I didn’t think it would take this long to happen, but finally I have become of victim of my horrible grammar skills. When told that my final paper was so badly riddled with error that it impeded understanding my heart broke. I know what I’m about to say is not on topic, but I feel like anyone who reads this is going to deliberately be more aware of every comma, period, and other punctuation marks. I could feel my little English teacher world coming to an end. Okay, I know that’s a tad bit melodramatic, but it’s sort of true. I was so embarrassed, to be grad student in the English department having grammar issues. I’m not saying that those of us who are really into literature and writing are automatically going to grammar wizards (clearly I am not), but for the most part, I think that many of us are very aware of grammar, word use, and so many other technical aspects to writing in comparison to others.
As a teacher who is a student, I am having a tough time figuring out where the problem started, and how it got this bad. I think back to my middle school days and I wonder, was grammar really enforced? I do remember doing some grammar exercises but not many. In high school I barely did any grammar. Not only as a high school student was grammar not a priority but as a high school teacher I never really took much time to enforce grammar either,(I think this makes me part of the problem). Here’s the thing, how did I get through college making such horrible grammatical errors? I mean I was an English major, shouldn’t I have failed sooner? Now, here I am in a masters program being told I’m making the same mistakes as a college freshman. Talk about wanting to hide myself from the department.
Although still feeling so shameful, I’m grateful to have finally been stopped. This incident will by no means prevent me from finishing, instead I think it will make me so much more successful. I am finally aware of the mistakes I’m making in my writing and can fix them. I can now take my work and have it proofread a million times, and even practice using the same grammar exercises I give my students on occasion. In fact, since I’ve been told my grammar sucks I’ve decided to not put my college freshman in the same place where I ended up; working on a masters degree and still unaware of proper comma usage. I’m not saying, by any means that I’m going to turn my classroom into Grammar 101, but I will definitely be doing more grammar lessons.
The best part about this situation is that by teaching something you have to first learn yourself you’re not only a better teacher but the material you’re teaching really stays with you. Although I walked the English department walk of shame, I’ve put on a fresh outfit and am ready to rock and roll even harder.