What They’re Not Telling You (1 of 10)

“Your handwriting is horrible.”

One of the most basic concepts upon which education is based is the idea that a teacher communicate clearly with his or her students. If a professor is to take the information that is in his head, and somehow cause it to find its way to his student’s head, then there must be a clear and obstruction free path between the two.


What if you’re an English teacher? What if your subject matter is the form of communication that every other educational exchange uses to pass along information from one individual to the other? What if you cannot speak clearly with your students? What if your students do not understand everything that you say?

What if you must teach your students a new form of communication…without being able to communicate very easily. This presents a problem. A Catch 22…you must communicate with your student, but in order to communicate you must first communicate how to communicate. It’s exhausting just to type that sentence. So what’s a language teacher to do?

In the ESL field, we rely mainly on visuals. Pictures, acting, pretending to do this or that, etc. We also write. A lot. We must familiarize our students with the alphabet or the target language. We must familiarize our students with certain key words and target vocabulary. They don’t understand it all yet, but they must see it and develop a certain level of familiarity. At some point in the process, it’s really all we’ve got to work with.

I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes, more than I’d like to confess to, I get sloppy. My handwriting gets bad. Really bad. And the worst part is, my students suffer for it. But the good news about this extremely significant problem is that the solution is extremely simple: slow down. write clearly.  Your students will thank you. (Believe me. Mine have.)

Don’t make your students tell you, because they never will. “Your handwriting is horrible.”


What do you think? 


About The Author


Jake Hollingsworth is a 2010 graduate of English For Life Academy. Find him at www.JakeHollingsworth.net