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Is Teacher Handwriting Important?


A Recipe for Motivation: Easy to Read, Easy to Do: Exercise routine. Gourmet cooking. If it’s easy to read about, it must be a cinch to do is an article in Scientific American describing recent research. The experiments showed that people were more likely to complete tasks if the font seemed clearer and more accessible.

I don’t think it’s a brilliant insight, but it did get me thinking a bit. I don’t have the greatest handwriting in the world, and this study might just be another reminder (and, let me tell ya’, students don’t hesitate to remind me, either) that I should be more mindful of my writing when using the document camera — especially for instructions. I try to type out instructions for display in advance, but can’t always do so. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s absolutely essential to have written instructions students can refer to prior to their doing any activity.

Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.


  1. Larry,

    I’m with you. My handwriting is terrible, but that often brings great comfort to my male students, as many of them are in the same boat. That’s why I type everything we all use Gdocs: handouts for me, assignments for them. I also use Notebook software to present all my notes, and give them time to type what they need to submit to me.
    Sometimes, it helps to connect with our students when we honestly have the same struggles they do.

  2. Handwriting should be tested on all new teachers. If they do not meet standards then they should not be allowed to teach. What kind of role model would a teacher with bad writing be? This is leading to the destruction on literature and society.


  3. Writing, like talking, is about communication. A gifted speaker can even make listen others with interest to the most uninteresting topic (for a while) ; a wonderful speech will be killed on the other hand if the presentation sucks.
    And, being a teacher and graphic designer I know very well that the layout and the design of a school book is of utmost importance. Every teacher should really -at least- be aware of the importance of hów well designed study material can greatly influence the joy of learning. So, if your handwriting looks like a doctor receipt for the pharmacy you should focus on you speaking performance. If even speaking is crippled you do have a serious problem if you’re in the teaching business.-;)

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