Dutch Teacher Knits Adorable Tiny Dolls of Her 23 Students Because She Missed Them All
School teachers are some of the most underappreciated people in the world. They dedicate years of their lives to educating the leaders of tomorrow and in most places around the world, they are not nearly paid up to the standard that should be set for such a noble profession. Good teachers are golden, not only because they impact children with the knowledge that molds them into intellectually sound individuals, but because their engaging and empathetic personalities can make a world of difference, especially in little children.
Since most schools around the world are closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, a lot of teachers are probably dealing with “classroom-sickness” right now. That’s what these innocent young minds would do to you. They crawl into your heart and under your skin until it’s such a difficult thing to be away from them.
A primary school teacher from Haarlem in the Netherlands missed her kids so much that she knitted tiny dolls representing all 23 of them and hung them up in her home.  This way, she can easily remember her precious pupils until she gets to see them again. Miss Ingeborg teaches at the Bavinck School in Haarlem. While many primary schools in the Netherlands have been partially reopened as the lockdown eases, Bavinck is one of those still temporarily closed.
Miss Ingeborg hadn’t always been pro knitter before she took up the challenge. In her own words, speaking to NH Nieuws, she went about “learning on the job.”  She’d seen knitted dolls on Pinterest and decided to recreate a couple dozen in the images of her pupils. Each 10 cm doll took about 3–4 hours to make, but she kept at it until she completed every one of them, not missing out on the cardigans for girls and sweaters for boys.
“It was all up and running that the school closed. It all hit me like this. The children were no longer in school. And I miss them so much,” said Miss Ingeborg,
She did such a detailed job that the features of her pupils are evident on the dolls, down to their hair textures and colors, glasses, freckles, and even scars.
Ingeborg sent a group picture of the adorable dolls to her pupil’s parents so the kids could see them. She learned that they had all identified themselves in the picture even though she hadn’t labeled each doll with a name. The children just had one problem with the whole setup. One very important member of their classroom was missing: the teacher. Ingeborg immediately knitted a doll of herself and took her place on the board.
Whatever it takes
With over 6.3K reactions and 2.1K shares on Facebook, thousands of people have recommended Miss Ingeborg’s love and dedication to her children. The idea has been so well celebrated that she’s decided to knit dolls for every set of students who pass through her classroom. Hopefully, it will be under less grim circumstances as a global pandemic.
She explained that other teachers saw the dolls and wanted replicas made for their pupils as well. However, she told them that there’s “no there’s no time for that.” I’d assume she poured a lot of dedication into hand-knitting her 23 precious dolls.
Schools in the Netherlands have been closed since March 14 as the country’s government ordered a nationwide lockdown to slow the spread of the virus. However, the government began easing the lockdown by partially reopening primary schools and daycare centers in some relatively safe locations on May 11.  Other educational institutions are set to follow starting on June 2. With plastic shields dividing their desks and strict social distancing protocols, school children are now being reunited with their teachers.
- “This Teacher Missed Her Students So Much, She Knitted Tiny Dolls Of All 23 Kids In Her Class.” Bored Panda. Judita Kusaitytė. May 20, 2020.
- “Miss Ingeborg knits 23 dolls that look like her toddlers: ‘I miss them so much’” NH Nieuws. Dimitri Walbeek. April 3, 2020.
- “Netherlands Seeks to Reopen Schools, Extends Lockdown Measures.” Bloomberg. Wout Vergauwen and Fred Pals. April 21, 2020.
- “For the Love of the Job: Does Society Pay Teachers What They Are Worth?” Payscale. Jen Hubley Luckwaldt.
- “Wordometer.” Netherlands Coronavirus Cases. May 19, 2020