When the holidays roll around, some students’ parents give their kids’ teachers gifts. I genuinely appreciate some of these gifts (caramel popcorn, coffee cake, giant diamonds wrapped in hundred-dollar bills, non-chocolate candy). Others make me cringe. One lovely student’s kind mother gave me a mug with “I’m silently correcting your grammar” imprinted on its side.
I try (but I'm a work in progress) to act in kind ways. I have learned, over the years, that if I understand somebody, then he/she is or they are making the point. I don't judge them for their grammar just as I wouldn't want them to judge my dance moves, slap shot, or medical knowledge. Of course, I correct my students’ errors, but teaching them to speak correctly is literally my job.
I use the mug only at home and only to store my paper clips. You can speak to me without fear of judgment, but of course, if you want to ask a grammar question, I'd love to talk.
by Carita Gardiner