I haven’t been teaching English for very long, in fact I am just at the beginning of my third year.
I have, however, been in the working world for over 20 years, and it would be fair to say that I have seen just about every text-type and writing style out there – until now.
This is a re-blog post originally posted by Michelle Perkins and published with kind permission.
The original posts can be found here.
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Not until I started teaching did I realise that there are a seemingly endless number of ways to spell the most basic words, nor did I realise that I would need the Rosetta Stone to decipher some pupils’ writing – and I have almost convinced myself that ‘a lot’ is, in fact, one word!
I wouldn’t describe myself as a prescriptive pedant, but it is becoming more and more obvious to me that some of my pupils are going to really struggle in the world beyond school if I don’t help them to write accurately.
In order to help me in this endeavour I have turned to a number of books about teaching literacy, notably David Didau’s and Phil Beadle’s. Both books have helped to shape my ideas about teaching literacy and given me ideas as to how I can help my pupils, but there is still one question that I have been grappling with – do I identify every error?
What if I do, and the pupil’s confidence is destroyed? What if I don’t and they carry on making errors that will effect their GCSE grade – or worse, damage their chances of future employment?
I may be being a little dramatic, but I have known people to be rejected for jobs because of the standard of their writing. It is with this idea in mind that I have, perhaps, answered my own question. I feel strongly that if I am selective in identifying errors, my pupils will be lulled into a false sense of security, believing they are accurate writers – and this would be gross negligence on my behalf.
And so I have used the ideas gleaned from my reading and developed a Technical Accuracy Targets sheet that I intend to use for all year groups for every piece of meaningful writing, followed by the time to reflect and respond in class. I have attached it in the spirit of sharing and in the hope that it will save someone some time (please feel free to add to or amend). I would appreciate any thoughts you have… Technical accuracy code