Category Archives: Teaching

First Day…Number 4

DSC_1110Summer flew by and today we started the new school year. Travis and I were both excited, but nervous to start this school year. We survived!!! We both learned a lot over the summer about teaching and really want to implement it into our classrooms. That meant rethinking our first days and most of the days afterward. I am working on making my classroom more of an OUR classroom and giving my students more control over their learning and classroom. Travis is working on making his classroom inquiry based and having his teaching led by students questions. We both know that this year will be a starter year for what we eventually want our teaching to look like, but we are excited to be on the right track! So here’s to the 2014-2015 school year and to our learning and growing and our students’ learning and growing!


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Filed under Dakar Academy, Kaylyn, Teaching, Travis

elementary camp…

Once a school year comes a 7 o’clock am to 9 o’clock pm day called Elementary Camp. It is an event that is looked forward to every year, mostly by the students. The students get to stay after school and do different stations like songs, crafts, story, relay races, and games. After the different stations, we eat dinner and watch a movie. It is a really fun time for the students and a good memory for them. They are a little wild and we are thankful we get to send them home for the weekend afterwards! This year went great and my students had a great time at the different stations (Mr. Julian volunteered and was their “leader”.)

My job at elementary is to do fun camp songs (thanks YMCA camp years)! It ends up being really fun and the students get really into to. I don’t have a voice by the end of the night and my head is spinning, but its worth it! Some of their favorite songs include: Funky Chicken, Chika Boom, and the Bubble Gum song. It’s a nice to get a little crazy every once in a while!

Funky Chicken

Funky Chicken


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A Peek Into Mr. Julian’s Classroom

Travis loves teaching. He is passionate about helping his students learn to love history and to create a classroom that is alive and vibrant. I love him for that! To study the popular culture in the 1920s, he “opened”a speakeasy in his classroom. The students had to give him a membership card in order to get in (it’s very exclusive). He had different activities for the students to do around the class to learn about the 1920s. He had short movie clips, articles, book excerpts, and other things for the students to look at while they enjoyed their “beverages” of Coke and Sprite. ¬†Overall it was a success (next year he is going to have them all dress up!) Here is a peek:


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10 Words

In 5 days the first semester will be over and Christmas vacation will start. At the end of the semester, I always look back and think about what has happened. So here are ten words to describe our semester:


1. Challenging– Travis and I are still relatively new teachers and continuing to work on becoming better. Teaching is always a challenging occupation, especially if you want to do it well.

2. Unexpected– We had an unexpected trip to Spain. I had an unexpected ankle problem. An unexpected pet bird. You get the picture…

3. Sports– Travis and I both coached. Travis played handball, softball, and spike ball. We also both played in a volleyball league.

4. Noisy– There is a building being built right behind ours and there is a lot of banging.


5. Communication– Travis and I continued to try and stay connected to our families and friends, even though we are far away.

6. Yummy– Cooking continues to be a fun and important part of our relationship.

7. Meetings– We are working on our accreditation renewal that is coming up so there have been quite a few meetings.

8. Blessed– We are continually made aware of how blessed we are.

9. StudentsThe reason that we are in Dakar. 

10. Dakar– This word refers to all the great and not so great stuff that have to do with living here like water cuts and the heat, but also the school and the people we have met.

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Filed under Dakar, Dakar Academy, Food, Julian Life, Teaching, Travis

Spirit Week

We have been having Spirit Week at school this week and it has been super fun. The elementary students get really pumped about it and it does create a fun atmosphere at school. So this is our spirit week round-up (although tomorrow is wearing a certain color-which isn’t as photo worthy as the others!).

Funny T-shirt Day-My friend and I both has the same idea. My shirt says Super Bowl Champs and hers says “But they can’t make it to the World Series” (the team on her shirt is her husband’s team. I should have thought of that!)











Plaid and Stripe Day (including Trav’s socks, not pictured!)











Duck Dynasty- We tried, but didn’t have anything!

Character Day- I am Rosie the Rivetor! Travis is the Man in the Yellow Hat from Curious George. Our week up to this point has been crazy and we had originally wanted to be Superman and Lois Lane (precious, I know!) BUT we had no energy or time. I went to bed trying to figure out what to do and I realized Travis could dress in all yellow and be an M&M and I had a scarf that I could use for Rosie. Fast forward…Travis gets to school and another teacher mentions that he looks like the guy from Curious George. Trav liked that one much better so he proceeded to get a hat from the drama teacher and managed to find a stuffed monkey from a student! How cute is that?


Filed under Dakar Academy, Julian Life, Teaching