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Teacher training and left handed children

We have now produced a follow-up article and analysis of all the comments we received on this item and you can see it here

Left handed children at schoolOver 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.

Left handed writing at schoolWe 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.



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238 comments on “Teacher training and left handed children
  1. Anil Kumar M V says:

    “apartheid” against left handed

    KERALA, INDIA-is a worst place where even the most educated keep “apartheid” against left handed. Irony is that KERALA boast educated status in India and Keralites speaking Malayalam language can be seen in every part of the world. KERALA is also known for the first “ELECTED” communist Government, in the world. But most in KERALA get their left hand aversion from their foolish reason that right handed’ s use left hand for cleaning the buttock after defecation. Many show (and express in words) disgusting face while left handed eat with left hand. Elders demand parents to change this “habits” (habit???) of their left handed kid. My parents too thus did this to me. The aversion is more against left handed girls. But I rather feel really offended when teachers and well educated and well-travelled do this as well as trying to justify this “apartheid”.

    Teachers and kindergarten helpers many a time force kids to eat with right hand by shaming them and making them feel inferior. Teachers’ mostly accept that writing with left hand is right, but seems to give no support to kids in developing the required writing position, speed and neatness (should sit left hander’s so that their hand will not be obstructed by the right handed sitting next to them).
    I have not seen this in no other part of India I traveled too, and have seen lot of left handers peacefully eating with left hand unnoticed along with right handers.

    (I am a converted right hander) having a left handed daughter facing trouble most of her day in the society.

  2. Jennifer Johnson says:

    My child has the unfortunate experience of having an awful teacher this year 🙁 His work is accurate and his spellings and readings and maths is perfect, he is above average intelligence in tests despite being struck with Absence Seizures January 2013 .. which has been a terrible ordeal for him already to deal with let alone a teacher who is totally unsympathetic. Well he is left handed and his writing is not good, i can even admit that, but she has done a great big cross in his work and made him go to the head master and made him do it again. How harsh is that? I have complained but she is not picking on him as much now, so that is something but it made him so bad he never wanted to go to school. He was vomiting and having a bad stomach so i was keeping him off thinking it was a bug but it was stress from her! She told me in a parent interview that every time she got at him she noticed a pattern of three days off.. I was appalled and now the head master is covering it all up because his absences and the local office are concerned and because he is trying to save her behind, he said to the local officer that he will deal with this. Normally so many absences can land you in court here in the uk but this is awful. My son told me don’t say a word because she will only be worse to him. I am glad i have seen this page. Thank you, i will copy it and send both the head and the teacher (if you can call her that, more like bully).. each so they can wise up.

  3. Cornelia says:

    Dear All

    I’ve only just found this website, and wished I’d found it earlier. I’m a teacher in the UK, working at a Steiner Waldorf School (but I’m neither Steiner-trained nor an Anthroposophist). To my horror, I discovered last Wednesday that a class 1 teacher, with the help and support of the Learning Support Teacher/SENCO, decided to force a class 1 pupil to switch from being left-handed to right-handed. He’s been given a “special stone” to hold in his left hand in order to prevent him from using that hand for writing and drawing. I questioned the decision. I have yet to find out if this is legal, but it is definitely discrimantory. I’ve also researched this kind of action, and was shocked to find out that forcing a left-handed child to switch causes learning difficulties, notably speech problems (stutter). This is not surprising as hand-mouth co-ordination lies very close together in the brain. I’m a foreign language teacher, and studied socio-linguistics as part of my teaching degree.

    I will not tolerate this kind of cruel action at my workplace. We are collectively responsible for the children we teach. I will do whatever it takes to spare this poor boy from more pain.

    For the record: I’m right-handed, but am used to being around left-handed people as both my best friends at school were left-handed. And I was allowed to sit next to them as they could sit to my left! 🙂

    I would be very grateful for any feedback. Thank you!

    • Chuck W. says:

      Thank you for taking up for the student. I wish I would have been lucky enough to had someone like you as a teacher. I live in the U.S. & I guess it was around 1985 when I started the 1st grade was my 1st memories of this horrible practice. It started by my teacher saying your writing with wrong hand and told me to do it the proper way. Then she started grabbing it and pulling it out of my hand in the middle of me writing and when I would look up she said I told you go write the proper way with your right hand I’m getting tired of telling you this. The last and worst thing probably at least 3 times she had me write sentences as a punishment. “I will not write with my left hand anymore” it was 25 times the 1st 50 times 2nd and 100 times the 3rd time. Then in 2nd grade I was told a few times to do it right handed but none was worst than my 1st grade experience. I’m glad there are teachers like you now.

