Classroom Christmas Door

This year I decided to decorate my classroom door in the spirit of the Holidays. This year I have only one child who does not celebrate Christmas so the children’s vote was overwhelmingly in favour of Santa coming down the chimney. I thought to add Christmas stockings on the mantle and some garlands. My SNA (Special Needs Assistant) added a few Christmas presents and a tree.

We love our door and have had many compliments from children who pass by. I encouraged other teachers to join in and now our hallways look very festive.

Do you enjoy decorating doors for the Holidays?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

(This post is linked to Norm’s Thursday Doors challenge)



Grateful for Colleague’s Encouragement

Processed with RookieThis year I am mentoring a number of new grade 1 teachers. We have a good team who support one another and help one another with ideas and things that we have found online to incorporate into our classes. Not only do we chat with one another on potential lessons, but we also connect with one another when we need support in other ways.

Last week one of my mentees and I attended a workshop that had been specifically designed for mentors and mentees. While chatting with others from our school on how we look after ourselves (one of the things teachers tend to forget to do in the enthusiasm of planning for our classes), we got to talking about exercise and the classes we take at our local gym.  I, of course, take zumba classes. My mentee encouraged myself and another mentor from our school to join her in a BodyCombat class – a class that includes many punches and kicks inspired by marshal arts.

The class was not as much fun to do as zumba – but I did exercise different muscles in my body. Will I go again? Why not? Not only am I exercising, but I am also spending some time with my colleagues.

This week I am grateful for my colleague’s encouragement to try something new to add to my exercise regime.

What have you been grateful for this week? Share your comments or the link to your post below.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

Protective Ice

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

The cold icicles on the trees outside matched the ice that encased her heart and prevented her from feeling any more pain. The heartbreak had been too much. First the man to whom she had given the best years, had left for a younger woman. So prosaic! But what had broken her even more was the wound left by her child, the one for whom she had sacrificed so much. His acrimonious departure had severed all ties. Instead of shrivelling up, she was determined to forge on free of emotion and protected by an icy sheath.

What is your response when you are badly hurt?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

(This post was inspired by Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle. The challenge asks for bloggers to write a story in 100 words or less in response to the photo prompt.)

Art on Display

My eldest daughter is getting more confident in sharing her artwork. This year, she submitted one of her pieces to the Youth Arts Program run by the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. The piece she submitted was created during the summer workshop she had attended during the summer at OCADU (Ontario College of Art and Design University).

My Daughter’s Art on Display. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

When we attended the ceremony, we were so proud that her work had been accepted and was on display. It was also an opportunity for her to browse through the work of other artists her age.

Do you know of a Youth Arts Program in your area?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

Grateful for Assistance

Processed with RookieThis year I have a few people helping me in my classroom: an SNA (Special Needs Assistant) for a child that suffers from epilepsy; an EA (Educational Assistant) that comes in twice a week for an hour to help children who are struggling with their writing and reading; and a university student who comes into my classroom when she can. One may think that these are a lot of extra bodies in my room but these are bodies that are able to help me with the children.

Often when teaching young children, I feel that I do not have enough hands. At times I need to remind them that they are to wait their turn. But when I have the assistants in my room or the university student, the children know that they can ask another adult for help if I am busy. In addition, the number of children that get helped each day is increased.

Last week when I was sick off work, supply teachers were difficult to find. The SNA in my room was the constant factor for an age group that needs consistency and routine to feel settled. She worked hard at keeping that consistency and getting the children to work. With her being there, the children kept up with their work and their daily routine.

This week I am grateful for all the help I have this year in my classroom. The help certainly makes my day less stressful.

What have you been grateful for this week? Share your comments or the link to your post below.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

Weekend Coffee Share: A Sickly Week

wordswag_15073188796611453091488.pngIf we were having coffee, I would greet you with a smile and a sigh of relief. My voice was on a hiatus for a few days and decided to get back to work on Wednesday. What a relief! I was off sick at home for three days (it was not only my voice that needed a rest!) and my mind kept drifting to my class and the activities I had planned to do with them.

As you know, being sick is not fun. But, as my husband says, rather be sick now and not during the school break. I would not want to be sick either during Christmas as I enjoy the time with my family too much to want it spoiled by illness.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that my SNA (Special Needs Assistant) was so happy when I entered the school on Thursday morning. And I was so happy to see how she had held everything together by following the routines I had established in the classroom. The children were also happy to see me back – especially when I brought out the projector and put on a video for them to watch. 🙂

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I have not yet gone back to zumba. I am not 100% healthy yet and don’t want to go back too soon and experience a relapse. I do miss it though, and I keep hearing the songs we dance to in my head. I am hoping that by Monday I can get back to my exercise routine.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I have begun my Christmas shopping. I don’t have too many gifts to buy as my children are older now and what they want/need is so much more expensive. I am starting to stock up, though, on the treats my family and I eat over the Holiday (shortbread biscuits, pastries, and some Liquorice Allsorts from the UK that I saw in the store this morning). These things I need to stash away from my family so that they do not devour them before Christmas. This afternoon I plan on going to the bookstore to browse through the books and decide which books I can buy for my family this year. Tomorrow I will go to some clothing stores to see if I can find a few items of clothing for them. I don’t buy too much of this either as I prefer to have them with me when I shop.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you to enjoy the rest of your weekend, and to have a productive week.

