There are things I always like about the start of school... The rows of school supplies that fill the stores. The warm days of summer still lingering. The fresh smell of new textbooks and curriculum. Unfortunately, none of these things start the school year in Kenya. School supplies in Nairobi are mostly found at one store. The warm days of summer don't come till October, and believe it or not it's COLD! And our textbooks and curriculum are on a sea-faring container somewhere on the Kenyan coast waiting to get through customs. However, some things always remain the same about the start of school and remind me why I am a teacher.
My 18 students arrived two weeks ago with eager, smiling faces. Some were a little nervous, others excited to be the "top dogs" of the elementary school. My students come from seven countries: Madagascar, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, U.S., Canada, Ethiopia, and Korea. They speak six different native languages and have lived in more places than I can name. We're off to a great start in my new huge classroom! This is the biggest classroom I've ever taught in. It's amazing. I even got to paint a couple walls red for a homey-feel. We're in the middle of place-value to the billions, editing our own work, and researching Native Americans. So far this year is looking like another great one!