  4. Mushtaque Ahmed Rajput says:

    I am a wonderful mirror-writer. I am left handed, so it is more natural for me. I can also take a pen in each hand and mirror what my left hand writes with my right hand. So the mirror script meets in the middle with the correct script. I have amazed many people with it.

  5. Lizz says:

    Most of my family are left-handed. Kids, parents, grandparents, cousins.. So i understand the difficulties left-handers have in a mainly right-handed world. I have an interest in the research of lefthandedness and always try to raise awareness to it. I also made it a clear topic point during 2years of Teacher Training. As my Dad is left-handed, we spotted tell-tale signs that my Son would probably be left before he was 1 year old. Throughout Primary School I often would tell his Teachers, some were understanding, others didn’t see it as a problem. This was 16 years ago. I knew my daughter would be left aswell and made her teachers aware beforehand so she wouldn’t have to struggle as much. A few years ago I did 2 years Teacher Training in Life Long Learning and now have 6years in a teaching enviroment. It is surprising how many teachers are unaware of how hard it can be. I am pleased to finally see it being recognised.

  6. Amanda says:

    After reading all the replies, what I can’t understand is how everyone had so much trouble writing their letters. I don’t remember ever having a problem learning how to form the letters regardless of whether or not I was printing or learning cursive. I do remember my mom trying to get me to write hook handed so I wouldn’t drag my hand through my work. But I fought her on it because it was uncomfortable. However, today’s ink dries instantly, so you don’t really have that problem anymore. Unless you use gel pens. And thank heavens I never had to learn how to write with fountain pens! That’s really old school! Unfortunately, when it’s time to write out Christmas cards, I make a lot of mistakes because I’ve forgotten how to write! Well, not exactly, but I write so very little anymore that I make more mistakes than I used to.

    That’s one thing that concerns me. I’m sure that eventually we won’t even need to be able to write anymore. We won’t have to sign our name to anything because we’ll just use a thumb print. How much longer will handwriting be taught? With more and more schools turning to ipads, writing will eventually become obsolete.

    I do know that I’ve become more ambi over the years. It’s just learning to adapt. I believe that my first job actually helped me become more right handed. I was a cashier and most cash wraps are designed for righties. The register is positioned so that you type with the right hand, while the merchandise is pulled across the counter with the left. I can actually use the 10 key on the keyboard because of this. I also mouse right handed, which I find easier anyway. I can write with my left hand and continue to mouse with my right. That makes more sense to me. Why wouldn’t you mouse with your non dominant hand so as to write with the dominant hand? That way, you don’t have to keep moving your hand back and forth.

    As for knives, well…I can’t cut cakes or pies straight regardless of which hand I use. LOL! Although I think I cut with my LH. As for cutting meat, I use my right. Mom tried to teach me to use my left, but it was uncomfortable. She also tried to teach me the proper way to hang shirts in the closet with the design/buttons facing the right. Which to a lefty I suppose it really is the right way, but I always hung my clothes up backward. So, I’d go through them with my right hand. That’s one of the few things that I do right to left. But honestly, I don’t really care which direction the design is facing. Just so long as it’s hanging. I usually hang everything up inside out anyway.

    Also, how do lefties handle driving on the left with the steering column on the right? As an American that’s just awkward anyway, but as least over here, our drive thrus are left hand friendly. Unless you’re a mailman.

  7. Nahir says:

    I’m left-handed and if I remember correctly, at school I was never made to switch my handwriting or anything I did, rather I was left to cope with all the instruments that existed at that time (I’m only 19 so it’s still quite recent). Throughout my school years, I never got any support and I was and still am one of the last to finish an arts project. It was awfully hard for me to do a timed craft because I had to struggle with cutting stuff with my right handed scissors and I had to only brace myself when my wrist and thumb would redden and became painful to the touch. I would also smudge my papers as I dragged my hand across the page, leaving my hand almost completely black with pencil lead.
    Only recently have I gotten ahold of left-handed scissors and it feels much better and painless.

    To this very day, here in Puerto Rico, there is still no support whatsoever, I believe, on left handed things for children. Only in college I have seen left-handed desks, and its only one per classroom. On the big lecture classrooms, only some of the left hand side seats have the left-handed desk, but are quickly taken, so I would usually take notes with my notebook on my lap. I’ve only really have gotten to see a group of left handed people, while taking a departmental test in one of the bigger anfitheaters of the campus, but it was to separate us from the right handed students. When that happened I was really kind of offended (mostly because the professors had broken everyone’s concentration from the test), but I understood why. I’ve taken many tests in that setting and only once was it called out.

