me profusely for spending time on what so many people mistakenly consider boring and useless. Specifically regarding spelling, toward the end of my career I was introduced to a curriculum that focused on Latin and Greek stems that was developed by a professor living in Puerto Rico. I had always wanted to learn more about the history and etymology of our language myself so began the teaching and learning process. I was dubious about the ability of my students learning 25 new stems a week and retaining all over a period of two years but the results were astounding. They enjoyed the studies immensely and began recognizing the stems in their other class studies immediately and appreciated their new ability to recognize meaning, on their own. It made vocabulary studies almost like a scavenger hunt.

    I digress – to share one of my pet peeves – the use of everyday as one word when it should be two. I see the error made every day as it has become an everyday practice. I was also taught that the English language is an ever evolving one, and popular use dictates change. Realtor will soon be realtor and nuclear will be nucular. I guess I am old fashioned in believing that some things should never change.

    • G Bitch says:

      Then I’m a really old-fashioned stick-in-the-mud. When I tell folks I teach college-level English, they start a bit and when I say my favorite class to teach was Advanced Grammar, they go pale or stumble away from me. I LOVE grammar. I loved teaching my students that the over-simplified “rules” some of them learned in grammar school [like “Never use’I’.” HUH?] are actually “conventions,” and if you know the rules/conventions, you can artfully break them. I always told my students that English is their/i> language and theirs to master. It is a real joy to have competency in an area and grammar is a great one.

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