Grammar Sucks!

Received an email today from a parent who is concerned that her child is not receiving grammar instruction in my class. This is due to the fact that I neither teach grammar nor give language feedback on papers. You see, nobody likes a grammar Nazi, which is what you are if you are constantly correcting other people’s grammar. It is small. It is petty. It is narrow-minded. I had an English teacher in school–we’ll call him Mr. Hitler (not his real name) who would constantly correct my grammar. “That’s wrong, Larry!” he would always say. “Say it this way!…My way!” and I always felt that Hitler was a boob. I didn’t learn grammar from Hitler. I learned it from reading great books written by great authors like William Faulkner and Gertrude Stein! I didn’t need another know-it-all critical voice in my head, but I did need more poetry, more ideas, more enthusiasm, more love, more patience and more fun. By definition, grammar is none of these things and so I vowed that when I became a teacher I would cross grammar off my todo list, which is what I have done. The parent will understand.

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