As a future educator, I know that my students will need to know why they are learning the content I present in order to be motivated to complete tasks they are assigned. As an Elementary Education major at Emporia State, I do not understand why we are required to pass handwriting proficiency exams in order to be admitted into the Teacher’s College.
I value ESU’s Teachers College for its rigor. It produces guaranteed teachers. But making sure teachers have good handwriting by requiring us to pass exams in both manuscript and cursive fonts is pushing that rigor a bit too far.
We have so much theory, practice, and content to fit into our brains that will prepare us to teach any student age 5-11, and spending brain power and time on something like practicing letters should be way lower on our priority list.
Explicitly teaching hand writing isn’t even part of the national Common Core standards, and if states do adopt their own handwriting curriculum, not every state requires cursive handwriting.
In Kansas, we have a hand writing curriculum, but the font we teach isn’t standardized, so there’s a chance that the font we learn for the test won’t even be the one we have to teach.
I’m not saying that teachers shouldn’t have good handwriting. Our penmanship is the example our students will see most often throughout their learning process.
But our handwriting should not be a consideration for our admittance into the education program.
What I am saying is that it seems like we are forgetting that it is 2019, not 1919. Handwriting is important, but it’s at the bottom of the “important things” list.
It’s time for the Teachers College to reevaluate exactly what we are asking of our future teachers.