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Current Thread:

I'm pretty irked. Would this letter from the principal bother you? UPDATE IN OP
Post ReplyPost New TopicPosted 1/30/2013 by Cupcake in NSBR Board
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Cupcake
BucketHead

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Posted: 1/30/2013 2:32:19 PM
DD is currently in 4th grade. She had some trouble last year on the statewide standardized tests, which cover both Math and English. Today, DD brought home a letter from the school principal offering DD some extra support to help her succeed on this year's exams. The letter had no fewer than five grammar and/or punctuation errors in it. I have no idea if the letter was drafted by the principal or by her secretary, but either way, it did not make a good impression. I fully intend to let my daughter take advantage of the extra help sessions, but the irony of an error-laden letter offering assistance with English Language Arts is not lost on me.

In case you are wondering how egregious the errors are: the letter was addressed "To the Parent's of DD" and went downhill from there.

How bothered would you be by this? Would you (gently) let the principal know?

ETA: I have a good relationship with the principal, as I have been involved with the school since my older DS attended; I volunteer there regularly. Based on my experience with the principal, I am guessing that her secretary drafted the letter, and that the principal would want to know. I also see errors on PTO newsletter that make me cringe, but since those are compiled by well-meaning parent volunteers, I don't get too bothered by them.

UPDATE: I stopped by the office today, but the principal wasn't in. I ended up talking to DD's teacher, who is well known for her own "grammar police" skills. She was appalled! She said the letter came straight from the coordinator of the extra-help program, and that she would inform the coordinator of the errors. The principal "signed" the letters, but they went from the program coordinator straight to the teachers for distribution.

For clarification: there were actually 6 errors in the letter, not 5, if you included the egregious error on the envelope (the very same "To the Parent's of...". I never mentioned correcting the letter in red pen and sending it back, as suggested by several Peas, even though it did sound tempting. And I am not "deflecting my anger" that my child's difficulties have been pointed out to me. This was not news to us, as DD has been getting extra help in reading comprehension for some time now, and my OP did state that I intend to send my daughter to the extra help sessions. I'm all for getting her whatever support is available to her, in addition to the guidance we give her at home. I appreciate the opinions, even the differing ones. That's what makes the world go 'round!

Peas out!

Lisa B.


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Peal
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Posted: 1/30/2013 2:34:47 PM
I'd probably mark it up with a red pen and send it back asking who, exactly, would be offering the English help.

I don't think it's asking too much for professionals to proofread letters they are sending out on their letterhead.


Christina

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ilovecookies
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Posted: 1/30/2013 2:35:55 PM

How bothered would you be by this? Would you (gently) let the principal know?



1. I'd be very bothered by it.

2. Yes, I'd let the principal know.

*~*amanda*~*
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Posted: 1/30/2013 2:36:59 PM
I wouldn't say anything but it irritates the crud out of me when my kids bring stuff like that home full or errors and mistakes.



IleneTell
StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 1/30/2013 2:37:19 PM
I wouldn't be "pretty irked". I would be more like ..

I don't think I would say anything to the prinicipal, but if you wanted to, I don't think it would be out of line for you to do so at all.



irishscrappermom8
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Posted: 1/30/2013 2:38:45 PM
Yeah, that would bother me. I like the idea of the red pen and asking who, exactly, will be offering the help.




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anmore
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Posted: 1/30/2013 2:41:08 PM
I have marked up letters and sent them back when they have those types of errors. If they would mark off points for my child, then they should be mindful of making the same mistakes. Unacceptable.


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alisatj
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Posted: 1/30/2013 2:42:01 PM
Now I want to see the whole letter .

We've gotten written communication from our ES principal that has made little to no sense. Her ideas are not clearly expressed and they have grammatical errors. It really bothers me! But I've never said anything.

I've also gotten PTA flyers with the same sort of problems. That bothers me less.

Given the fact that the letter is about support in English, I'd be more inclined to say something about it...

I-95
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Posted: 1/30/2013 2:44:40 PM
I would definitely make the correction in red pen and send it back.

auntkelly
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Posted: 1/30/2013 2:45:37 PM
I probably wouldn't say anything about the mistakes.

I wouldn't correct an adult's grammatical errors unless I was their boss or I had been asked to proof a letter before it went out.


