The Death of Handwriting?

Not being at school/work gives me so much more time to read. As an English teacher, I read more than anyone should (though it’s almost never for pleasure). I got to be really fast at reading paragraphs, which was helpful, but also sad because my students should have been able to write more than one decent paragraph by the end of tenth grade. But I digress.

As a result of a year of teaching and my own school experience, I am excellent with bad handwriting. To date, I have found only one paper that I had to struggle to read. It was while I was grading the diocesan writing assessment, though, so I had the prospect of being free for the day three hours before school let out ahead of me. That was motivation enough. We talked a lot in ACE classes this summer about teaching students with learning disabilities and such. Reading that paper felt vaguely like someone with a language processing disorder, because I had to expend so much mental energy to decipher the words that by the time I reached the end of a sentence, I had no idea what any of it meant.

Which brings me to an article I read last night in TIME about the alleged death of handwriting. While I agree that today’s students are more apt to be great typists than have beautiful handwriting (though even typing isn’t a guarantee), I still think handwriting is important. When I write in my spiritual journal, I use cursive exclusively. The same goes for notes to parents. Not everyone has pretty cursive, sure, but there’s still a need at least for neat printing. Not everything can be typed. Pixels can only say so much.



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