Monday, August 1, 2011

Handwriting without Tears - causes tears!

I want to start off by saying I am very proud of myself.... I am almost ready for school!! I spent a good 6 hours at school today organizing, laminating and adjusting some bulletin boards and I really don't have that much more to do beyond lesson plans and labeling.... and we start on the 18th!!! What am I going to do till then?? Maybe I'll do some scrapbooking or take on some projects in the "make me" section of my Pinterest page....

Anyway, on to a COMPLETELY different subject and the topic of this post - handwriting. Two years ago - my first year of teaching - my district implemented Handwriting without Tears. It is a wonderful, very tactile program for individual students or small groups. When they implemented it the Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grade teachers went through the 3 hour training. I paid attention and learned a lot as I was teaching Kindergarten at that point however I know the rest of my staff did not - they weren't teaching it until next year or the year after! (so they didn't pay attention - I know, their fault). Now that it has moved up two years I will be teaching it again - to some of the same kids! :)

Anyway, I just got that wonderful pamphlet that tells you the schedule for the inservice days - we only have two. I found out that we are doing the training again!! Now don't get me wrong, I love learning, I'm getting my masters right now and I am a teacher for goodness sake but some things are just unnecessary! Not only do the Kindergarten and 1st grade teachers have to go through something they already teach but they are making the 3rd, 4th and 5th grade teachers go through it as well. I can deal with it, I haven't taught it for two years and teaching it in 2nd is going to be way different but I would be very upset if I was a 5th grade teacher who isn't going to teach it for four more years or a Kindergarten teacher who has already taught it twice!

I think my biggest problem with this is it is a waste of money. They are paying the people to come for two half days and with all the budget issues going on I feel like there would be a more productive way to spend that money. (Besides my argument that as I said before, it's good for individual or small group but VERY difficult to do whole group).

Anyway, thank you for letting me vent about this... I am a little frustrated. I am going to go look through the Teachers' Manual and see if I can make sense of it...

Would you be upset if you went to an inservice that does not apply to you? (My husband says I'm getting paid either way so I should just get over it but... see my 'waste of $$' argument.) What do you do for handwriting? Do you teach it in the younger grades? In the older grades?


  1. I would be pretty pissed!! I hate sitting through things that have nothing to do with me.

    I teach cursive at the end of 2nd grade. We don't have a program for it.

  2. We use HWT like you. But, I have never gone to a training. I taught it in 2nd, and to be honest, I didn't like it - a lot of letter and number formations are not the same that students are used to seeing. We taught this for 1/2 a year, and then did cursive the other half (my favorite time of the day was cursive time, along with my students!).

    Now that I am moving to 3rd grade, I will not be teaching handwriting - sad, when I am looping with my kids, and know they need it!