Last year I took a job teaching 2nd and 3rd grade at the American International School Niamey and it was quite the adventure. This week school started again and I reveled in the fact that I didn’t have to be there. When I took the job I agreed to one year of teaching since I was really just a glorified substitute. I still don’t know the whole story but there was a great need for a 2nd and 3rd grade teacher since the young lady teaching 4th and 5th grades took in the class due to the absence of a 2-3 teacher. When I visited her classroom with the director she looked at me as if I were her Fairy Godmother coming to grant her wish of whisking her off to the ball. How could I refuse the job after that?
It was a year of invention, determination, laughter, tears and beauty. Those children were my biggest challenge and my greatest accomplishment. Even now that I’m not teaching, I do have a bit of an empty feeling that I won’t be entering a classroom full of kids that are either excited to see me or dreading our next writing lesson. I can honestly say that I miss them being in my life every day. Some of them I still see because they are part of the Embassy community. Of course they are the introverts whose love language is NOT hugs but I pick them up and hug them anyway. My excuse is that I am no longer their teacher and I don’t have to be nice to them. I can ignore the fact that in school picking them up and hugging them might be frowned upon. It’s the real world now and I won’t have any repercussions of the law in the back of my mind. Hahahahahaha!! Yikes, that makes me sound like a pedophile. Trust me when I say that my hugging is purely for embarrassment and not for any harm.
Another fantastic addition to randomly getting a job at AISN were the people I worked with. What a great group of people! I loved going to school everyday because I had such a wonderful time with my fellow partners in shenanigans! There are so many great memories and friendships that will live with me. I couldn’t have done it without them and I will have to say, the fact that so many of them have moved on to new teaching positions, marriage or moving back to the States, is one of the reasons I didn’t sign up for another year!
Here are a few photos from the year that summed up how amazing it all truly was.
An art lesson about tattoos turned into a writing lesson and henna on our hands. (By the seat of my pants lesson)
I was never in the Science Fair as a kid so I really had no idea what I was doing. Good thing my kids were amazing!
Why yes, I did show everyone my basketball skills. And yes, they were impressed.