A story about a little boy who truly makes the cut
How many of us, if asked, could recall that certain kindergarten teacher who, at some point, changed our lives? A well-timed suggestion, a recommendation, a patient and non-judgmental ear. A safe place. A challenge. An ability to see beyond what others might see on the surface of your youthful self and believe in the very best at the core of you.
Teachers have an amazing ability to guide and help their students in ways that perhaps no other person is able to during our formative years. Consider then, how enormously vital it is that kindergarten teachers are well-informed, well-trained, and well-supported. So important.
One of our regular donors and believers in our mission expressed his desire to share his kindergarten experience that changed his life.
He told us a story about his kindergarten teacher who still holds a special place in his heart:
“At five years old, I had never been to school before. So, for my first few mornings at my new kindergarten, as you can imagine, saying goodbye to my mum and sister was very difficult for me – almost overwhelming. I was interested in school and in the other children, but the newness of it all made it difficult for me to allow myself the freedom to really engage.
Something particularly caught my eye – an art table. However, I didn’t have the courage to approach it. I just kept staring at it trembling with the mixture of fear and curiosity.
All of a sudden, the kindergarten teacher approached me and asked if I would like to draw something. However, I only shook my head and withdrew back into myself. She looked at me again as if though she taught, I would change my mind. However, I just turned away and went to sit in the corner. I spent my day observing the other children, playing by myself.
The next day I continued to stare longingly at the art table. The teacher approached me once again. But this time she didn’t ask me anything. She just quietly went and got some crayons, paper, paints, scissors, and glue and put them on the table in front of me, right where I was sitting.
I cannot explain to you how happy I was at that moment. The teacher revealed to me a whole new world full of wonders.
I remember looking at the scissors and thinking about how funny they look. I have never seen them before and I didn’t know what they do. At that moment the teacher became my new friend, and I trusted her completely. So, I held up the scissors and asked her fearlessly ‘What’s this?’
For a second, the kindergarten teacher looked at me with a strange smile and showed me how to use them. Now I understand how that moment was special for her too. It must have been a strange feeling for her, knowing that somebody is seeing scissors for the first time.
So, I learned to cut with scissors that day. Of course, now it seems like a simple thing, I suppose. But can you really imagine what that must seem like to a little boy who before that moment in his life had no idea you could take a tool to paper and create shapes as if by magic? That his own hands could so quickly and deftly do such a wondrous thing as create stars with which to decorate a night sky or airplanes with which to cross it?
After that day, I was so glad to come to school to do my ‘important work’, as I called it. Sometimes I even woke up my mother in the middle of the night to remind her to take me to school in the morning.
That is why today I continue to invest in early childhood development in cooperation with the Foundation.
I want to provide other children with such same experience. I want them to get to know that feeling, that school is a place where you can learn new skills that give you the confidence to succeed and to grow. Where teachers are rooting for your success. And where you are given the tools you need to thrive.”
In Serbia, only 50% of children aged 3 to 5 years old are enrolled in the preschool program. If you want to give more children in Serbia a precious kindergarten experience such as this one, you can join our campaign we implement in cooperation with the Exit Festival. You can donate via this link.