My sixth grade teacher, Mr. Benanti, was one of the most influential teachers I ever had. No, scratch that, he WAS the most influential teacher. I need to dedicate a blog post to him and make it required reading for all teachers. But one lesson he taught was to always keep a dictionary nearby so you can quickly look up a word if needed. With the advent of this little thing called the Internet you can verify words faster by going to reference sites like www.dictionary.com.
While I'm not really into poetry, here is a poem that is awesome. I wish I had thought of it and it has been a favorite of mine for over a decade. There is a lesson here: Don't trust your spell checker. While modern spell checkers also check the references of words, you still need a basic foundation of knowledge to get the words right.
Eye have a spelling chequer,
It came with my Pea Sea.
It plane lee marks four my revue
Miss Steaks I can knot sea.
Eye strike the quays and type a whirred
And weight four it two say
Weather eye am write oar wrong
It tells me straight a weigh.
Eye ran this poem threw it,
Your shore real glad two no.
Its vary polished in its weigh.
My chequer tolled me sew.
A chequer is a bless thing,
It freeze yew lodes of thyme.
It helps me right all stiles of righting,
And aides me when eye rime.
Each frays come posed up on my screen
Eye trussed too bee a joule.
The chequer pours o'er every word
Two cheque sum spelling rule.
-Jerrold H. Zar, 1992