Yesterday I posted a thread in GQ about a problem with the teacher’s manual and a question that was incorrectly explained in the Office Technology Class I am taking. Since the teacher was not sure of the correct answer, she agreed to my suggestion of posting it at GQ. I thought that the replies answered the OP pretty well.
I printed the thread and took it in to show the teacher. I also took my copy of The Elements of Style, by Strunk and White. I’m afraid I made matters worse. She still seems to agree with the manual, would not seriously look over the material I brought, and chose not to show it to the class. She also seems to be upset with me about it.
If this had been the first case where the manual had been incorrect, I probably would have been able to keep my mouth shut. But the manual is poorly written and contains numerous typos, sentence fragments and awkward phrasings. I have tried to be as polite as posssible about this, but sometimes it is difficult for me to understand what the manual is trying to convey.
I believe my teacher to be an excellent instructor in word processing programs and she is very well able to find her way around a computer and help us figure things out when we get stuck, and I admire and respect her for that. What I have difficulty with is, that she seems to expect us to believe something just because it is printed in that manual. I mean no direspect toward her personally. In fact, I like her and enjoy talking with her, but I often sense resentment from her during class.
I have eight weeks left of this class, and am trying to learn to curb my tongue, with the thought that in the business world, those with the power are those who get to make the rules. But it still makes me sad. I’m afraid she sees me as a trouble maker, and (possibly because I am hesitant and soft-spoken) does not seem to take much of what I say very seriously.
Only one other person has been picking up on the errors regularly, and has other outside sources to answer her questions. It will be a difficult eight weeks for me. Sorry to vent here, but I really can’t say much in class.
Thanks for listening.
I just love it when my little dearies come home from school with misinformation from their teachers. Or when they get a correct answer marked wrong because the twit knows no better. It is fun discussing with the kids how, even someone as smart and nice as their teachers can sometimes make mistakes, and you have to learn when to pick your battles.
When my first kid went to kindergarten, I had this idea of how bright and involved the teachers would be. Then I found out some of them are just out of college, stridently believing whatever their most recent professor told them, and not necessarily widely read or experienced. And every once in a while you come across one who is mailing it in, waiting til retirement.
One time we helped my daughter find published support contradicting the teacher, and the teacher responded with some material she didn’t realize actually supported my kid’s answer.
We now discuss such things with them, but suggest they only make anything out of it is a grading period grade depends on it.
A little different when you are an adult ponying up the bucks for your education. Well, like you said it, at least she knows her stuff concerning the subject matter of the course. Probably too much to expect her to be a cunning linguist as well.
There’s a teacher out there that doesn’t instantly bow before the succinct majesty of Strunk & White?!? BAD TEACHER! NO TENURE FOR YOU!
Spidey, just grit your teeth and take the content of the class while discarding the erroneous usage information. Then NEVER take another class taught by this boob again.
Hopefully, by the end of this class I will have gained enough knowledge to be employed somewhere in the business community. I’ve been trying to break into the human service area because my (up until now, mostly unused) degree is in that area.
In March, I was laid off at a factory where I had been making a living wage for almost 25 years. My interviews have not gone well: I was too nervous and/or didn’t have enough experience. My back-up plan was to take this class and possibly be hired in a human service agency as an office tech type person, and have a shot at applying for other jobs from within.
I would like to be able to use this teacher as a reference, and I have been told that if she likes you, she gives excellent references. So yes, I guess I’ll just try to grit my teeth the rest of the time. Thanks for the support.
The newspaper I work at has a policy of avoiding the use of both affect and effect – the reasoning is that, even if you use it right, half the people will think you’re wrong and write in about it.
Sigh. I had a feeling this would happen. Spider Woman, just take comfort in knowing that you are right. You are in a tough position - if you challenge the teacher, she’s not going to give you a good recommendation. I would just grit my teeth.
Maybe she’ll get fired someday over her stupidity and you can take over her job. Or maybe you could sneak out a copy of that idiotic manual to use as an example of how not to write a teaching guide.
By the way, in the original sentence - where you added the “a” before “traffic jam” - did the teacher agree with that? Or did she think that no article was needed at all? Please tell me she and the manual were showing two errors in that example!
you were right to wonder about her reaction, and I was a little naive to think she’d go along with it. I think maybe she expected me to be wrong.
She did agree with the insertion of “a” before traffic jam; that’s the way the manual said to do that part.
I actually don’t think she is a stupid or mean person, (and I don’t think she wrote the manual). I feel a little guilty complaining about her.
My point in some of the other minor disagreements with her has been that there are probably several ways to do some of the proofreading/sentence reconstruction, etc. The answer key that comes with the manual usually only lists one, and she doesn’t want to deal with much variance from that.
I actually think that she is, for the most part, a nice person in a situation which needs improvement. The home office of the private company that offers the classes is in a different city, and if she calls them enough times with questions about the manual (usually one call per class period) maybe they’ll have someone proofread and revise the darn thing.
Maybe a good lesson for me to learn out of all of this is respect for authority, even if it is not necessarily just.
Another lesson is that only some classes are about learning, whle many more are just about gaining credentials.