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“R” You Serious, Teach?

, , , , , , | Learning | April 13, 2022

The “add to dictionary” function was half-turned-off on the computers at my school. The option was there, you could click it, and the red squiggle would disappear, but that would only last until you logged off. The next time you opened the document, the squiggle would be there again; ditto if you submitted it electronically and the teacher opened it on their computer.

This wouldn’t have been a problem except that my name always gets that red squiggle. Let’s pretend my name is Sanda, for simplicity and anonymity. In Year Eleven, I got the one teacher who was really pedantic about spelling mistakes; we’d lose marks for every red squiggle in our electronically submitted work.

So there I was losing marks for my name, while this other kid whose work I had to peer mark was using “to” instead of “too,” but I was told I was not allowed to deduct marks for that. There was no red squiggle, so clearly “to” was a word, and therefore, no mistake had been made. (Thank everything this guy was not an English teacher.) Being, I think, understandably frustrated, I tried to argue about how I lost points every time just for having a weird name.

My teacher told me I was spelling my name wrong. Uh, no, I was not. I think I know how to spell my own name. He showed me the register on my computer, and where my name, Sanda, should have been, Sandra was there instead. Someone in the receptionist’s office had spelt my name with an R when there was none. While this explained why I had to correct every single teacher on how to pronounce my name, it didn’t help my current issue with this particular teacher thinking I couldn’t spell my own name.

Thankfully, I was able to get my name fixed before GCSE certificates would name me Sandra permanently. The teacher did give back the name marks after I got it sorted, but he didn’t change his method of checking spelling/grammar beyond those red squiggly lines.

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