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30th-Jul-2008 05:47 pm
The recent misspelled name post reminded me of this gem.

Lets go back 20 some-odd years to kindergarden. We were learning how to write our names. My name is spelled Jaime, as opposed to Jamie. Not only did the teacher tell my I was spelling my name wrong, she called my parents and threatened to fail me because I refused to spell my name Jamie. When my parents told her my name is in fact spelled Jaime, she refused to listen. She even took the time to yell at my parents and tell them they were wrong for teaching me to read and write before kindergarden(both activities that I loved to do when I was that young). The teacher then told the principal that my parents were undermining her teachings and filed a complaint with the superintendent of the district. This resulted in a meeting between the super, my parents, and the teacher. All was resolved when my parents showed my birth certificate that in fact had my name spelled Jaime.

It boggles my mind that the teacher had to go that far just to be told by her bosses' boss I had in fact been spelling my own name right. Then to tell my parents it was wrong to teach me basic reading and writing? I mean come on. Seriously.
Comments 
31st-Jul-2008 10:27 am (UTC)
Ugh, I had a hell of a time in kindergarten and Grade 1 as well.

I could read, write, say the alphabet, talk to 50 in French, all by the time I was 3-4. When I entered kindergarten, the teacher would qalternatively yell at me or ignore me.

When I waws in Grade 1, the teacher used to always accuse me of mocking her. My parents and I didn't realized until I started Grade 2 that she had actually switched me into a special needs class because my 'attitude towards learning warranted attention'.
31st-Jul-2008 11:22 am (UTC)
I've changed my name since, but it used to be Klyssima. They taught me to spell it Klissyma.

Confused me.:(
31st-Jul-2008 01:11 pm (UTC)
Pretty name!
31st-Jul-2008 12:10 pm (UTC)
WTF? If I had kids, they'd learn how to read and write before kindergarten. That teacher's probably isn't teaching anymore.
31st-Jul-2008 01:29 pm (UTC)
We HOPE.
31st-Jul-2008 12:21 pm (UTC)
Even if this is 100% true, I refuse to believe it simply for the good of humanity. If I believed this story, I'd be forced to weep.

It reminds me immensely of Harry Chapin's Flowers are Red. :(
31st-Jul-2008 03:49 pm (UTC)
You'd be better off perceiving humanity as it actually is than as we hope it would be.
31st-Jul-2008 12:28 pm (UTC)
I was reading well above grade level in first grade and for some reason my teacher thought I was of the stupid type. She sctaully told my Mother (a teacher herself) that it was alright if I was dumb because I was so cute. I would have a nice man to take care of me one day.

I think my Mother's head exploded. Hee two masters degrees and one husband - thank GOD I found a man to take care of me!!11
31st-Jul-2008 12:47 pm (UTC)
My first grade teacher also told me I was spelling my name wrong. (It's not a Uuneek spelling, just somewhat rare.) Though she was a lot more reasonable about it: when I insisted that I had spelled it correctly, she just said that she'd thought that my name was misspelled in the class roster. *headdesk*
31st-Jul-2008 05:50 pm (UTC)
She might have been used to seeing names misspelled on the class roster. The school where my mother teaches has had some, er, creative secretaries over the years. I've seen kids' names spelled one way on the class list, a different way on the emergency contact list, and a third way on the report card list. Any girl who enters that school with the name Haley/Hayley/Hailey/Haylie/Haylee/etc (and there are a lot of them in that town!) hasn't got a chance.
31st-Jul-2008 12:48 pm (UTC)
That's awesome. My Kindergarten teacher didn't like my name either. My name is Renee, with the accent. One E is male, and no I will not spell it "Renae"- because that's not my damned name. She also hated me because I wrote in cursive a lot.
I had MANY teachers who would call me "Reenie" or "Rennie" because they apparently failed at life. They also repeatedly butchered my last name, which is Russian, so I get that it's not easy, but if you take the time to remember phonics and sound it out, it's not hard either.
31st-Jul-2008 02:07 pm (UTC)
Middle name is Renee with the accent, feel for you. :D
31st-Jul-2008 01:14 pm (UTC)
Your mother should have removed you from that idiot's class on the spot.
31st-Jul-2008 01:22 pm (UTC)
I've known that to happen. My mother's name is Shelia, and she had a teacher that kept failing her because she said her name should have been spelled Sheila. My grandmother had to call a conference with the teacher and principal to bring her birth certificate to them to prove it. And this was after the teacher told my grandmother she was an idiot for spelling her daughter's name wrong.
31st-Jul-2008 02:02 pm (UTC)
When my sister was in 4th grade her teacher corrected her name on one of her papers, insisting she had spelled it wrong. (It's Jenifer with only one n.) My sister argued with er that she knew how to spell her own name and that it was spelled that way on her birth certificate but her teacher wouldn't listen.