Ginny

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Posted: 1/30/2013 2:46:30 PM
If it were coming from the English teacher, I'd say something. I'd probably also say something if it was from any other teacher.

It's still totally unprofessional and unacceptable coming from the principal, but I would keep my mouth shut and roll my eyes hard.

My thinking is that the principal is not the one teaching or tutoring my child, so while the principal looks like a fool, there isn't a direct benefit to my child or me to broach the subject. Depending on how receptive the principal is to correction/criticism, there could be a considerable downside for my child if I made an issue of it. So... I'd let it go.

naniwebbEMT
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Posted: 1/30/2013 2:47:44 PM
It would drive me nuts! I most likely wouldn't bring it up though. Doesn't seem worth making waves over.


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Coaliesquirrel
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Posted: 1/30/2013 2:51:00 PM

I'd probably mark it up with a red pen and send it back asking who, exactly, would be offering the English help.

I don't think it's asking too much for professionals to proofread letters they are sending out on their letterhead.


This. Exactly.

ginacivey
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Posted: 1/30/2013 2:54:30 PM
you wanna be THAT mom?

gina

megmc
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Posted: 1/30/2013 2:58:53 PM
I would if I were absolutely perfect in my grammer and spelling.

And at that point I would want to see my daughter's work to see what they were marking wrong.

redboots
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Posted: 1/30/2013 3:00:13 PM
I would be greatly bothered, but I'm not sure if I'd address it with the principal or not.

ginacivey
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Posted: 1/30/2013 3:02:12 PM
do you all think the english teacher, that would work with your daughter, typed the principal's letter?

more than likely a secretary typed the letter...and it obviously wasn't done in Word or proofread

don't make a mountain out of a molehill

i would hate it all teachers were judged based upon a school secretary

granted...the principal should have never signed that letter

go ahead and mark it up and send it back

it will make you look great



gina

Kez221
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Posted: 1/30/2013 3:16:15 PM
It would bother me, though I'm not sure what I'd do about it. It does make the school look unprofessional, regardless of who's written it.

It reminds me of the personally addressed letter, which also mentioned DS and DD by name, offering my ENGLISH children English language lessons. Yeah, right. Our school has a lot of European families in it's catchment area courtesy of NATO, but no so many at the school they don't know the nationalities of them all! Grr!

anmore
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Posted: 1/30/2013 3:16:31 PM
The principal is responsible for everything that goes out under her name. The principal I sent the corrections to THANKED me. If it was the secretary who typed it, it should have been proofed. I have no problem being "that parent".


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scrappower
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Posted: 1/30/2013 3:19:19 PM
Some of you would honestly mark it up with red pen and send it back?? I honestly highly doubt anyone would do that. Keyboard bravado and all of that. If you did there would only be one fool. Hint, it wouldn't be the principal.



Air Force Mom Of 1
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Posted: 1/30/2013 3:20:19 PM
Yes, it would bother me and I would bring to their attention.


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SharlaG
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Posted: 1/30/2013 3:21:20 PM

I'd probably mark it up with a red pen and send it back asking who, exactly, would be offering the English help.
LOL!







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gar
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Posted: 1/30/2013 3:23:47 PM
I would really want to say something but would only do so if the principal was teaching English






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obsidian
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Posted: 1/30/2013 3:24:19 PM
I would mark it and send it back. DD is not a word.

One day somebody online picked on me for not using and grammar. It was a forum post. Who cares?

She had 20ish errors in a short post. It was my obligation to point them all out. I only had 4, two were debatable based on usage.





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Posted: 1/30/2013 3:26:46 PM
All of the letters and report cards in our district are addressed "To the Parents of DS"
I would be annoyed with a letter offering help that had not been proofread.



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Posted: 1/30/2013 3:28:03 PM

How bothered would you be by this? Would you (gently) let the principal know?




I wouldn't be bothered and I wouldn't let the principal know.

I don't make time to correct others or point out their mistakes. Ok, I do at work because it's my job as an auditor. But in my daily life, the fact that someone didn't proofread their letter doesn't really affect me.


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Posted: 1/30/2013 3:29:24 PM
Personally, I would not say anything. I have gotten letters like that from teachers, also. It does bother me a bit, but I have chosen over the years to attribute such mistakes to the fact that teachers are extraordinarily busy responding to multiple parents and sending out all kinds of stuff, so if a typo or grammatical error slips through, it isn't that big of a deal. Also, as someone else said, I don't really think it's my place to correct the grammar of adults.


