Thursday, August 18, 2016

Another School Year

School is in session!  Students flooded the halls and sidewalks of Sahel Academy on Wednesday, August 10th.  Old friends were reunited and new friends were welcomed.

I am so excited to be teaching 4th grade again this year.  After just one week, I noticed what an incredible advantage there is to teaching the same grade twice!  This year is also special because I have the same students that I taught my first year at Sahel.  Of course, they were second graders then and I was in my first year of teaching.  A lot has changed between then and now, for which I am very grateful.

I have 9 extremely diverse and lovable students from all over the world.  Over half of my students do not speak English at home, meaning that English is not their first language.  This creates wonderful learning opportunities in the classroom, for both me and my students.  I love being able to make connections between languages.  During reading, we discussed the word "genre" the other day, which in French means type or kind.  Perfect!  In our science unit about nutrition and digestion, I suggested that a biscuit be added to the example meal to make it more balanced.  A student raised her hand with a shocked look on her face, "Miss Knox!  How can you eat something so sweet for dinner?!"  I quickly realized that a biscuit here is a cookie, not a dinner roll.

Ready or not, school starts.  And unfortunately, not all of our teachers have been able to raise their support in time to be here by the first day of school.  Consequently, for the time being, elementary teachers are in charge of their own P.E. classes!  Miss Oostra and I have paired up the 4th and 5th grade classes.  This is especially sweet for me since I taught the 5th graders last year.  Having grown up going to sports camp every summer, along with three athletic brothers, I have truly enjoyed the opportunity to be with the students outside of the four walls of our own classroom.  Though P.E. was rained out on Tuesday, on Thursday we began a frisbee unit!  Between recess duty and teaching P.E., my Tuesday and Thursday mornings are quite long!

Living in the same house as I did last year has made the transition back to life in Niger much easier.  I am also blessed to be using the car of a friend on home assignment.  I currently live with one other single teacher at Sahel, Danielle.  In October, we are expecting two more housemates.  Just a few houses over and on the same compound are three other single ladies who teach at Sahel.  What a party!  It's exciting to meet other enthusiastic teachers.  I made tacos for dinner on Wednesday so that we all had a chance to fellowship.

Starting another school year at Sahel Academy has been incredibly joyful.  I can't explain it, except that God answers prayers.  What a beautiful place.  I am honored to be serving the Lord in such a way.  And my prayer is that God's Holy Spirit empowers me to daily live a righteous and holy life as a testimony to those around me of His love and glory.

"I will sing to the LORD, for he has been good to me." - Psalm 13:6

Miss Knox and Miss Oostra
on the first day of school!


  1. Hannah, thank you so much for being such an enthusiastic teacher! You are such a blessing for the parents of your students, more than what you can imagine! Thank you, thank you, thank you for giving your time, love and energy for our children.
    Looking forward to being back with you in this special place.

    1. Welcome back, Anne!! Thanks for your encouragement! Your support is an incredible blessing. See you soon!