When a teacher reprimands a student, you can safely assume the kid in question did something wrong. Maybe she pushed a classmate in line, or perhaps he called out an answer without raising his hand. Or maybe she wrote her name in cursive.
After turning in a homework assignment focusing on vowels, a 7-year-old girl named Alyssa received some harsh words from her teacher. In red pen at the top of the lesson sheet, her teacher wrote:
Stop writing your name in cursive. You have had several warnings.
Turns out, Alyssa's mom — based in Kansas — had taken the time to teach her daughter to write in cursive and likely never imagined she'd get in trouble for it. After the photo was shared by a friend on Facebook, commenters were outraged, like one who said, "Best of luck to any teacher who writes this on my children's papers!"
We're not sure what this particular teacher's philosophy is on cursive handwriting, but it's a skill still taught in most elementary schools, despite rumblings that there's less need for it with the ubiquitous nature of keyboards and digital communication. And there's good reason all children should learn cursive penmanship:
- Studies show that printing letters and writing in cursive use different parts of the brain, with the latter helping to develop a child's fine motor skills. Not only that, in one study, people who wrote in cursive showed more brain activity than those who printed or typed — and they also generated more words and ideas.
- Kids who learn cursive have been seen to score higher on reading and spelling tests and have a better ability to retain information.
- Some people with learning disabilities, like dyslexia, or severe brain injuries can understand cursive better than print.
- There are plenty of important historical documents that are written in cursive, and children who can't decipher cursive words won't be able to read them. It'd be as if the Declaration of Independence was written in another language.
- As infrequently as adults need to write in cursive these days, they still need to sign plenty of paperwork, from lease agreements to marriage certificates to receipts.