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

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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

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

Grateful for Warm Tea

Processed with RookieLast week I was grateful for the air conditioning units in my classroom. This week, I am grateful for something warm. Yes, the temperatures have dropped that much – especially in my room! As my space is north facing, no sun comes through the windows during the day and, with the lowering of temperatures outside, the space is not warmed up at all.

Because the heating in the school has not yet been turned on, my students and myself wear our sweaters. And if the children do not have sweaters, they wear their jackets. It is at that time of year when it is warmer to be outside than it is inside. We definitely look forward to when the furnance is turned on.

In the meantime, I warm myself from the inside by drinking tea from my thermos. My bottle of water remains untouched as my body craves something warm to drink. I am wondering whether I should take another thermos of tea to drink instead. Brr!

This week I am grateful for warm tea – and the occasional cup of coffee – to warm me while working in my classroom.

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

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

Grateful for Air-Conditioning

Processed with RookieFor the last few days we have been experiencing a heat wave (yes, it is the start of Autumn!). Children have been coming into the school drenched in sweat after playing outside in the heat. Cross country practices have been cancelled. Children have been seeking the shade during recess. It has been unbearably hot with everyone dressed in summer gear.

During the Summer, my classroom was installed with two air-conditioning units. Why? My room is near the condo construction site and the units were installed as I would not be able to open the windows due to the noise. During the heat wave, both my students and I have been grateful to walk into a cool room. The children come in and lie on the carpet to cool down. Once they have cooled down, they are able to get back to their activities and focus on their tasks – something they would not be able to do if the room were as hot as outside.

This week I am grateful for air-conditioning as it helps both my students and myself focus on what we need to do during the day. It certainly helps to make the heat wave more bearable!

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

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

Grateful for Status Quo

Processed with RookieThe last couple of weeks we have been in a state of flux at our school. Our numbers went down a little during the summer and we were worried that the school may be reorganised; i.e., that we may lose a teacher and have to change the classes. Typically reorganisation is done in the third week of school. It is a difficult time as everyone in the room (including the teacher) is beginning to get comfortable with one another; and the children are beginning to learn the routines.

Late Monday afternoon, we received the news that we would not be reorganised. I am so grateful as a reorganisation would have affected me. Instead of teaching a combined class, I would have been given a straight grade – and lost half of the members of my current class. Instead, I can forge ahead with the students I now have and can begin to do activities I had not yet begun for fear of reorganisation.

This week I am grateful for the status quo and look forward to spending time with the members of my class during the school year.

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

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

Grateful for Butterfly Kits

This year was the third year that I had butterflies in the classroom. I have found that it is a wonderful way for the children to observe the life cycle of an insect and for them to observe the changes that the insect goes through.

Each morning as they enter the classroom, many of my students rush to the table where they are set up to see if there have been any changes overnight. Some will sit and watch the caterpillars (and later butterflies) for a while, observing their movements and looking at the way they are built.

A few days after the butterflies have come out of their chrysalis, we take them outside to set them free. The children love watching them fly free. This year the butterflies would not leave quickly, giving the children a chance to hold them in their hands. The children were so excited to hold them, and were surprisingly gentle with the insects.

This week I am grateful for butterfly kits as they enable me to bring a little bit of nature into my classroom.

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

Processed with RookieLast week:

Laura was grateful for an unplanned weekend

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

Grateful For Decision

As many of you know, our school has been going through upheaval recently due to the fact that a 35 storey apartment building will be built next to the school. Parents have been up in arms and the school board put forward a few suggestions – one of which was moving locations.

After a risk analysis, the school board decided it would be safe to stay at our current location once certain conditions had been implemented. A parent survey showed the parents agreed. So finally a decision has been made – the school will stay where it is and steps will be taken to ensure that the site remains safe for everyone.

Work has begun at the school, and the sight of people with clipboards and measuring tapes has become a common sight. My classroom has been selected for some of the beginning work. The reason? I will discover it on Friday when I arrive at school and see what they have done.

Now we wait for the next two weeks to determine how many parents will take their children out of the school and the French Immersion programme. Then we will begin making class lists for next year and working on the timetable. But for now, I am grateful that a decision has been made on where we will be next year.

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

Processed with RookieLast week:

Laura was grateful for rain

Lavendar Ladi was grateful for summer plants

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

Grateful for Health

My husband has been ill for the past 2 weeks – so ill that he has been sleeping for many hours (unusual for him) and has not gone to work. As I watch him going through the illness, I think of others whom I know who are in continual pain. I think, too, of a film I watched recently – You’re Not You starring Hilary Swank. The film is the story about  a woman who has ALS.

As I watched her going through the pain of her illness (Hilary Swank does an excellent job of portraying her character), the thought running through my mind was “I am so lucky that I am not sick”.

This week I am grateful for my health and that I am able to experience my days without pain.

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

Processed with RookieLast week:

Laura was grateful for her son

Lavendar Ladi was grateful for three things

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

Grateful for Report Card Collaboration

It is currently report card “season” as teachers begin to complete the assessment of students for the term, and work on generating the sheets of paper that will be sent home at the end of the school year. As always, this time begins with the decision on what comments to use in the report card that will encapsulate the learning that has taken place in the classroom.

Currently I am thankful for the people that I work with. Together we are working on creating appropriate and relevant comments that reflect the programme we have taught this year. Next week will see us working together to determine the levels of our students’ French writing. As we refine our comments and determine the level of our students’ work, I am grateful to have colleagues this year with whom I can collaborate.

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

Processed with RookieLast week:

Laura was grateful for end of school

Lavendar Ladi was grateful a few busy weeks

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017