I have a confession to make. I am a kindergarten dropout.
I failed kindergarten. The report card objectively stated “motor skills not strong enough for first grade” in perfectly curved cursive handwriting.
The teacher, I don’t even remember her name, tried all that year to get me to write with my right hand. The results of these efforts were evident by that report card. My second year in kindergarten went better bad I was graduated to first grade.
It was in third grade that my school taught cursive handwriting. I had that left- handed style where my whole arm would drape over my paper and my little hand would create letters almost upside down. My paper would be turned at a right angle compared to all my friends’ papers.
My teacher would draw perfectly curved letters on the board. Then she would hand out the chunky blue and red-lined paper so we could practice.
I could never figure out how to get the loops to curve to the right like all of my friends. I could never get the letters to look right. My teacher would try to help me, but would soon get frustrated.
She finally told me to color, to practice using my hands with crayons to get the motion.
In my estimation, these two early school experiences were the foundation for my belief that I couldn’t write. This belief stuck with me through high school and finally ended in college in Dr. Findlay’s adolescent literature course. He wrote, “You have a lot of important things to say” on my paper. This is all it took.
One person to believe in me enough that I could believe in myself.
I will never give up on my students.
I know what it feels like to have someone give up on me. This feeling, this is not something any child should be burdened with.
I teach to empower the next generation to believe. To believe in their abilities. To believe in their talents. To believe in their in manifested potential.
To believe they have something important to say.