So here’s the deal with the gift giving in the Sweeney house: We say what we want. It’s not like Bill is guessing that I want X, Y and Z. I am literally telling him what I want, and he is running out and purchasing it. There’s no real hidden surprises here. When we first got married, he did try — but failed each time. LOL! So, we decided that it would be easier if we just stopped playing games and kept it pretty straight up.
The Kansas Department of Education is discussing cursive writing and its place in modern classrooms. After conducting a survey, they found that some school districts within the state are spending less time on teaching cursive handwriting as written communication gives way to keyboards and touchscreens.
Teachers say that children enter kindergarten proficient on keyboards and touchscreens and the value of teaching cursive is being called into question. Is cursive writing becoming a quickly-fading art, or should it still be part of an elementary school education?
Most comments on KCTV 5’s Facebook page are very much on the side of teaching cursive writing. Commenters cite being able to read cursive handwriting as a valuable tool, and those of us who know how to write it realize that it’s faster to use as well — which is very handy for note-taking. Others, however, say that it’s quickly losing its relevance and typing is a better skill for young people to have.
I feel that cursive should absolutely be taught. Whether kids are graded on their handwriting or not (I remember my teachers pointing out my cursive flaws as a child), it is a valuable skill to have. I do realize, however, that I rarely write anything by hand any more, and when I do, my hands hurt like crazy because they’re unaccustomed to the task. Being able to type successfully has led to and maintained my ability to “write” quickly for work purposes. I remember when I entered college in 1996, I would hand write my first drafts and then physically cut and paste phrases and paragraphs to edit and tidy things up before going to the computer lab and typing my paper out. That sounds so ridiculous now!
I think that both handwriting skills and computer skills should be taught and encouraged from a young age. Teaching cursive writing will not take away from a child being able to operate a computer or a tablet, but it may become a skill she falls back on in the future. Building that foundation continues to be important. I don’t feel handwriting is comparable to math skills (several commenters asked why should we continue to teach math when kids can use calculators?) but I do think it belongs in elementary classrooms.
The term “out-of-wedlock pregnancy” sounds a little dated these days, doesn’t it? However, it’s unfortunately very relevant for a Massachusetts couple who were both fired from their teaching jobs for that very thing.
Sean Houlihan and Natalie Ferland were teachers at the Lawrence Catholic Academy, located in northeastern Massachusetts. They began dating last March, and after discovering the pregnancy in October, they got engaged. When they told their superiors right before Thanksgiving, despite the engagement, they were both promptly fired due to breach of contract.
The school released a statement citing their commitment to providing a Catholic faith-based education for their students. When teachers are hired, they sign a contract agreeing to uphold the teachings of the Catholic Church. As premarital sex is considered a sin according to Catholic doctrine, the fact that the couple became pregnant is clear indication that they were not following the teachings and had breached their contract.
As unhappy as this situation makes me, I feel that their employer had the right to terminate them both. The contract was pretty clear and while a non-religious employer would usually not be able to fire a person for a pregnancy outside of marriage, this one is able to. I do wish they had considered the engagement, though, and awarded them some leniency because of that. While it’s really hard on them (they both lost their health insurance also), it’s also hard on the kids as well. My daughter gets really attached to her teachers, and earlier this year when her teacher left to go to another school and her class got reassigned, many of the children cried.
The couple doesn’t want their jobs back — I’m sure they realized that they had breached their contract — but they do want their terminations struck from their records so they will have better success finding new jobs.