  8. Marny CA says:

    At some point while in elementary school, I realized that I could do things leftie, as well as my usual rightie mode.

    Traumatic was when having to cut paper and the scissors hurt my thumb. No one seemed to understand — because I was using right handed scissors which was paining my left thumb. I tried turning the scissors over but that didn’t work. Nothing I cut was straight because that edge was wrong.

    It didn’t take long for me to realize that I could write properly with my left as well as my right — and that I held my left hand at the same sort of angle as I did with my right hand – just at the appropriate slant.

    As I got older friends had fun showing me off – by telling people ‘oh watch – she can write with both hands at the same time and something different with each.’

    I was shy so very embarrassed at the attention – it was no big deal to me.

    Later in life, a college professor told me that what I was able to do ‘would be considered a learning disorder.’ I laughed at his pompousness!!

    Meanwhile, who does it bother when I get tired writing right handed and switch to left handed? Who does it bother when I sew left handed. When using oil paints, why would it bother anyone that I use a palette knife right handed when broad strokes are wanted – and left handed when using a teeny tiny brush for miniature strokes.

    I knit and crochet right handed … sew and cut left handed … throw a ball left handed … golf right handed and bowl left handed. Hmmmm, seems like a real disorder, doesn’t it.

    • Ann says:

      This sounds like my husband – when faced with a new activity he would ask who had the advantage, left or right. To this day he does fine motor skills with his right hand (writing, talbe tennis) and power skills with his left hand (tennis, bowling).

  9. Ria Elaine says:

    I don’t remember having many problems at school; I do seem to recall one teacher trying to get me to use my right hand, but nothing came of it as I remember. I’m totally leftie, I use my left hand for everything; writing, painting, cutting with scissors, the lot. I kick a ball with my left foot too, and for some reason I get on a bicycle from the opposite side to everyone else (is this a leftie trait..?). Although for some inexplicable reason when putting on shoes, I usually put my right shoe on first..!

  10. Jonathan Atkinson says:

    Several comments have appeared on the subject of writing. I am old enough to have had what seemed at the time like serious problems in this matter. In the early 1950s we were expected to learn to write ‘copperplate’ with steel-nibbed dipping pens in copybooks. Inevitably, when trying to do this with the left hand I dug the point of the nib into the paper and splattered ink across the page. I remember feeling (i.e. being made to feel) this was my fault. I’m sure this still goes on in other parts of the world. It is a symptom of the failure of right-handed people in general to appreciate that we are a significant minority and deserve more consideration. Improving teacher training is all very well, but I feel we need to be a lot more assertive about challenging the age-old prejudice we are up against. Should all left-handed people in the UK be encouraged to write to their MPs about the failure to include anything about us in anti-discrimination legislation?

  11. Andrew says:

    I never had problems with writing at school.I have always written with the writing slanting to the right(like a righthanded person would)and the page tilted slightly to the right without the hook-handed style. I cannot use my right hand at all because I have no fingers or a thumb on my right hand. I was the only left handed person in my class right through my school years

  12. Ayodeji Omole says:

    I am leftie. At first, when in primary school, my teacher attempted to change my by force and my mum didn’t oppose it. I started well but at the point of forcing me to use right, my brain literally switched. I would write letters in mirrored forms or just twist them. At the end of my first year, my teacher reported I was a dull child but when my report was carefully checked, they realised it was because I was forced to use right. They allowed me use my blessed left hand to write but then I lost a year as I was forced to repeat a class.

    • Nat says:

      I’m a lefty too and have just graduated as an ECE teacher in Australia. We were taught that teachers should never force children to switch hands as it doesn’t help but hinders their learning. As a left handed teacher I have trouble writing on the whiteboard.

      • Jayne says:

        Nat, I’ve just started a Bachelor of Education at CSU and I’m left-handed. It annoys me that none of the lecture halls have left-handed desks and the lecturer I have for literacy dismissed left-handedness as an issue! I was astounded! I have since emailed the course coordinator as it appears the course does not address the issue of left-handedness and I’m hoping to change this! Did your university address left-handedness?

