First Year of First Grade: What a Great Year!

Field day has taken place, autographs have been signed, hugs have been shared, the walls are cleared, and the cupboards are organized again.

My first school year in Kigali has officially come to an end.

My teaching dreams have finally been fully realized. Have you ever been doing something and thought “this is what I was meant to do?”  Although, everything wasn’t perfect, and definitely not always easy, I had this thought many times this year.

This is what I thought teaching could be! This is why I spent so much time and money pursuing another degree. This is what God has called me to right now.

The school year has been full of so many wonderful moments. Here are a few of the highlights.

nl pic morning work
Everyday started with morning work. The students loved using their whiteboards!
IMG_4632 2
Guided Math Groups
nl WW pic 1
Using playdough to practice spelling words was a favorite.
Writers working hard on their stories.
Sharing stories during one of our publishing parties!
“Mama Hannah” sharing with both first grade classes about Rwandan culture.
Exploring ‘air’ during science.
More air exploration with bubbles.
Visiting a nearby school to read with other first grade students.
My lovely first grade teammate!
First Grade 2017-2018 (sadly a couple students were absent when this was taken)


I loved this year and I am even more excited for next year! I am already thinking of ideas for improving and ways to make the learning even more fun and engaging. There is also one way I could really use your help in making next year even better: I am hoping to add a few iPads to my classroom next year.

This year, the school was able to install more reliable wifi! Internet has been extremely slow and hard to use in the past, but this year it was much more accessible.

Now that we have fast enough internet, using iPads in class is a real possibility. iPads will help me differentiate instruction and provide extra practice for students who really need it. It will also help with reading as many of my students are English Language Learners and need to hear English in addition to reading it themselves.

I would like to purchase 3 refurbished iPads (Generation 2 or 3), durable cases, and headphones. To make this purchase, I need to raise $350.00.

 If you would like to contribute to this need, please click on this link.

Or if you have an iPad you are no longer using and would like to donate, my students would really benefit from it! You can email me at:

Thank you for your continued support and prayers over this last school year. I cannot express how truly grateful I feel to be here and be doing this work. We’re looking forward to a restful summer break and a great school year again in August!

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