Why should margins be marked on children’s notebooks? The limits start at the margins of the notebooks
When the school year start season begins, one of the most demanding activities in most Latin American countries is the purchase and preparation of materials (supplies) for our children to use at school. One of these activities consists of the students preparing the notebooks (notebooks) indicating the limits of their work area (margins).
This time I’m going to talk to you about what I think about margins. A few days ago, a friend, overwhelmed by helping his children make the margins of all their notebooks, said to me: “Why do you have to marg the notebooks, especially if many of those notebooks already have a factory margin? Isn’t it just a meaningless tradition that they assign with the intention of not letting it rest?
Is the margin really any use?
During my first six years of teaching practice, I was thinking exactly the same as my friend. I have always been a person who cares more about the contents and the interior than about forms and appearances. In those days, even as a teacher, I encouraged the free use of notebooks and avoided asking for margins, because I considered that it was a pointless and idle demand.
But one day a colleague explained to me in great detail all the implications of preparation and respecting the limits of the workspace. We were both dealing with adolescent students and young people between the ages of 14 and 19. I remember her telling me: “Rafa, if you don’t demand things like the margin from them, you are very bad, because the margin has very profound implications for the training of students: it is the physical delimitation of their work space. “
Incredulous, I listened to all the dissertation of my colleague and friend about the benefits of the margin, but what struck me the most was the following: «For many of your students, preparing and respecting the margin of their notebooks and school work will be the only contact that have some kind of limits. Don’t believe me, Rafa, but this total lack of limits generates boys who then go around stealing, hitting or destroying their lives and those of others ».
Another friend, a specialist in psychopedagogy, years later, at a teachers’ convention, shared the following with me about the formalities in the education of children: It is also the first contact that children will have, in addition to the limits, of appreciating, stylizing in a uniform way and developing their fine motor skills to go over time making more precise lines and consciously joining those lines at precise points ». And the latter also has many implications for people’s social, emotional and intellectual lives.
Drawing limits helps, and a lot
Although it may not seem like it, in our adult life we continue to use margins in everything we do, although they are of another type. Greeting when we enter a room, introducing oneself, asking for things by saying “please”, expressing gratitude when a service, benefit or compliment is received, and the simple notion that in the library one should speak in a low voice and reports work must be clean and presentable; all of these are margins.
They are also margins (or their reflection) knowing that one must be faithful to their sentimental partner, avoid excessive expressions of anger or anger so as not to go beyond the limits of our action invading the vital space of others, respecting traffic lights and other traffic signs and, of course, all the rules of coexistence, from healthy uses and customs to the most sophisticated laws, all of which ensures harmony in our coexistence. All this begins with physical preparation and respect for the workspace in the school notebook.
It is heavy, tedious and for adults it may be obvious, but for children it is more than necessary. Therefore, it is best if the children themselves do it.