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obsidian
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Posted: 1/30/2013 3:29:30 PM

Some of you would honestly mark it up with red pen and send it back?? I honestly highly doubt anyone would do that. Keyboard bravado and all of that. If you did there would only be one fool. Hint, it wouldn't be the principal.


Sending out paperwork which makes you look like a twerp and having nobody point it out is much much worse. Generally somebody is grateful that the error has been spotted esp. if you add in the correct term.

My high school principal used to pay me to proof read school memos. If I didn't know the correct term, I had a freind who was a complete grammar guru who would.

hollymolly
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Posted: 1/30/2013 3:30:20 PM
When ds was in 3rd grade, he brought home a spelling list with one of the words misspelled. I made him learn it the right way, even though he was upset that he would get it wrong on the test. The day before the test, she sent out a new list with the word corrected. I didn't say anything, but I was pretty pissed.

ePEAcenter
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Posted: 1/30/2013 3:32:47 PM
I went to college half way across the country. After arriving my freshman year I wrote my mother a letter each of the first two weeks of school. She replied each time with a nice newsy note from home and attached my original letter edited and corrected in red ink. I never wrote her again from college.

**Angie**
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Posted: 1/30/2013 3:33:47 PM

more than likely a secretary typed the letter...and it obviously wasn't done in Word or proofread



It could have been typed in Word. Just because the program tells you you are wrong doesn't mean you listen to it. (And yes, I know that was an awkward sentance, I'm having a crappy non-thinking day.)





TinaFB
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Posted: 1/30/2013 3:37:54 PM
It would bother me, but I wouldn't say anything.


Tina


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Posted: 1/30/2013 3:41:41 PM

My high school principal used to pay me to proof read school memos. If I didn't know the correct term, I had a freind who was a complete grammar guru who would.


You misspelled "friend."

I'd be irritated, but I wouldn't say anything. People make mistakes.

*maureen*
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Posted: 1/30/2013 3:42:39 PM

Some of you would honestly mark it up with red pen and send it back?? I honestly highly doubt anyone would do that. Keyboard bravado and all of that. If you did there would only be one fool. Hint, it wouldn't be the principal.


To a principal, no I would not. However, when my son was in first grade his teacher sent home a snotty note suggesting that son pay closer attention to his work, that note did get corrected and sent back.


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peaname
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Posted: 1/30/2013 3:47:37 PM
It sounds like you have a pretty good grasp of the English language. Maybe you can tutor your daughter yourself.


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cmpeter
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Posted: 1/30/2013 3:51:14 PM
I would find it ironic, but I wouldn't say anything. I might be "that" mom in certain situations, but grammar over a letter home would not qualify. I'll save it for something more meaningful.


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CMHS
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Posted: 1/30/2013 4:06:07 PM

I would mark it and send it back. DD is not a word


I'm pretty sure the letter did not say "DD" The OP is using that in place of DD's name. The problem with the greeting is "parent's" because there shouldn't be an apostrophe.

A few years ago, my DD's English Honors teacher went on and on at Meet the Teacher Night about his writing background and how he had written for a newspaper, blah, blah,blah. The course description/expectations paper he sent home was riddled with grammatical errors. My DD practically had to sit on me to keep me from getting out the red pen. I ended up not doing anything about it but felt better when I spoke with other parents who also noted the errors and what an egotistical jerk he was. Fortunately, he no longer teaches at our HS.


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CountryHam
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Posted: 1/30/2013 4:19:57 PM
I believe my children's principal is a person of authority I would not go out of my way to ridicule a person of authority.

Might I giggle behind doors with a trusted friend. I confess to that much.

I think it's poor taste to correct it and send it back.

Shih Tzu Mommy
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Posted: 1/30/2013 4:30:18 PM

I'd probably mark it up with a red pen and send it back asking who, exactly, would be offering the English help.

I don't think it's asking too much for professionals to proofread letters they are sending out on their letterhead.
I would go even one step further and ask if the author of said note would be enrolled in the tutoring sessions.

Egregious!



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peapermint
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Posted: 1/30/2013 4:34:20 PM
It would drive me crazy but I probably wouldn't say anything.

At my kid's school, there's a big sign in his classroom that says "Teacher's are Great" or something like that.