  13. Nikki says:

    I don’t really remember how much support I got at Primary School, but I do remember always being sat on the left side/outside of the desk, so I wouldn’t bump elbows. We did have left handed scissors, but were so awful I couldn’t use them. I had to use the good (i.e sharp) right handed ones. I think I was taught how to write correctly, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve adopted the hook writing style, tilting my paper to the left, as it’s the most comfortable way for me to write. I dislike having to tilt my paper to the right or holding my hand straight (even though I’m pretty certain this is how I got taught how to write). My handwriting is neater when hooking my hand, then when it’s straight. So I guess for me, it’s a case of personal preference rather than how I got taught/learnt.
    Apart from can openers (which I still to this day can’t figure out how to use. I always put them on the wrong way, so cut it at the wrong place), I don’t really have problems with with using right handed stuff. I prefer to use left handed scissors, but can easily use right handed ones in my left hand. Pie slices are annoying, but useable. I’ve mostly adapted how to use them to suit my needs. Some knives cause me to cut food diagonally, rather than straight, but I try to avoid using them when possible.
    One thing that does bug me though is people borrowing my scissors when I was at school. I would tell them they were left handed and they would either decline to use them or they would be so bad at using them, I would offer to do it for them. If I’d done the same thing to someone with right handed scissors, I would have been laughed at.

  14. lottie m says:

    I am a Lefty — I’m left at writing, eating and cutting my food. With learning to do almost everything else Right handed, I guess I was taught that way. The Left handed scissors in my school were R handed but had rubbery coating on the hands, they worked, just not comfortable. When I was an adult I did buy a L ruler and true left handed scissors. Best investment ever. I learned to knit, crotchet, and embroider, sitting opposite from the person teaching, just by accident. Another piece of advice, if you are trying to learn something in a book or a picture, and does not look right ? ) Turn the book up-side down, TA DA !! So cool Just once in College I did have a teacher ask me if I would like a L handed seat—WOW I said, didn’t even know they made them !! I took a R handed seat, guess I had already adapted.. Thats what we LEFT handed people do, ADAPT We are survivors. And very creative too.

  15. Pamela Koefoed says:

    In the 1960’s, some believed that being left handed was a sign of intellectual deficiency. My kindergarten teacher flunked me and said I was retarded. This is so far from the truth that I laugh. My poor teacher nearly blew a gasket trying to “help” me learn to use my right hand. The problem was, at age five, I didn’t know my right from my left. I went to school with my shoes on the wrong feet and picked up the fat pencil with the “worng” hand. I wanted to obey, really, but I couldn’t. She hit my knuckles with a ruler and shamed me. I have since forgiven her. Poor woman. I’m glad to have found your informative site and will try to link back to it on my blog. Pamela

  16. Lisia says:

    I WAS a right handed person. I had an accident that causes extreme amount of pain to my hand/wrist when I tried to do anything with my right hand. In the past five years I have turned into a lefty. I am now ambidextrous to a point. I can write with both hands, though still with great pain in my right hand. I get compliments on my left handed writing (it took me a while get the finger positioning) When I was literally switching over, I had massive headaches the first 6 months. I am currently a student-teacher. Having the experience of both being both left-handed and right handed has opened my eyes in the education department. I use the grips to help righties and lefties in my classroom, as well as sharpeners and rulers for lefties. I have lefty and right handed scissors in adult and child sizes. I am now proud to be a lefty. My husband has right handed knives, I tried them once when I was first converting to left-handedness and it was hard. We now have left and right handed knives. My a grandfather, who is a left-handed, made his house for a lefty–it throws right handed people off but feel naturally for a left handed person. He also makes universal knives and sells them now. When I have problems doing something left handed and someone asks why I haven’t finished yet, I hold it (whatever it is) to them and say “Okay. Show me.” They do it right handed. “Now, you’re a rightie. I’m a lefty. Try doing it the other way.” 50 percent will say no, the other 50 will try it. I am a left handed teacher and will be a left handed advocate, but it takes time to get people to realize there is more than 1 way to do things, and that it is not backwards, its just “right” or left for others.

  17. Isabel says:

    I am left-handed- not a leftie- we dont call right-handed people righties so why lefties. I have never found it to be a problem but then my parents did not make a big thing of it and I had no problems in school at all. I am also a very experienced teacher and the thought of saying children who are left – handed make letters differently is rubbish. The important thing is good teaching for both left and right-handed children. Sitting correctly is also for both important- if a teacher is having a problem with a pencil grip for a left-handed pupil then ask a left-handed colleague to help with this.The angle of the jotter- that is the child`s choice . Left-handed scissors for those who want them – I cant use them and use right–handed ones in my left hand with no problem- the same can be said of left-handed pens. Many left-handed children are beautiful writers and many are not but this can also be said about those who are right-handed. Lets be sensible about this- making a big problem of it can also make children anxious- is this what we want – I think not- give help where it is necessary – as you would do with right-handed children.