So Jen came home and told my parents about it and my dad decided to write the teacher a letter explaining that Jen had in fact spelled her own name correctly. But he purosely misspelled the teacher's name in the letter. ;)
31st-Jul-2008 02:17 pm (UTC)
Ha ha! I love that he spelled it wrong on purpose!
31st-Jul-2008 02:19 pm (UTC)
My husband's name is John, which we all know is pretty common, but he had a teacher who insisted on always spelling it Jon. My husband tried to correct him repeatedly, as did his parents. But it's like this guy just ignored them or something and went on spelling it Jon for the rest of the year no matter what anyone said.
31st-Jul-2008 02:32 pm (UTC)
My folks got snarked at because I could already read at a 7th grade level by first grade and could write [well, print] quite legibly at that time too. What was funny that was the bitching didn't come from my teacher, who was the shit, but another teacher whose daughter was in my class!!
31st-Jul-2008 11:31 pm (UTC)
My mom was actually my first grade teacher. Before first grade I was your average little kid, but when I entered first grade I turned into a genius!!!1 (I could read, write, and perform math well; because I took the time to ask questions when I didn't understand unlike most of the class >.>) She got sooo much crap from other teachers who just thought she was playing favorites.

I always find it funny that other parents take such a huge offense to other people's children doing better than their own. Rather silly.
31st-Jul-2008 02:42 pm (UTC)
I was an early reader and by the time I started junior kindergarten, I was fairly proficient at reading kiddie books and writing short sentences. This meant I was pretty bored when our 'reading' lessons turned out to be tracing a letter of the alphabet each day, then copying it out a zillion times. It took my teacher a while to even realize I knew how to read because there weren't any books kept in the classroom, and when I finally brought one from home and showed her, sure enough, a parent-teacher meeting was called.

She explained to my mother that it was more harmful than helpful for parents to teach their children to read because parents weren't trained in it - you see, she could tell that (shock, gasp, horror) I had learned to read by the outdated phonics method, while the school was teaching this wonderful new whole language method. She swore that all I'd be able to do was make sounds when I moved on to longer texts.

That evening, my mother watched me reading a little chapter book, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, I think, and had me summarize the story I'd just read. I did, and as she later told me, she rolled her eyes and suddenly regretted living in a town with only one elementary school.
31st-Jul-2008 03:23 pm (UTC)
there were no books in the classroom? :(
31st-Jul-2008 02:50 pm (UTC)
I really lucked out. I made my mom teach me to read at about age 2 1/2. We started with "cat, bat, rat" etc. and did a lot of Dr. Seuss and such. Well, by the time I was in kindergarten (age 5) somehow it was arranged that during reading time in K, I would go to the 1st grade and read out loud to them. Kind of like an inspiration for them learning how to read or something.

I was also really into fractions in 2nd grade. My mom made me lots of different construction paper pies, sliced into 4ths, 5ths, etc.

Now I'm nearly 36 and I really miss algebra and calculus! I haven't used them in forever.
31st-Jul-2008 05:08 pm (UTC)
really lucked out. I made my mom teach me to read at about age 2 1/2.

