Welcome to my blog!

I'm a divorced mom with a teenage daughter and two pre-teen sons. Writing is my first love. When I'm not writing or working or playing taxi to the kids, I also toy with photography and baking.

So, basically, my camera rarely sees the light of day and my mixer stands in the corner in permanent time-out.

To see some samples of my writing, you can check out my website: www.csrickard.com

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Teachers who don't know their vocabulary

This is the last week of school, so I've been doubly busy with transporting kids to and from events as well as attending events.

Yesterday my oldest son, Richard, had his final awards ceremony as a fifth grader. I attended and videotaped him receiving a Citizen of the Month award, a Safety Patrol award and a Presidents Achievement in Education award. 

It was typical of elementary school awards ceremonies and everything went off without a hitch, except for one thing that no one else seemed to notice. Or perhaps they noticed, but I was the only one bothered by it.

The ceremony emcee was one of the fifth grade teachers. Richard didn't have her, but knew her and liked her. About ten minutes into the ceremony she was touting the merits of a few students, I don't recall the particular award they won, but she said something along the lines of "they are full of competence." 

I puzzled a moment. Mulling over her statement I assumed she simply misspoke the word 'competence' for 'confidence.' Nothing to gawk at, really. People, particularly when speaking to crowds, misspeak often. I wouldn't have thought twice about it except that she did it two more times. Explaining one child's continual show of responsibility, she said "She eludes responsibility." She used the word 'elude' in the same way a few minutes later. 

That was not misspeaking. That clearly demonstrated the teacher didn't know the meaning of the words 'elude' or 'exude.'

This, of course, made me wonder if she knew the difference between 'confidence' and 'competence' as well. I was stunned when she spoke. Her actions told me she hadn't realized anything was wrong wtih what she had said. I leaned in to my ex and pointed this out. He shrugged as if it didn't matter and continued to listen.

I scanned the rest of the faces in the crowd looking for signs that at least one other person found this disconcerting. 


I'm not sure which worries me more, the fact that this is one of the people teaching my children grammer and vocabulary or the fact that no other adult in the cafeteria noticed or cared.

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