And the door to the area where the school garden is on has a huge grammatical error that makes me cringe every time I see it.

I just try to assume they're too busy to catch that stuff and why make them feel poorly about it.

This week, I wrote a press release for a school event and when the principal was approving it, she caught two typos I had made, so nobody's perfect

KittenOnTheKeys
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Posted: 1/30/2013 4:39:14 PM
I'm not a grammar or spelling guru so if someone is on my case or my kids case about something and send me a note like that, you bet I would get my red pen out and send it back.



Deena714
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Posted: 1/30/2013 4:40:20 PM
I would let the principal know. Maybe not with a paper marked in red, but I would call or email asking exactly who will be offering the help to your daughter, simply based on the mistakes in the letter.

What if this secretary is drafting letters to other school administrators?? It looks *terrible* on the principal and the school to have those mistakes. Shame on the principal for not proof reading (or hiring better), but obviously she/he needs a reminder that not everyone's grammar skills are up to snuff. And you as a parent don't have to accept that.


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Gsquaredmom

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Posted: 1/30/2013 4:49:56 PM
That stuff used to bother me, but I am so used to it, it bothers me less and less, which is sad, really.

There is so much work to do with fewer and fewer resources in schools that typos are at the bottom of my list of things to worry about. The secretary may be FANTASTIC with other things and a treasure to have in employment. And remember, he/she is likely less educated than many others in the school and is overworked and underpaid.

That said, if the principal signed the letter, I think the buck stops there. He/she should proof anything they sign. However, there is still the problem of too much to do and only 24 hours in which to do it.

Me, I would say nothing. But if you feel very strongly, I woudl make a brief call to the principal. Although, honestly, I cannot imagine playing taht conversation in my head in advance and not feel foolish.



DastardlyBoo
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Posted: 1/30/2013 4:59:17 PM
If I had a good relationship with the secretaries at the school, I would just quietly mention it to her/(him). I wouldn't want the over-worked secretary to be embarrassed in front of the boss.




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Dalai Mama
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Posted: 1/30/2013 5:17:23 PM

To a principal, no I would not. However, when my son was in first grade his teacher sent home a snotty note suggesting that son pay closer attention to his work, that note did get corrected and sent back.


As for the note in the OP, yes, I would correct it. But I would just give it a place of honour on my fridge.


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SockMonkey
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Posted: 1/30/2013 6:12:13 PM
I'm a high school teacher and I would have absolutely NO problem calling the principal and asking about the letter. Honestly, there is no excuse for that. Whether it was typed by a secretary or not, any communication sent home (and especially communication about "extra help" in English) should be free of errors and well composed. ONE typo, maybe I could forgive. Five grammar and punctuation errors? Unacceptable.

Please, hold them accountable. It's not acceptable.


Beth P.
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Posted: 1/30/2013 6:53:28 PM
It would bother me but I wouldn't say anything to the school about it. I sure as hell would mention it to other parents at the school that's for sure regardless of how childish that might make me.

I had a situation like this a few years ago in regards to a "Writers Camp" that my youngest was attending. The assistant principal was in charge and the letter that she wrote was appalling. I would have loved to have said something but I didn't for fear that there would be backlash against my kids.


Beth

obliolait
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Posted: 1/30/2013 6:58:12 PM
What use would there be in marking up the note with correction? The child will have to take the exam either way. Why establish an injurious relationship with the principal for nothing? He might be less inclined to open a dialog if the response will be mockery.

MergeLeft
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Posted: 1/30/2013 7:10:39 PM
My principal actually points out spelling and grammar errors in teachers' emails to him, so I don't think that would happen at my school. And it would irk me.



sues
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Posted: 1/30/2013 7:21:19 PM

I would mark it and send it back. DD is not a word.


"DD" is a substitution for her daughter's name. The letter contained her actual name, I'm sure.

All this 'mark it up with a red pen and send it back!' stuff is amusing to me. I guess it's all in the relationship you want to cultivate with school personnel. If you want to be snarky and disrespectful in your manner, you clearly aren't interested in a good working relationship. You just want to get a dig in and feel superior. It's your right, sure- but it isn't going to do you any favors going forward.

Do I think the principal should be made aware of the errors? Sure. I think it's unacceptable for a professional letter (particularly one from a school) to contain so many errors. One? Could have been a mindless mistake. Five? No way.
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