    • Birgit says:

      I am left handed and my daughter is right handed and we do form our letters differently. I don’t think it’s rubbish for either one of us.

    • Jayne says:

      I’m sorry Isabel, but I must disagree with you about the letter formations. There are left-handed people and there are (what I call) “true” left-handed people. People who are comfortable doing some things with their right hand are probably the most common “lefties” and do cope quite well in this right-handed world, but a true left-hander has trouble doing ANYthing right handed – like me! I get a physical twisting feeling in my stomach whenever I try to get my head around doing something right-handed: it is totally alien to me. Just the other day someone was teaching me how to make a paper crane. I followed her verbal and demonstrated instructions meticulously and at the end she said, “are you left-handed?” and said yes and asked why and she said (in amazement) “You just did everything I did – backwards!”

  18. Melanie Wardlow says:


    Both my dad and I are lefties. I remember growing up and having to use righty scissors because the elementary school didn’t have enough lefty ones. If I was lucky I was able to get lefty scissors before someone else did. If you hold righty scissors in your left hand it can hurt. Did anyone experience that?

    • Birgit says:

      Once my parents knew left-handed scissors existed, they bought me my own pair. I have my own pair at work with my name on them so no one will take them. At home, the rest of the family knows not to use my scissors. I’m lost when I get in a situation and don’t have them.

  19. mimi says:

    I am left handed, am a teaching assistant in a class of 30 with 7 left handers, tutored a left hander for a year and positively promote the use of left handed pencils, tilting the paper at the correct angle and sitting the children in such a way that they don’t bump their neighbour. We talk through the way to form letters and how to hold the pencil so as not to hook the hand. I feel I am on a one woman mission as although my colleagues pay lip service to the issue, only one (also a leftie) follow any of the advice given, even to the extent of denial that they have the left handed pencils I gave them! It is all like too much hard work in a busy classroom.

  20. Vi Wickam says:

    I’m so thankful to have had a left-hander for my first grade teacher. He really understood the struggles of a fellow lefty. 🙂

  21. Edel says:

    I was very fortunate in elementary school in that I had teachers who were willing to teach me to write as a lefty and taught me to turn my page to the right so that I didn’t have to contort my hand while writing. I’m a left-handed baseball player, but a right-handed bowler and roller hockey player (I learned this one AFTER I’d bought the left handed blade to play with my son!).

    I think it is extremely important for teachers to understand that any student may be ambidextrous, and allow the student to hold whatever instrument (and manipulate the writing paper!) in the manner most comfortable to the child.

    I think it’s likely that lefties are more frequently ambidextrous than righties. I also think this is due to the limited access to leftie gear. I must admit the roller hockey stick took me by surprise, though, as I bought the stick because I assumed I used a broom in a left-handed manner! I also use my flatware in the right-handed manner, although I think this was the one place where I was trained a certain way. A dinner knife is the only knife I can use to cut right-handed!

    A year or so ago I took over most of the cooking at home and decided to get some left-handed knives. I went to our local boutique kitchen shop and the owner said “What’s the difference?” when I asked for a left-handed knife! I later bought them from you guys (I didn’t at first because there are restrictions on importing knives to Ireland and thought I’d be wasting everyone’s time). I love them, but I find the same attitude at home (What’s the difference?), with the result that I have to keep explaining that while someone somewhere local can more than likely sharpen their right-handed knives, it’s highly unlikely that I’ll find someone to sharpen my left-handed ones. But I think I’m wasting my time – for the same reason they don’t understand the difference between the knives, they don’t understand the difference in sharpening a left-handed versus a right-handed knife.

    Anyway, advice to teachers:

    1) If you’re teaching children to start using a pencil, place the pencil on the desk with the sharpened end pointing toward the blackboard. The logic here is that most teachers, when placing a pencil on the desk horizontally to the student, will naturally place it in the direction the teacher would pick it up (so, basically, if the teacher is right-handed, s/he’ll put the pencil on the desk with the point to the student’s right). The problem with doing this is that most children will assume they are expected to pick up the pencil with the hand implied by the direction in which the teacher places the pencil. (That is so much more difficult to explain than to demonstrate!)