Heh. My mom says I made her teach me to read too. :)
31st-Jul-2008 03:09 pm (UTC)
WOW! Apparently my third grade teacher was not a unique case. She swore up and down that my given name, Shelley, could only be a nickname for Michelle and that I had to put my "real" name on the state test forms. Yes it was another case of kid to the principal's office, parents called, me in hysterics, and my mom giving that twit the chewing out of her life.
Speakingof which, hubby gets to go yell at the high school again today when kiddo goes to pick up her books and schedule since they apparently can't figure out aht my daughter's name does NOT have an "E" in the middle of it, Cathrine not Catherine. I almost feel sorry for them, ticked off retired Marine is not someone you want chewing you out, especially since we have already corrected this several times last year.
1st-Aug-2008 01:43 pm (UTC)
LOL! I <3 my cranky marine when someone needs chewed out.
31st-Jul-2008 03:23 pm (UTC)
In first or second grade one of my teachers insisted that the name "Nate" is pronounced "Nat". We had already learned about the "silent e" so I knew she was wrong (plus I was confident I knew how to spell the shortened form of my own name). I was way too shy to confront her though, and as she was just a supplemental teacher it didn't cause any issues. Your story goes way beyond that.
31st-Jul-2008 03:32 pm (UTC)
I taught myself to read, write, and count (to ten? XD) by the age of two, and was encouraged in pre-k and kindergarten, but when I moved for first grade, I had my teacher ridicule both my mom and me for 'being so awful! How could you teach a child to read by themselves?! She's learning it wrong!"

Nevermind that the only thing that Mom did was buy me books. :(
31st-Jul-2008 03:40 pm (UTC)
Back in the late 70s/early 80s there seemed to be this big push for only teachers to teach kids to read, because parents would 'do it wrong' aka use phonics instead of learning whole word shapes, etc.

Leading to my parents discussing with the local authority whether I could go to school, or if I was too deaf. 'Hmm...' they said. 'But she can read and write and everything already, so it's not like she'll hold the class back', argued my parents.
'Reading! Well, we *definitely* can't be having with that! No, can't have her - deaf children have to go to the special school.' So, send your five-year-old to weekly boarding school fifty miles away, because they can read...

The local pre-school threw me out for, among other things, reading the books, because you weren't allowed to read books before you were five...
Luckily for me, the local bookshop owner liked me, had a word with her friend who owned a private school, and I got to go there instead!
31st-Jul-2008 04:42 pm (UTC)
I had a teacher in high school (English class, this was) ding a rough draft of a paper I was writing, saying I could do better on the ending paragraph. Fine. I did, and turned it in. It was dinged again...

...she said I plagiarized the last paragraph (I didn't) because it sounded too official/professional.

O.o

Also had a Computer Programming Logic teacher in college who would give us the information for our homework, then when she collected the homework the next day, she'd tell us we would get most of it wrong because she gave us the wrong info (which is always what happened). But she refused to let us redo the work.
31st-Jul-2008 11:38 pm (UTC)
Oh god, the plagiarized part reminds me of a high school teacher I had. To this day no one knows what actually happened, but there was this kid that she hated in my class. He was thrown out of the class after turning in a paper because she said it was plagiarized. However, the student thrown out swears that the paper she says was his was something he didn't turn; that he had turned in a different one.

The second one makes no sense what so ever o.o;;;
31st-Jul-2008 04:53 pm (UTC)
Also, after reading some of the comments I fear the welcome my daughter will receive when she reaches school. She'll be two on Saturday, and already knows some of her letters - A, B, I, M, O, and Y are the ones she remembers the easiest (and we're working on more). Looks like I might have to yell at some people who want to put her down for being ahead. *Eyeroll*

You're damned if you take an active role, and you're damned if you don't. You know?
31st-Jul-2008 07:29 pm (UTC)
My daughter was deemed retarded by the local elementary school because she refused to talk to the teachers, whose first question to her was "What's your name?" - when her initial reaction to all people is to see how Mum interacts with them first for half an hour before she opens up. This way we discovered, was her way of telling of a person was friendly and safe. But she was literate as well as computer literate, and knew all her ABCs and could count up to 50 as well as basic addition; so we tracked down my kindergarten teacher, who was also tracked down by other former students now parents. They all wanted her to teach their children in nursery and kindergarten.

