Over many years we have been encouraging teacher training organisations to give more consideration to the requirement of left-handed children and providing information to help raise teachers' awareness of the issues. There are a few simple things teachers can do in the classroom to make a dramatic difference to left-handers in their early years at school and avoid problems as they develop through the education system.
These are basic things such as:
- Sitting a left-handed child on the left side of writing areas so they do not bump elbows with the child next to them
- Demonstrating a correct writing grip and encouraging an effective writing position
- Having left-handed scissors available and know how to use them.
- Understanding that left-handers will form some letters in a different direction to right-handers.
Unfortunately, we know from the huge amount of correspondence we get as well as responses to our surveys and comments on our website that these things do not happen as a matter of course. Often it is only when the teacher is left-handed or the parents of the left-handed child really push for changes that the left-handed children get the proper advice and help they need.
Understanding the needs of left-handed children and how to help them is supp0sed to be a part of the Teacher Training Curriculum in the UK, but it seems to get little attention in practice.
We are very keen to raise awareness of this issue and to encourage teacher training organisations around the world to actually DO the small things that will make a lot of difference. We are going to use this year's International Left Handers Day on 13th August 2012 as a platform to get publicity about it in print, radio, TV and online media around the world.
The starting point is to pull together information on what is currently happening around the world and then to create an action plan that we can push to have included in all teacher training courses and be distributed to all teachers, and we need YOUR help!
If you have any knowledge or expertise in this area or would be willing to do a bit of research in your country we would love to hear what you can find out. We will bring it all together on this web site and keep you informed of progress and further work we need to do. We are also keen to hear about your personal experiences and those of your children.
We are particularly interested in younger children as it their early school years that can make a big difference, but we are going to include education right through to university / college level.
So, if you can help with any of the following, please add your thoughts and links to any information you can find as comments to this post (preferred method as others can then share it as well), or contact Keith Milsom direct on this page:
Contact Keith about teacher training on left-handed children.
- Teacher training guidelines and course content relating to left-handed children
- Checklists or notes given to teachers about helping left-handed children
- Any research or surveys on left-handed children in school
- Your own personal experiences or those of your children – good and bad!
We look forward to hearing from you.