Thursday, March 27, 2014

Whose Job Is It Anyway?

Fighting for Cursive: NPR

I posted a story a few days ago on the demise of cursive writing and those who want to use legislation to prevent schools from doing away with penmanship curriculum.  NPR did a great job in covering this issue (which I seriously doubt you would find on CNN).  The reporter discussed how standardized testing is pushing cursive out of the schools.  Teachers who believe it to be important are struggling with finding time to cover the material since their focus is on test bubbles. Technology is changing the way we communicate, and this includes printing vs. writing.   My own daughter, who is 15, does know how to read and write in cursive, but many of my own students, of the same age, cannot.  This makes me write my notes in cursive in order for them to at least know how to read it. 

The comments that followed the post were extremely interesting and led to a discussing about how many students do not have the basic life skills because parents are not teaching them, and it is no longer in school curriculum.  My husband and I even discussed the "perfect world" scenario where schools and parents worked together to foster these skills so that our children can thrive.   The question remains, however, who is responsible for our children being upstanding citizens of the community.  I am biased.  I believe it begins in the home because I often see what happens when students are left to their own devices.  As a wise friend quoted just this morning, "I believe "parent" is a verb."   I cannot expect my two to thrive at school if I am not building the foundation at home.

I teach.  I love my students; however, I am not a parent replacement.  Public schools are under a time crunch with the curriculum, and some things are going to put to the side so that goals are met.  With that in mind, do I just complain about cursive being a dying art, or do I sit down and teach my son myself?  For me, the answer is clear.  

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