Earlier today I sent an email out to the nearly one million educators on our Edublogs list.
The subject line had an oh so embarrassing mistake.
Here it is:
Your invited! Free course on blogging with students
Of course you caught it immediately. I did too, as soon as it landed in my inbox. Unfortunately for me, by that time, there was no way to ‘unsend’. Major oops!
I could suggest that this mistake was in part due to the exhaustion that any parent with a 2-month-old and a 2-year-old would understand.
Or, there’s the excuse that I was working too quickly, trying to squeeze too much in at the end of a long work day.
None of it matters, though. As you’ll see in a minute, clearly my mistake struck a nerve with many, and for that, I’m truly sorry.
Open The Flood Gates
As soon as I saw the mistake, I knew exactly what was about to happen. I have made a typo or two in a mass email before. But nothing could have prepared our team for the flood of emails, tweets, and complaints we were about to receive.
If you are going to make a grammar mistake, do your best to make sure that it isn’t in front of hundreds of thousands of English teachers!
Can I Learn From This?
I’ve been working on a post about feedback recently – mostly aimed at helping students learn about creating quality comments on classmates’ blog posts. But I hadn’t yet been able to come up with a unique or interesting angle to make the post good enough to publish. It struck me that perhaps using some of the feedback we received about this mistake might make for great examples and help spark discussion.
So, here goes. I hope to not further upset anyone that contacted us by sharing these – it really is meant all in good fun!
Which of the following types of feedback do you find the most helpful and why?
The Factual Feedback
Your “your” needs an apostrophe: you are contracts to you’re. Or you can send me an invitation that you might identify as “your invitation”. “Your invited” is just wrong
The Punitive Feedback
For the love of grammar! This is an educational blog site and you use the incorrect form of you’re in the title? “Your invited” come on! Shame. I am leaving your mailing list.
The Regretful Feedback
How I wish you could pull this email back and change it to YOU’RE invited!
The Condescending Feedback
Surely Edublogs is not endorsing poor spelling?
The Grammatically Incorrect Feedback
Don’t you mean you’re invited!
The Ranting Feedback
I’m afraid that if the standard of your product is illustrated by the quality of your/you’re grammar in the subject line, I would NOT want to use “edublogs” in my school
The ‘Starts With A Positive’ Feedback
I LOVE Edublogs, but as a teacher I can’t help but notice the Subject line of the most recent email I received is incorrectly spelled: Your should be You’re 🙂
The ‘Ends With A Positive’ Feedback
As an English teacher, I cringed. You meant, “YOU’RE invited [as in you are…]. That’s all.
The Public Shaming By Tweet Feedback
Ouch! @edublogs with a grammatical #epicfail in their email this evening. #edchat #sschat #tlap #LiteracyMatters
The Polite Feedback
Just an observation. As an English teacher, my superpower is noticing spelling and most grammatical errors…it’s a thankless job…but just wanted to bring to your attention that the most recent notice I received should read, “YOU’RE invited!” rather than “YOUR invited.” I appreciate you! Just a hazard of being an English teacher.
Thoughts On Feedback
Reading through the different replies we received got me thinking about the effectiveness of feedback that I’ve provided students over the years. I know that Edublogs isn’t a student, and those that emailed us aren’t our teachers, so the situation doesn’t totally apply. But I’ve been reminded by all of this that there are dozens of ways to say the same thing. And some ways may just be more productive and helpful than others.
Please leave a comment below with any thoughts you have on effective feedback. We’ll use it to help put together a more detailed resource to use with students.
In the meantime, we’ll keep working hard to provide a platform that provides a safe place for us all to share, make mistakes, and learn from each other.
And once again, I’m sincerely sorry for the grammar mistake in our email today. 🙂