Weekend Coffee Share: First Week Back At School

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that last week was my first week back at school. On Tuesday, after the Labour Day weekend, I had met all of my students by 9am. Thankfully there were only a few tears as most of the children knew me by sight even though had had not already been in my classroom. Most of my class this year are grade 2s (16 students of the 20) and I had interacted with some of them last year in the hallways.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the week flew by quickly. I had a lot to do – and the upcoming week will be no different. September is filled with deadlines and I like to get it all done as quickly as possible – before I know it, the time to work on the progress reports will arrive.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that my class is settling in nicely. I am slowly getting to know them; and they are slowly getting to know the routines of the class. Time will tell what I need to focus on this year as I get to know their needs and what it is that they enjoy.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this weekend I have the sniffles. I was not completely over my summer cold when work started up again and my body is reminding me of this. I have spent the weekend resting a bit in between my chores and I am hoping that I will feel in top form tomorrow.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that yesterday afternoon I spent some time with my weekend read: A Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson. This is a fantasy novel that is all over Instagram at the moment as readers are posting extremely positive views of it. I decided to read it as fantasy fiction is my favourite. And I can say that so far the writing is excellent!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that supper is ready to be served. My husband knows the way to my heart (read yesterday’s SoCS post to understand this comment more). 🙂

What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

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

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Weekend Coffee Share: The End of Summer Break is Near

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that during the past week I went into school to set up my classroom for the first day of school.

When I walked into the classroom it looked so clean! I had also asked the caretaker to remove some items of furniture so the space looked even freer when I placed the desks.

This year I have changed the look of the reading centre and I have added a calming corner. My intention is to implement the Zones of Regulation to help the children self regulate their behaviour.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I had one last coffee date with my dear friend. It was a bittersweet meeting as we will not see one another so frequently until the next school break. This summer has been wonderful as we have met up each week and had a chance to chat, exchange ideas about the books we have read, and even do a bit of necessary shopping.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that on Friday afternoon, I felt the full force of a summer cold. The long weekend has been spent resting and trying to get over it before the first day of school. I am resting my voice and body so that it is fit to work with the twenty new students I will have in my class on Tuesday. I do still experience first day jitters – though not as intense as the students that will be entering my class. By 10 o’clock on Tuesday everything will be fine. I am prepared and that is half the nervousness conquered. The first week back at school will be filled with creating routines with my students and working on the beginning of the school year deadlines.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you to have a wonderful rest of the week and to enjoy all the moments life gives you. I know that I am looking forward to meeting up with my new students.

What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

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

Weekend Coffee Share: One Week Left

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the cooling days and the chilly mornings are reminding me that the Summer Break is almost over. I have tidied my home, read some wonderful books, spend time with a dear friend, and relaxed to my heart’s content. The time of leisure, however, is almost over and it will soon be the start of the school year.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that on Monday, and for the few days after, I will be going into school to set up my classroom. Not only will I be moving desks and chairs into their positions, I will also be preparing my students’ notebooks as well as getting the first week’s lessons ready. In addition, I will be preparing my welcome letter to the parents and setting up my centres for the first day. Preparing my teaching space helps to get my mind back into the routine of the school year. It is a time of reflection as I prepare for that nervous-filled first day of school.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I have done most of the things that I wanted to do during the break – and that I will have completed the tasks that I set myself by the end of the Labour Day weekend. The days of summer have been hot and wonderful as I have taken a break from my working routine. I do, however, feel ready to get back in the swing of things – though I will not be able to do as much reading as I have done these past seven weeks.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that tomorrow I am attending a Frenzy Presents event at the offices of the Harper Collins Publishing House in Canada. I am looking forward to it as I will meet one of their authors and learn about the Young Adult books that are coming out this Fall.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am now off to meet up with my husband. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

