Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Pencil or Pen?

When I was in third grade, our teacher, Mrs. Berk, began teaching us to write in script. Several days later, she realized that she had gotten ahead of herself; script wasn't supposed to be taught until the FOURTH grade. This mistake was understandable; Mrs. Berk had, until that year, taught the fourth grade.
We wrote in pencil in those days, but Mrs. Berk decided that anyone who learned to write script well (meaning legibly) would be allowed to use a pen as a reward.
Nobody, back then, had heard of dysgraphia.
Years later, another teacher, whose name I've forgotten, asked what we would do differently if we were teachers. I told her that if I were teaching children to write in script, I would not reward the kids who had good penmanship by allowing them to use pens instead of pencils. I would teach them to use the pen first, and after that I would teach them script.
"That's not very important," the teacher sniffed.
"Oh, yes it is," I said, "if you're the only one in the class
still using a pencil."


RAnn said...

One thing I have to admit I'm glad about is that today's schools don't have nearly the emphasis on handwriting that our schools did.

Barbara Schoeneberger said...

Point well made.