AWWA Kindle Garden, 15 January 2019 - Nervous, anxious, excited, eager, curious, worried... these were a few of the emotions my group mates and I felt as we waited to enter Kindle Garden, an inclusive preschool nestled in the Enabling Village. For some of us, it was an opportunity long sought for in our teaching and learning journey; how exactly might an inclusive preschool in Singapore look like, and what were the possibilities?
The 2.5 hours flew by as we interacted with the children, showing them how to manipulate the paper transforming stars and helping them to make finger puppets. With or without special needs, the children were a part of their classes and were included in the activities.
As we began the communal singing, I looked out into the crowd, especially the faces of the children, and I realized that I am constantly amazed by how children find joy in the simplest of pleasures: a song, an animal hat, a finger puppet, a paper star. . . the things we did with them were not elaborate, but we came truly hoping to make this a positive experience for both them and us.
I guess the principal at Kindle Garden said it best when she reminded us with a smile, "The mindset is the most important", she said, "If you have an open, positive and willing mindset, half the battle is won".
As my friends and I left Kindle Garden, we felt a new range of emotions: contentment, thankfulness, continued curiosity, satisfaction and happiness.
Hannah Ee, Full-time student, Bachelor of Early Childhood Education with Minor, shares her experience volunteering at the AWWA Kindle Garden.