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Poking idiots in the eye since 2002
...it's mocktacular!
The recent misspelled name post reminded me of this gem. Lets go… 
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.
31st-Jul-2008 05:19 am (UTC)
My name's Jamie, and even I have people mangle my name, though not apparently as badly as yours. It's gotten so that E goes everywhere in my name! Except of course at the end, where it's suppose to for my name. Within the past year or so, I've just started dropping it on my scrawls/notes to anyone, but I'm sure that someone will still manage to mangle "Jami"
31st-Jul-2008 05:20 am (UTC) - Wow - this brings up waaay too many childhood memories.
Something similar happened to me in pre-k.

The teacher refused to accept my spelling of my name - "It's wrong and we're going to do it right in this class!"

She yelled at my parents for teaching me how to read and write and do basic math.

But worst of all was that I knew how to put on and zip my own jacket. But she wanted me to put my jacket on the table, inside out, then put my arms through it, then flip it over my head and wait for her in line to zip my jacket.

When my mom came to pick me up I was crying so much. That's when my parents finally took me out of the program.

A few years later:

My father worked at a bank and was very into math. By kindergarten I was balancing the family checkbook, by 1st grade I knew multiplication and division and by 2nd grade I was into "math with letters" (I couldn't pronounce algebra so we called it "math with letters").

However, my third grade teacher was a witch and seriously hated me. When she caught me practicing algebra (after I had finished the regular problems on the board, since I was bored), she wrote out some equations on the chalkboard. After I did them, she grabbed the chalk out of my hand and told me there was no such thing as algebra!

My favorite story is from when I was 15:

I was in a city-sponsored photography program. When the head of the program sent the proofs of the program and the sign for my section, my name was spelled wrong. I wrote in the corrections and sent it back. But when went to the exhibit, my name was spelled wrong in my section, on all of my photos, and on the programs. When I brought it up with the head of the program, she said, "I saw your corrections, but I figured you didn't know how to spell your name."
I replied, "I think I know how to spell my name, I've had it for 15 years!"
"Well, maybe you should change it to the regular spelling, the one that everyone uses!"
"No, not everyone uses it!" And then I listed a few famous people with my name who each spell it differently.
"Well, everyone is wrong and I'm right!!!eleventy"

Anyway, my mom took a sharpie and added the missing letter on the sign in my section and on my photos. The next day there was an article about the exhibit in the paper. When the reporter got to the blub about me, she listed my name as Jellobell^e and made a snarky comment about how I changed my name since I was "pretending to be an artist" *headdesk*
31st-Jul-2008 05:36 am (UTC) - Re: Wow - this brings up waaay too many childhood memories.
After I did them, she grabbed the chalk out of my hand and told me there was no such thing as algebra!

Aghghghghg! *head explodes*
31st-Jul-2008 05:41 am (UTC)
...?! If I had gone to kindergarten without knowing how to read, I would've been behind. But maybe a disproportionate amount of children in my area were read bedtime stories went to preschool before starting kindergarten.

The name thing reminds me of a story my AP Lit teacher told us senior year. Her first name was Teri, and in elementary school she had a teacher who was very formal. She wouldn't call anyone by nicknames and you couldn't turn in an assignment with a nickname on it.

The teacher called her Teresa and told her to write her name that way. She figured that since her friend Kate was really Katherine (or something like that) that she could be a Teresa -- but when her mom found out, that was shot down. No, it was on her birth certificate: Teri. Her mom told her not to go by Teresa in class. The teacher yelled at her for trying to go by Teri.

The woman terrified my teacher so much that she resorted to -- for an entire year -- writing Teri on her homework for her parents to check over and changing it when she got to school, so when her teacher saw her paper it said Teresa. She'd change her name to Teri again when she brought graded assignments home.
31st-Jul-2008 06:47 am (UTC)
My sister had a simular teacher in the 3rd grade. Her teacher didn't believe in nicknames. Well my sister is a Katherine but we've always called her Kate since the day she came home. In fact by the 3rd grade the only time anyone ever called her Katherine was Mom when she was in trouble. So basically my sister associated "Katherine" with doing something wrong not her actuall name.

So this teacher is refusing to call my sister Kate. My sister is getting fustrated at not being called what she feels is her actual name and desides to simply ignore the teacher as if she isn't even speaking unless she calls her Kate.

Forward to the phone call to my Mom when my mother's response to the whole thing was "You do realize you are fighting with an 8 year old...and losing?"
31st-Jul-2008 06:07 am (UTC)
Whaaaaat?! I've had my name spelled and pronounced wrong more times than I can count, but at least I had nobody so arrogant to try to tell me I was spelling my OWN NAME wrong! That...just makes my brain implode in anger. *implode* See? There it goes.
31st-Jul-2008 06:48 am (UTC)
Me too... I can't fathom anyone being that stupid as to tell you how to spell your own name. My name is Ebonie and I've obviously had to deal with spelling my name out to people my whole life. I was so annoyed with people spelling it wrong that one time when I was around 4, my dance teacher asked me what my name was and I said, "E-B-O-N-I-E". She thought that's what my name really was. My mom had to tell her that I was just spelling it out for her since everyone spelled it wrong.
31st-Jul-2008 07:04 am (UTC)
Lets hope your kindergarten teacher has retired since then, or else she'll be having an aneurysm over all the different 'weird' spellings of names lately.

