We’ve reached that time of year when everyone is tired. It’s been really hot outside the last few days, which just seems to make the students even more lethargic. Summer is close enough to believe in but too distant to get excited about. I see heads starting to droop. Earlier this week I set a homework task from the workbook: TWP, i.e. they had to do The Whole Page.
There was one particularly pained face, and I heard a stifled groan.
“What’s the matter?”
“The first one. I hate exercises like this.” The first exercise practised writing numbers and dates as words, admittedly not much of a crowd-pleaser.
What to do?
“OK, are you left-handed or right-handed?”
“Then do it with your left hand.” A wry smile of agreement.
Today we checked the homework. I wrote some of the answers on the board as we went through it. Yes, it’s “nineteen ninety-five” if you’re talking about the year, but “one thousand nine hundred and ninety-five” if it’s a quantity. Not so fast, teacher – a hand went up.
“Sir – why aren’t you using your left hand?”
Busted. I switched hands and continued to write, the words on the board immediately suffering an embarrassing downgrade to sprawling semi-legibility. I soldiered on, switching hands after every answer in a determined attempt at ambidexterity.
Then I checked the workbook of the student who had gamely accepted my challenge.
What a trooper. It looks like it was written by the frostbitten fingers of Captain Scott in the middle of an Antarctic blizzard! I certainly admire his tenacity – which of course itself was worthy of a ‘plus point’ 🙂
An interesting conversation followed. Do right-handers have it easier? Are scissors, door handles and the computer mouse all examples of subtle discrimination against left-handed people? There are three lefties in the group, none of whom thought it was a serious problem. They said they all have to use scissors with their right hand, though.
I’m not sure I’ll be asking students to write with ‘the other hand’ on a regular basis – mainly because it’s so difficult 🙂 – but it was an interesting way to relieve the tedium by doing things slightly differently. I also managed to squeeze the word ambidextrous into the lesson, which can only be a good thing.