Have meant to start a blog for ages, as over the last few years have developed and grown as a teacher a lot! Anyway, here’s my first post.
Setting the scene: These thoughts were inspired as I made my way through a stack of writing samples to form my OTJs before moderation with another school. At the start of each assessment, the children had to rate how much they liked writing, how good at writing they thought they were and how good I and their parents thought they were.
Train of thought: Despite varying reflections on the answers, the common theme was that none of them liked writing. From my struggling writers to my high flying (writing 2 years above the standard!) type, they all agreed on one thing. They don’t like writing. So I began to think about why, and stumbled upon this train of thought … Maybe because they only associate writing with old school pen on paper. Maybe, if I reminded them that writing on a computer is still writing (and I know they enjoy that!), maybe their enjoyment of writing would increase.
I began to reflect on this. Do any of us like writing? I asked my husband who was nearby. A resounding NO. “I do not like putting pen to paper”. And you know what? I DON’T EITHER! And I’m a teacher!! I asked myself this question: When did I last hand write a piece of writing as long as what I have been asking my Year 3 students to write? (FYI about 1 side of A4). I can’t remember when I last hand wrote that much!!!!
Epiphany! So, WHY THE HELL AM I ASKING MY CHILDREN TO DO IT, WHEN THEY MAY NEVER HAVE TO DO IT IN THIS TECHNOLOGICALLY ADVANCED WORLD?!!!
I ran this thought past hubby and he said, well, they’re children, they should learn to write using pen and paper. I agree, they should be able to form letters, etc. but once they can write in a legible way, should we always get them to write reams and reams of hand written stuff? Hubby pointed out that technology is transient and ever changing. I argued that although that is true, the one thing that technology has been consistent with is the ability to word process – be it the first typewriter, to the latest wireless, flexible keyboards.
Result: I reckon that once my Junior Students have got to the stage where they CAN write an A4 side of legible writing should I ask them to, then I encourage them to write everything digitally. You could also argue that it is more vital than ever that they learn to type sooner rather than later in their education, as in the Senior class, they are set up with Google Drive and Gmail, so they need to be able to type efficiently. I’ll keep you posted on how this pans out … will be trialling this for the remainder of this term with my Year 3s!