    2) Take note of which hand the student holds the pencil in and place the page at the appropriate angle – to the left for righties and the right for lefties.

    3) Make sure you explain to left-handed students that they need to form their letters in the SAME direction as the right handed students – most lefties have become very adept at mirroring long before they enter school, so this is an important instruction. I remember being as confused as heck when my first-grade teacher was teaching us to make the Sign of the Cross and she kept doing it backwards (so all the righties in the room would do it properly).

    4) Remember that most lefties ARE adept at mirroring, so if you’re teaching them something like knitting or sewing (if they still do those things in school) the student will most likely be able to follow you. YOU don’t have to be able to follow the student’s hand movements. More experence – I had a teacher who insisted she couldn’t teach me to knit because SHE couldn’t knit left-handed.

    5) And speaking of hand-work – if you’re teaching crochet, remember that what’s normally the right side of a piece is the wrong side for a leftie. A leftie does actually crochet backwards. This is really important because it can make a huge difference to how a piece looks when it’s finished, particularly if they’re making a garment.

  22. annmarie Zan says:

    My mother taught me to write before she died, at 23. I was only 3 and a half. By the time I went to kindergarten I had been writng for a 1 and a half years and it was to late to change me although the nuns sure did try! I don’t write with the left handed hook and I don’t smudge my letters like the other kids did and I finally asked my aunt why. She said it was because my mom had taught me to tilt the paper the right way. The other kids were following the teacher’s directions and putting the paper the exact wrong way for lefties. I ended up flunking kindergarten because I couldn’t write my name address and phone number with my right hand. My dad decided to put me in the public schools because I’d be 50 yrs old and still in kindergarten otherwise.

  23. Emily says:

    I am left-handed and my second grade teacher refused to help me learn cursive because i was left handed. I am now going into teaching early childhood (prek-4) and in the program I am in there is very little mention of how to help left handed children develop proper handwriting techniques. My father and younger sister are both left handed. My younger sister had the same second grade teacher as I did and she didn’t even bother asking for help. I agree there needs to be more attention paid to helping left-handed children because growing up there were no left-handed desks in classes and if there were the teachers were oblivious to it and gave them to right-handed students. There were no left-handed anything growing up.

  24. Julie says:

    I don’t remember having lefty scissors as a child so I would cut paper right handed. When I got into hairdressing school I discovered lefty shears! So now I can cut hair and paper right and left handed. Which is perfect now that I teach hairdressers! Sometimes the lefty students use being left handed as a cop out. They almost die when they see me do the same exericise left handed. NO cop outs here!!

    • Laura says:

      I rarely had access to left-handed scissors as a kid, and as another commenter mentioned, they were usually dull or loose. So, I would often use right-hand scissors in my left hand until my hand started hurting, then I would switch to my right. It never occurred to me that this was weird until someone pointed it out. Now I have both a left- and right-handed pair of sewing shears, and I use whichever is easiest to do the cut in question. I get funny looks when approaching group sewing projects — it’s fun!

  25. Christine B says:

    I did not know I was left handed (my father is also) until a school friend’s mother brought it up at lunch time. I don’t remember ever having trouble writing for some reason, and to this day I am complimented at how pretty my handwriting is. I guess it’s a natural gift, because I never held my pen strangely or crooked my hand around, I just wrote and held the pen as a right handed person would. I never knew that scissors and other objects were “left handed or right handed”, I just used them left handed and figured it out on my own. I did have to play violin right handed, there are no left handed violins. But I type well, write beautifully, I did teach myself to knit and crochet left handed, and I eat with chopsticks left handed. I did sit at the end of the table where I did not bump elbows, but never much thought about it. I guess I’m lucky.

  26. Rhea says:

    I can’t see why there are all these problems being dreamed up about being left handed. Some of us managed okay. If you let a child write with which ever hand they choose and just help them to hold the pencil or pen properly, there’s no problem. Problems occur when made tp use the ‘wrong’ hand. Learning to deal with right handed scissors, an iron, knives, cake forks, tin openers etc, only makes for an adaptable person. Yes, rulers were difficult and cheque books too, but one learns to cope.
    And being left handed is a real bonus when it comes to playing the piano or a sport like table tennis. Left handed kids will find coping strategies for themselves, making sure they sit on the left of a right handed person at meal times, mirroring movements etc.
    But please, don’t make these kids feel it’s a problem to be left handed; it isn’t. It’s perfectly normal….and fun.

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