Mamacita says: It really bothers me; it bothers me way out of proportion; it bothers me TERRIBLY, that so many elementary teachers refuse to teach cursive handwriting now. There are many reasons for this, the three biggest being lack of time due to standardized test prep and the bullshit standards thereof, lack of incentive because some teachers don’t think handwriting is necessary in this day and age of computers, and rampant stupidity lack of any understanding of the artistic extension of personality that handwriting conveys. Yes, I know that standardized test prep is a crock of shit important to some people, but frankly, I think a standardized test that tested the students’ retention of accumulated learning, rather than crammed trivia, would be far better, more accurate, and less stupid redundant.
Test the students at the end of each school year and the beginning of the next. That’ll show who’s retaining knowledge and who isn’t. It shouldn’t be rocket science, and it sure as heck shouldn’t be the freak show show that it’s become. Let each teacher teach as befits his/her personality, and let the curriculum develop as the students and teacher best need and want it to develop. Spend TIME on the wonder and magic of learning; don’t let it keep on being nothing but a year-long cramcycle, the goal being a weighed regurgitation of uninteresting facts and a contest to see who can be the best echo in the system. We don’t need any more echoes; we’ve got more than enough of those in administration already.
And the very black-and-white fact that an awful lot of our kids have never been taught how to write in cursive? Shame on. . . . well, somebody. SHAME on somebody!
Parents, sit down with your kids tonight, and ask them to show you their cursive. If your kid doesn’t know how, go to school and raise calm, reasonable, bloody hell. Call the newspaper. Make a gentle, educated scene. Chances are your child’s teacher was ordered not to teach cursive because there simply wasn’t time thanks to test prep. I’m all for standards, but prepping for a test that’s supposed to be an assessment of retained knowledge from the previous year? Or, if your school system gives THE TEST in the spring, of retained knowledge from the current year? Your kid needs CRAMMING before a test that’s supposed to measure naturally retained information over a period of time? Why would their school think that? Are they not doing their job?
Oh, Hemingway, where are you? My built-in shock-proof shit detector is going to wake the dead!
Distinctive, individual, readable cursive: where did it go? I’ve got college students whose cursive in worse than any doctor’s writing; there’s no excuse for that! Many of my younger students don’t even know how to write their own names in cursive. Parents, were you not paying attention?
Most documents require a readable cursive signature, even nowadays. Many colleges are now requiring a short handwritten essay, in cursive, along with the application.
To which I say, Write On!