The Board: Your Handwriting

Let’s talk for a moment about handwriting. I laugh today as I recall the high marks I earned in penmanship class back in elementary school.  I think the older I get, the worse my handwriting is. I fully admit that I do not have the best handwriting.  That’s why it’s all the more important for me to make an effort to write clearly when I’m in the classroom. Unless I’m teaching longhand, I always print on the board. I minimize my use of block letters (something I cringed at when I had to observe potential teaching candidates in my last job). I try to follow standards for upper and lower case letters, so that my writing is consistent with the text students encounter in published works.

All right, so we know it’s important to write clearly. How about writing straight? Did you ever step back and catch your lines of handwriting tilting to one side if not falling off into an imaginary abyss located somewhere near the classroom door? Perhaps you didn’t notice the teetering of your letters until your hand hit the chalk ledge as you finished writing a line, or maybe you saw all the heads of your students leaning slightly to one side. (Yours truly is guilty of all of this!) In any case, make the effort to keep your writing horizontal.

Summary: Print clearly on the board and try to keep your lines of text straight.


One Comment Add yours

  1. Your experience reminds me of the handwriting research that shows how fast, legible handwriters actually write (as opposed to the way we tend to think they “should” write). Research shows tht the highest-speed highest-legibility handwriters use print-like (not cursive-style) letter-shapes for those letters that “disagree” between printing and cursive — highest-speed highest-legibility handwriters also join only some, instead of all, of their letters: making the very easiest joins and skipping the rest. For more on this, visit

    Kate Gladstone
    Director, the World Handwriting Contest
    Founder and CEO, Handwriting That Works

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