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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 06:09 pm (UTC)
That reminds me of the English teacher I had in high school. I had, by sheer dint of the fact that I spoke nothing but English and the whole faculty knew this, was one of the students who could be counted to give proper pronunciation and use of words, grammar, etc. in English, not to mention the schoolwide reputation of being hardcore nerds who were always, always reading. This teacher, who was brought in to replace the English teacher who was taking a year's sabbatical, refused to use English in the classroom in teaching. She also displayed a horrible inability to use the language - she would give us five words, usually three nouns, a single adjective and a verb, and tell us to write five sentences using only those five words. I shit you not. Oh, and 'don't use the same words the same way twice.' The students who bullshitted her with fake sentences that weren't even real English, got the good grades. Because I was consistently failing her 'assignments', she decreed that I needed remedial English classes.

The whole faculty came down on her like a ton of bricks when they found out (which was a scene straight out of a comedy in of itself - my two other friends who also spoke English like natives, asked me if I'd also gotten told I needed remedial English. The Science teacher, who was the teacher in the anecdote above, and the algebra teacher who was also several shades of awesome, overheard. They grabbed the lot of us and marched us to the faculty room, and exclaimed in tones of shock, that the three of us were being told to take...remedial English. The principal apparently, took the teacher to his office and told her that my friends and I liked to read dictionaries for fun, and could be tasked to write anything under the sun, and she was told that we were to be removed from her 'remedial classes' unless I was the one to teach it. The principal then asked us - alone - to give examples of her work. And was horrified to find out that she didn't use English in teaching...English.

The English teacher, humiliated, tried to get me in trouble. She reported me as having used obscene language while on the school grounds, and my parents were summoned. Like you, I wasn't even aware I was in trouble until I saw my parents appear in school. My friends and I passed them from where they were sitting in the library, and for the first time ever we heard the English teacher speaking in straight English, and she was haranguing my parents about my 'attitude'. We went to the very far end of the library to find some books we needed for a different class, when we heard the teacher say in loud, sanctimonious tones "I have it on the best of authority that your daughter was heard calling someone 'stupid'!"

My dad replied "But 'stupid' is not a swear word. It is an adjective. If she was describing someone as stupid, it means that -" and he deliberately dumbed down his English "the person she was describing is not very intelligent." He then proceeded to give her several examples of the word 'stupid' in a sentence, ending it with "This is a stupid waste of time."

The librarian burst out laughing, and the teacher - who was completely unaware she'd just been insulted, thanked them for coming, and then left. Later, my Dad said "If you were calling her stupid, I'd agree. But you shouldn't show your disrespect for the teacher, she's still the teacher." My friends actually said that we were calling her assignments stupid, not her. On the way out, we saw the teacher with the school tattletale. The teacher was fired soon after that because she apparently violated a lot of rules in the disciplinary hierarchy to get my parents to come in, along with other reasons. One of the maths teachers, Mr. Cruz, was tasked to teach the rest of the school year. The students who had been used to sucking up to the bad English teacher to get good grades found themselves in a lot of trouble gradewise.

Looking back, I only had a few bad teachers. It was generally my fellow students who made my life hell...
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