"It's a bit like going for a root canal for them," said Mark Bradley, an English and history teacher at Rio Tierra Junior High in Sacramento, Calif.
Bradley and other teachers says the digital age threatens to make penmanship skills like cursive writing extinct, The Sacramento (Calif.) Bee reported Tuesday.
When the SAT added a handwritten essay to its 2006 exam, only 15 percent of the nearly 1.5 million students wrote their answers in cursive, said the College Board.
Cursive, while still taught in many schools, increasingly is rejected by students, and some younger teachers, who use computers, e-mail and text messaging to communicate, the Bee reported.
What does that mean for future generations of students?
"Unless you use it, you lose it," said Susie Schaffer, a retired third-grade teacher in Folsom, Calif.