Even my son has a name that I've seen spelt different ways. Aiden/Aidan. He is Aiden because we say it Aid-En, not Aid-An. I've also seen it Aidyn. Lets not even mention the Kaydens/Kaidens/Kaydans/Kaidans, Jaydens, Haydens, and all those.

Jaime/Jamie/Jaymee/need I go on?

My old manager Jaye got told his name was wrong a lot too. Or people would throw in an N and try to make him a girl. Jayne.
31st-Jul-2008 08:48 am (UTC)
"Jayne is a girl's name!"

...I couldn't resist. It was a physical impossibility.
31st-Jul-2008 08:10 am (UTC)
Having a last name that is almost but not quite similar to a more common (but still not common) last name, and having it "corrected" every other time I fill in something... . . . *sigh*

But isn't it rather normal to learn to read and write before kindergarten? What age is kindergarten over there? :p

But I guess some teachers always hated kids that went ahead of the planned study program. *sigh*
31st-Jul-2008 08:26 am (UTC)
But isn't it rather normal to learn to read and write before kindergarten? What age is kindergarten over there? :p

No, not really. Kindergarten starts at 5. Many kids are ready to read at that age, but many more aren't ready to read until six or seven. It's a really bad idea to push kids to read before they're ready - that's actually probably why Some Teachers get on their high horse about parents teaching kids to read before the magic age of kindergarten or the first grade, except that's a little absurd - some kids are able to read as young as three! It doesn't harm them to read early, so long as they're not being pushed before they're ready.
31st-Jul-2008 09:04 am (UTC)
I once had a teacher who tried to force me to speak with the same accent she did. I was in a school in the North of the country, where all the students and this teacher had Northern accents of varying degrees, and I did not. For some reason this teacher took umbrage at me speaking something closer to Received Pronunciation than everyone else did - isn't it usually the other way round?
31st-Jul-2008 10:44 am (UTC)
I once had a teacher send me to speach therapy because I spoke with an accent.
(My mother is American, I speak with a kind of British/American accent as a result of living in Pittsburg for a few years before primary school).

The speech therapist thought the teacher was a dolt, obviously and said as much to my mother who I resent for dragging my complaining ass into speech therapy on a dumb teacher's recommendation.

And growing up when I was explaining to kids that no, the reason I "spoke funny" was that I have an accent and that everyone had one the response of course was a unanimous "No we don't!"

And the staff at coffee places always take my name down as Kegan instead on Tegan because they mis-hear the 'Tee' as a 'Kee' because I guess I don't stress the first letter obviously enough with my accent?
But then, in Australia what the Americans pronounce as Meg-ahn (Megan) is pronounced MEE-GAN - so obviously the way I (and my family even my Australian father) pronounce my name would be mangled when spelled.

It's not like my accent is even particularly butchering of the language at all?
I empathise with you.
I'm less than the slackjawed Australian accent and more to proper English, and somehow that still crops up as an issue? I don't mind the Australian accent, but hell if I can pronounce even the much more normal, less cliche version of it.
31st-Jul-2008 09:12 am (UTC)
What is it about some teachers and their "It is not possible for me to be wrong" mentality?

My brother's first grade teacher sent him home early on the first day of school because he wouldn't answer the roll when she called for "Robert". She finally shook his shoulder and told him he was to answer when she called his name. He told her that she hadn't called his name because his name was "Bobby". She said that was just a nickname and in her class he would use his real name. He said no, his name really was Bobby. She sent him home. A few hours later our mother was there with his birth certificate to prove that his name actually is "Bobby".

This was the same teacher who wanted me removed from the school because not only did I enter first grade a year early, but said I could already read. She hauled me to the principal's office, where I picked up a book and read it aloud to all assembled there.

When the third in our family entered first grade, she just left him alone completely.
31st-Jul-2008 02:06 pm (UTC)
This reminds me of one of my favorite books, The River Why, in which the protagonist's mother declares that, her husband having named their first child Augustine, she got to pick the next name - and it was not going to be William Robert, or Wiberforce Robely, but just plain Bill Bob.
(Deleted comment)
31st-Jul-2008 01:27 pm (UTC)
It's safe to say from my experiences and your experiences that some teachers really, REALLY hate kids who are ahead of the game.

I... really don't understand that. I would have thought it would make teaching EASIER. Or are they really that irrevocably bound to their syllabus? (I'm taking teaching courses now, and one of the things we're taught is 'be flexible to the needs and level of your class.')

I wonder how many other students that old hag has traumatized.
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)
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.
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