Friday, 11 July 2014

You Need To Speak Proper (Like What I Do)

In my NQT year, I noticed teaching assistants and other teachers correcting children's speech:

"Er, say thank you."

"Use please next time."

"You mean 'David and I'."

And so on...

In that year, and some since, I was more focused on some of the more basic aspects of the job. However, more recently, I have become aware of the need for children to speak correctly and then how that impacts more widely their ability to communicate, read and indeed write.

This year, a boy in my class had been frequently asking, "Can I go for a toilet?" This, in the past, was something I hadn't corrected with other children. Every time he asked, I corrected and he repeated. Then, last week, with a huge smile he came over and asked, "Can I go to the toilet please?" Of course, the answer (to a Year Five child) was, "There's only five minutes of the lesson left - see if you can wait." But, also, "I'm so pleased you asked correctly." And, I was pleased. I had been persistent and succeeded - I'd taught something (after all, I am a teacher)!

It's so easy to let these slip by. Does it mean the child doesn't know how to speak (and possibly write) correctly, are they being lazy or is it something else? You don't find out if it's not challenged. 

You and I (see what I did there?) have a duty to ensure we teach and, where required, correct children.

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