My greatest sadness was that my daughter actively did not want to be read TO. From observing the adults reading was done quietly; and when I tried to read to her she'd tell me 'shhhh', close the book, tuck ME into bed, and then give me a pocketbook that she selected from my shelves, open it, put it in my hands and tell me "Read quietly."
31st-Jul-2008 05:06 pm (UTC)
Damn. My mom was a teacher, and taught me to read at approximately the same time that I was learning to speak. Fortunately, she never got yelled at. They just had me take some tests and then let me skip kindergarten altogether. I think that if the kindergarten teacher I'd have had was anything like yours, I got lucky.
31st-Jul-2008 06:00 pm (UTC)
I know what you mean... all though kindergarten I was told my name was Elizabeth and I told them it was Beth.
31st-Jul-2008 06:46 pm (UTC)
Wow, listening to some of the horror stories here, I guess I was pretty lucky. I was an early reader too, and when my kindergarten teacher found out I could read books (not just sound out words), she actually took me into the first grade classroom next door to show that teacher, who was impressed that I could read better than most of her students! I didn't get moved up a grade, and there weren't any gifted/talented classes at that point, but it gave me the idea that reading/learning/knowledge are good. I feel like I can trace all my academic success back to my parents reading to me every night so that I could read properly by age 3 or so.
31st-Jul-2008 07:40 pm (UTC)
That's insane. I had a similar problem in 1st grade, although it didn't go nearly as far. My name is spelled Tracy. My first grade teacher kept spelling in Tracey, I think because the year before she'd had a student who spelled it that way. One day, she returned graded worksheets to us, and I noticed that she had corrected my name in red ink so that it now had an "e" in it. I had to go up to her and tell her that she incorrectly corrected my name. I mean, I know I was only 6, but I could spell my own name. It's only 5 letters.

And as for her getting mad about you learning to read/write before kindergarten - that is so irritating I'm nearly speechless. I don't recall if I could write when I entered kindergarten, but I could definitely read at least a little bit. You can bet that when I have kids I'm going to do my best to instill the same love of reading in them, and if one of their teachers ever takes issues with that, there will definitely be problems. I mean, so many people today are ignorant and/or don't learn much in school. Why would a teacher encourage that?
31st-Jul-2008 08:00 pm (UTC)
It seems like a lot of people have had experiences of kindergarten teachers being upset that they had been taught to read by their parents, but has anyone else had the experience of a kindergarten teacher not believing that you could read?

When I was little, my mother used to read to me a lot, and I would follow along in the book as she read. This is how I picked up reading; I would even correct her if she got something wrong. Most of my books came from the public library -- I had my own substantial collection of children's books, but I really loved reading, so we would make frequent trips to the library and come back with armloads of new books to read every few days.

When I got to kindergarten, it wasn't long before my teacher called my mother in to tell her that I was a "disciplinary problem." Apparently, when the rest of the class were all gathered obediently on the rug to learn what sound each of the letters of the alphabet made, I would wander off and play quietly by myself, thus "disrupting" the lesson. My mother rather sensibly pointed out that I wandered off to play because I was bored, since the teacher was trying to teach me what sounds the letters made when I could already read.

The teacher's response? "No, she can't." She claimed that I had merely memorized the books my mother read to me, and could repeat them back as if I were reading. So my mother told the teacher to give me a book that I had never seen before. She did, and I read it to her.

Fortunately, unlike some of the examples here, my kindergarten teacher was sensible and pleasant about being proven wrong. She started being a lot nicer to me, and I got special lessons to keep me engaged while the other kids did their on-level lessons. An assistant teacher was assigned to work with me while I wrote my own little story-books and such, and I got to be the narrator of the kindergarten's play (since I could read). The ironic bit, though, was that while all of this was going on, this teacher was studying for her doctorate in dealing with gifted children. Still, credit where credit is due: she improved significantly once she realized that she was wrong.
1st-Aug-2008 03:50 am (UTC)
My elementary librarian refused to believe, first, that I could read and later that I could read as well as I did.

My kindergarten teacher believed that I couldn't count past two. Why? Because I didn't need my fingers to count. When I did "use fingers" I counted in ASL. So I was confused by the teacher forcing me to count "one, two, W, four, five, something-not-a-real-number".
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