Another school year has begun on Monday, seeing a new wave of first-graders taking their seats in Croatian schools for the first time. In Šibenik area, 409 pupils enrolled in nine elementary schools, but little Luka from Prvić Šepurina village on Prvić island certainly had the most memorable first day. He’s the only student to enroll in the first grade on Prvić this year – and his teacher, Marisa Krolo, is also facing an entirely new experience.
“I’ve never worked on an island and I’m as excited as my little first-grader, full of enthusiasm as I’m headed for an excellent school year”, she said. She applied for the position as soon as she saw the ad, and she has nothing but praise for the way she’s been received so far.
Krolo has worked as a teacher for many years, and no matter how hard a task she might be facing now, she’s looking forward to the change of environment. The classroom in Prvić Šepurina could compete with any other modern school: it’s equipped with computers, a smart board, and has everything else you might expect from a 21st-century classroom.
“Luka would certainly find it easier if he had some classmates, so my main goal is to create a friendly relationship with him, as working with just one school child is a very specific situation where the teacher also must be a friend”, said Krolo, adding she’s aware she’s facing a responsible task.
She was introduced to island life by her colleague Marijana Burić who found herself in the same situation in 2016; this year, she’s working as a teacher to Ema, the only second-grade student on Zlarin island.
“Teaching a class composed of a single child isn’t a classic job”, said Burić, explaining the teacher must also be ‘a best friend who knows everything there is to know’ in such a case.
“Our work must be better and more filled with content than it would be in a bigger class, as everything is focused only on her, especially the physical education. We have the whole island as our gym, so we’re focusing on outdoor activities – hiking, running, rollerblading, swimming; it all depends on the weather”, Burić said.
As socialising is an important part of growing up, the teacher is taking special care of that segment, so her pupil regularly hangs out with other children in a playroom on Zlarin. She also visits her friends in the Elementary School Meterize, joining them for school trips and other classroom activities.
Next year, four first-graders are expected to enroll in the school on Zlarin, while the school on Prvić will again see a single new young student.
Translated from ŠibenikIN.