First day of school. Alarm rings at 5:45.
Bleary-eyed, I grab my phone, shut off the beeping and open Facebook to see what the world’s been up to. I was suddenly jolted awake to this:
Immediately I felt my blood pressure shoot through the roof.
“Facebook, I REALLY don’t need to be seeing this less than two hours before I need to show up and stand for children. Especially because they are the ones that you speak against; the ones that write in cursive. Don’t you DARE tell my students that what they are doing is useless!”
(In through the nose, out through the mouth.)
I took a deep breath and a step back for some self-reflection:
Anger is such an unacceptable emotion in our culture, especially if you are a woman. If you’re angry, people look at you funny and think you are crazy. It is a human emotion, though, and through studying yoga for the past 5 years, I have realized that instead of stuffing it down and looking pretty, we need to get messy and examine what’s actually causing it.
“So what’s up at 6 am on a Monday?,” I asked myself.
While I understand that the media times things to get the most attention possible (children are going back to school right now), I can’t help but think that this was an attempt to gain support for Common Core and try to convince people that this is for the children’s own good.
It seems that the author hasn’t studied what I have studied, nor hasn’t seen what I have seen. This past I summer, not only did I learn how to teach a child to write in cursive, I learned why it is so important to a child’s development in the first place. (Another very important point to note is that in Montessori, every curriculum decision is made based on the scientific study of a child’s development. Decisions are never made for political reasons or budgetary reasons.)
But how can I, one tiny person, fight against this giant tide of opposition to the child?
(Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore. I have left the Montessori “bubble” and have been smacked in the head by the real world).
Well here I am, writing this blog. I have made it my mission to change things, one post at a time. If studying yoga has taught me ANYTHING, it is to be patient.
Ok, so where was I?
After calming myself down, I realized that seeing this article made me angry because I felt like my voice was taken from me. I felt powerless to respond to these words against what I do. I couldn’t channel that in any other way than getting frustrated. It also occurred to me that the “old” me would have seen this article as a sign to give up.
Fortunately, the “old” me doesn’t exist anymore and I felt that it is even MORE important that I keep doing what I am doing. After reading the comments section in this article, I saw that almost every person agreed with me. While I acknowledge some of it was people clinging to the past (I love reading my grandmother’s letters, etc.), some of it was objective and anecdotal evidence of how cursive helps children.
So, this left me pondering…..should I put myself out there and write a response to this article?
Despite the fact that I have been blogging for over 2.5 years, speaking my truth never gets any easier. There is always the imagined backlash. I begin “gearing myself up” for what to say to this barrage that will come my way. We have all seen people’s nasty comments and Tweets from behind a computer. Every time you press post, folks, it’s a real possibility.
So, the FEAR was starting to talk to me again. The mind will do its absolute best to talk you out of everything.
Until you decide to shut the fear up, of course.
At that moment, I made the decision that I need to challenge myself and put together a response to this claim. I need to let you know why is it crucial that your child learns cursive. It is an extremely important part of the foundation of a child’s education, regardless of what this article says.
So, that’s the intention that I am putting out to the Universe, readers. Stay tuned.
Peace, love and boldness,