I am two hard semesters away from my bachelor's degree in English lit or three hard semesters away from my teaching cert as a high school English teacher. However, I have second-guessed my decision to be a high school English teacher. Why, you ask? Let me explain.
When I was in high school, our teachers expected us to have a basic understanding of the English language and its rules. They were not there to teach us the basic grammar and spelling skills we were expected to have mastered by the fourth grade, they were there to teach us about literature and help us learn to write pre college-level papers. Because I have always been good with words, many of my classmates came to me to help them proof-read their papers. I also helped my mom grade papers from her fourth graders.
Fast forward to a few years ago as I was helping my niece (then a sophomore in high school) edit a paper for her English class. My niece is a very smart girl. Imagine my confusion when it seemed as though a third grader had written this supposedly high school level paper. There were grammatical atrocities, spelling errors, and she used text speak, even!
I asked her, not unkindly, why it was that there were so many errors in her paper. She replied that she had never really learned about grammar from any of her teachers and didn't understand why using text speak was wrong.
Thus began my quest to find out where the disconnect was between what was supposedly taught in grade school and what was being used in high school. I found apathetic teachers whose hands were being proverbially tied by the system. I found students who had no accountability for their lack of interest or inability to process and use what was being taught. Finally, I spoke to my high school band director (who is now a high school vice principal, but who was, at the time, a history teacher). He shared my disgust with what the education system had come to. He also let me in on the secret that it has become the parents who have taken a lot of the joy out of teaching (not all parents, of course, but the ones who feel that their Johnny is entitled to an A because he's "speshul" and shouldn't have to do the work required because it was too "hard").
That was when I decided that I didn't want to be a teacher anymore. I wanted to be a teacher to share my love of literature and the nuances of the English language with my students. Not to teach them basic grammar that they should have learned in elementary school.
I'm right there with you on having trouble reading posts with run-on sentences and the like. I have found myself many times having to hold my inner "grammar nazi" in check. Heck, I'm so bad that I have been known to point out grammatical errors in already published works by well-known (and some not-so-well-known) authors. Maybe I should become an editor... Posted via Mobile Device