A call for penmanship classes
As a high school teacher, I am writing to express my concern regarding the decline in penmanship skills among students.
It has become increasingly challenging for me to decipher the handwriting on their assignments. Some of the written work appears as if it were done by someone with very unsteady hands or crab-like toes. The letters resemble hieroglyphics or Mandarin characters more than they do English script. “It a strain mi eye!”
The situation has reached a point at which it feels like I need a magnifying glass to identify a capital letter amidst the tangled web of lines. I am sure even Charlotte did better in her web. By the time I manage to decipher one paper, it is already time for the next class to begin. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had to coach and prod my daughter on her penmanship as well!
So please understand that I am aware of the prevalence of digital communication in today’s youth. They are accustomed to texting and typing everything. However, it is still crucial for them to acquire the fundamental skills of writing legibly so that others can actually read what they write. How can they be expected to take notes in class or communicate effectively with friends if their handwriting is unintelligible? Sometimes I wonder if they can read their own notes after a week?
Therefore, I strongly believe that reintroducing penmanship classes in schools is necessary. Teaching proper letter formation and correct pencil grip would be immensely beneficial. Such instruction would not only help strengthen their fine motor skills but might also have positive effects on their cognitive development.
In addition, many students possess artistic talents. However, how can they expect to excel in drawing if they struggle to write properly? What? Is calligraphy not taught in art anymore? Practising handwriting could stimulate their creativity; furthermore, it would provide a much-needed respite from excessive screen time.
I implore you, Editor, to help me raise awareness about this issue. The handwriting of our children has deteriorated to the point that it seems extraterrestrial, Klingon or Kryptonian.
We need to take action before future generations forget how to write clearly and effectively.
What are your thoughts? Should schools reintroduce penmanship classes, or should we simply resign ourselves to the difficulty of deciphering their written work?