The 5 Worst Problems Left-Handers Face at School: thelefthandstore.com polled its customers, Facebook friends, and staff.
Schools, like everything else in the world, are designed for right-handers. But problems in school design and practice are particularly serious, as they interfere with learning, all too often causing young left-handers to fall behind in school.
When thelefthandstore.com posted the question about the worst problems lefties face in school on their Facebook page, 130 replies poured in within a few hours. In particular, these 5 problems stood out:
#1 Right-Handed Desks. Most schools use chairs with a writing surface attached, typically on the right. Left-handed desks are available, and most schools own a few. But often right-handed teachers and administrators forget to put them out, or don’t buy enough. Lefties have to contort themselves to use these desks, writing poorly and with much difficulty.
#2 Right-Handed Teachers. Because lefties make up only 10-15% of the population, most teachers are right-handed. Though teachers today try to consider the issues facing lefty students, they may inadvertently place them where they bump elbows with their right-handed classmates, or stand on the students’ right sides to work with them, etc. They can’t demonstrate writing or measuring or cutting so that a lefty can copy their movements. Though it is rare today, it was common practice during much of the 20th century and before for teachers to force lefty kids to use their right hands. Left-handedness was often considered a mild disability by teachers and administrators, and something schools should root out.
#3 Right-Handed Scissors: Learning to cut is a critical developmental skill for little lefties, and schools are supposed to provide a few pairs of left-handed scissors in each class where scissors are used. But often, the teachers forget, or there’s not enough money, or the scissors provided claim to be left-handed but are in fact not real left-handed scissors. True left-handed scissors have the left blade on top. They must be made the reverse of right-handed scissors at the factory. There are no ambidextrous scissors.
#4 Pens and Pencils that Smear: Because most lefties hold their writing implements just behind where they form the letters, pushing the pen and pencil points ahead of their left hands, smearing and hands covered in graphite or ink are nearly universal problems for left-handers. Writing on a white board can be impossible. With the proper training, young lefties can be taught to hold their pens and pencils below the line, making the problem far less serious. Pens with quick-drying ink and hooked necks are also available, as well as pencils with hooked necks. But right-handed teachers can’t demonstrate the correct technique, and writing problems are often a life-long issue for lefties. Even if they use computers and digital tablets for most purposes, keyboards and computer mice are designed for right-handed use.
#5 Right-Handed Spiral Notebooks: Left-handers can’t write on the right-hand page of spiral notebooks without resting their arms on the metal spirals. They will often turn spiral notebooks upside down to avoid this, which is awkward. If the notebook has pockets, everything will fall out. Left-handed spiral notebooks, with the coil on the left, are available on-line, but right-handed teachers and parents don’t know about them.
Other issues plaguing left-handed school kids include learning to tie their shoes, learning to use a ruler, learning how to hold a pencil, operating right-handed pencil sharpeners, and right-handed sports equipment.
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- Courtesy of PRWeb