What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

(This post is linked to Eclectic Alli and the Weekend Coffee Share)

Going Back to Work

For the last four and a half days I have been trapped indoors. My body screamed at me, “I need to rest!” The battle began with an aching throat and the loss of my voice. When I refused to submit, my body caused my eyes to tear so much I had to close them; and filled my sinus passages with mucus. My body won and I lay in bed and rested.

Early Morning City View. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

As I opened the curtains in the living room yesterday, I longed to be outside in the mild Fall weather we are currently experiencing. By late afternoon, I was bored: I had had my fill of Netflixing and of my current read. My mind kept filling with images of what I wanted to do with my class regarding our pumpkin inquiry. I knew then that I was ready to go back to work.

So today I go back. I am not 100% my healthy self, but I feel I need to return to the environment and the people I have chosen to work with everyday.

Do you stay at home until you are 100% healthy before going back to work?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

Grateful for Book Signing

As an avid reader, I never thought I would one day see a person face-to-face who takes me into another world with their writing. A few weeks ago, an event popped up on my Facebook page – Marion Keyes was to do a book signing at the Indigo bookstore near to where I live. I was excited to go and see her as I have enjoyed reading her books.

I was not early enough to get a seat but my standing place was near the front. So many women had come to see her, and all of us held a copy of her latest novel in our hands. When she came onto the ‘stage’ that had been prepared, she looked diminutive and yet she was smiling widely. I loved listening to her Irish lilt as she responded to her interviewer, and later to her fans. She was so gracious when responding to fans – it made me love her even more.

This week I am grateful that I had the opportunity to see one of my favourite writers in person – even though I was stagestruck when she spoke to me!

What have you been grateful for this week? Share your comments or the link to your post below.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

Justice League and Ramen

This year we celebrated my husband’s birthday the day after his actual birth date. Celebrating it on a Friday was so much more convenient than a Thursday evening. Thursday evening while I was conducting interviews with the parents of the children in my class; and he could still go out and play badminton.

To celebrate his birthday this year, we decided to take my husband to the movies and dinner. The movie we chose was Justice League as we all enjoy watching super-hero movies.  To treat my husband, my son decided his dad should go to the VIP section of our movie theatre. We loved it! I enjoyed the extra space and the reclining chairs. What a perfect way to relax after a hard day on your feet! Of course we had to get buttered popcorn. Delicious! Not only was I enjoying the experience, but I could see that my husband was too. 🙂

Not only did we enjoy the VIP experience, but we also enjoyed the film. Lots of special effects and action. The favourite part of the film for me was meeting Flash. I loved the way his character was portrayed – with plenty of humour. As fans of super-hero films, my family and I were not disappointed. I look forward to seeing the next film – the one that was hinted at  after the film credits.

After our film experience, we went out for dinner. At the moment, my family enjoy eating ramen. We love this Japanese food and enjoy the flavours of the soup. I enjoy, in particular, the vegetarian version laden with vegetables.

After dinner we headed home for some tea and chocolate mousse cake. The perfect way to end a birthday celebration.

How do you celebrate birthdays?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

Weekend Coffee Share: A Quick Update

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the busyness of my life has caught up with me. For the past two days I have had no voice, and my throat has experienced a tickling sensation. I am not surprised as the days leading to issuing the report cards can be long, as are the days when conducting parent interviews. Now as I have relaxed a little, my body seems to be telling me to relax a lot!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I cannot believe that it is a month before Christmas! I am not feeling the Christmas Spirit yet – I am sure it will begin soon. The children in my class are excited this year. One child could not wait for Halloween to be over so that we could start talking about Christmas. I think she will be one of those children who will love Jean-Jean, my Elf on the Shelf. I will bring him out when December starts.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that since we last spoke I have done some reading. I finished Paula Hawkins’ latest novel yesterday, Into the Water. As I closed the last page, I felt that her second novel was even better than her first – it was certainly less confusing. I would recommend it – especially if you enjoyed her debut novel. I wonder if this yarn will be made into a film?

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that yesterday I went boot shopping and I was lucky to find boots that I liked amongst the Black Friday deals. I bought a pair of high ones for the Fall (which I will begin wearing on Monday), and I found a short pair of warm, winter ones to warm my feet as I stand outside doing yard duty. To replace my high winter boots, I will need to go shopping again in a couple of weeks as they did not have anything that I liked. I also took advantage of the Black Friday deal at my local tea shop and stocked up on some teas for the next month or so.

If we were having coffee, I would wish you a wonderful week. If you are anything like me, you will begin your Christmas shopping soon.

What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017