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

Weekend Coffee Share: August Already!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I cannot believe that it is already August! The time has meandered along but has suddenly caught up with me! I am thinking to myself that I better get done with my cleaning and sorting because, before I know it, I will be in my classroom preparing for the new school year.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that one of the things that I bought to organise my things is a little crate for the pile of books that are next to my bed. The crate keeps my TBR neatly in one place and I no longer have a pie of books teetering on my bedside table.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that twice during the past week I made mini-pies reminiscent of South Africa. On Tuesday, I experimented with the meal and filled puff pastry with the leftover stew I had prepared for Monday night’s dinner. On Friday, I created a mushroom filling for my pies. The results were delicious and my family enjoyed eating the flaky pastry. This is a meal I foresee myself making in the future once I am back at work.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I saw my friend a few times this week. No matter how many times I see her, we do not stop talking while we are together – we definitely do not run out of things to say! Once we get back to work and our regular routines, I will miss seeing her so often. This summer has been a real treat in that we are able to see one another so often.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am tired of the summer heat. My body is definitely happier with the milder weather. The heat can be tiring at times which has lead me to reading quite a bit – 12 books during the month of July. I have not yet caught up on the book reviews but I should be able to do that this week. Once I have done so, I will post a summary as usual.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that tomorrow is a public holiday. The long weekend does not affect me and the children too much as we are on break – but it does my husband. He is looking forward to the extra day to relax. 🙂

If we were having coffee, I would tell you to have a wonderful week. As I am still on Summer Break, my plans are very fluid and may change.

What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

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

Weekend Coffee Share: A July Break

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that for the past weekends, I have put my laptop aside and made the decision to not write this post. Instead I have been taking my days easy and ignoring my usual routine. After all, isn’t that what a vacation is supposed to be about? This year I may not be jetting off to another part of the world but I am still doing things on a whim.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that during the past month we have had some extremely hot days. So hot that I have not moved from my position in front of the fan. I have spent my time reading; and have even watched a TV show on Netflix. Rectify. Have you seen it? I loved the show and quickly could not stop watching which resulted in late nights and morning sleep-ins. The storyline is so good – and is a discussion of so many different types of prisons. I would definitely recommend seeing this one if you haven’t seen it already.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that during the past few weeks, I have also spent some time tidying: I have sorted through my clothes and books and given away quite a bit. I am currently at an impasse as I still have a few non-fiction books sitting on the floor with no shelf to put them on. I need a few days to think before I figure out where I am going to put them. I don’t want to give these books away just yet – unless I come across someone who would appreciate them and use them.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I have spent quite a bit of time with a friend of mine whom I don’t normally see during the school year. We have gone to a book launch, listened to a barbershop quartet, had coffee to discuss our buddy reads, and gone shopping. It has been lovely seeing her, and I look forward to spending more time with her during the month of August.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that last Saturday I went with my cousin to the St. Jacob’s farmer’s market. Even though it is quite a drive, I enjoy strolling through the market and seeing the wares that are on sale. The fruit and vegetables that I buy there are always more tasty; and the vibe in the market energising. Every time we go to the market, my cousin and I visit the Dutch shop to buy some treats – we cannot leave without buying some double-salted licorice!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am still in holiday mode. I haven’t done as much as I wanted to as the heat sometimes gets to me – we do not have air-conditioning in our place and sometimes it is too hot to do anything. I am still enjoying my break though and will continue to take things slowly for the next few weeks.

What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

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

Weekend Coffee Share: First Week of the Break

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that we are in the middle of experiencing a heat wave and will therefore opt-in for the iced version. Since Thursday, the temperatures have been wicked and I have been cooling off in front of the fan and reading. I am also grateful that I have set up my balcony so that we can sit outside as often it is cooler to spend time outside instead of inside.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that my week started with a public holiday – Canada Day, to be precise. My family and I decided to do something different and stand in line to receive a free meal given out by a local restaurant. If you want to read more about this, you can have a look at my post (the link is here).

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I met up with my dear friend a couple of times during the week for a brief tea. After a little catching up, we managed to speak a little about our buddy read. We haven’t finished discussing the book though – there is so much to say about it! Hopefully we will get the chance to do so this week.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I have managed to rest a little. I am still feeling a little tired but not as exhausted as I was by the end of the school year. This time off does me good and I look forward to resting more before I work on my plans for the summer. In the meantime, I will continue to take things slowly and enjoy my time without deadlines and a tight schedule.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am still enjoying the flowers given to me by the parents over a week ago. The lilies have died and I have cut off the dry leaves. The carnations and white flowers are hardy though.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you to have a good week. May it be filled with many adventures.

What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

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

Weekend Coffee Share: The End of June

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I cannot believe that June is over – and that we are already halfway through 2019! It is also the end of the school year and we are now officially on Summer Break. I am definitely thankful for it as I am feeling exhausted and I am looking forward to the rest. Now that we are on break, I can sleep late (once my body clock has adjusted), read, potter around our home, meet with friends, and basically recharge my batteries.

The last week of school was laid back but also tiring. I completed certain tasks with the children and we spent quite a bit of time outside as well as tidying up the classroom. The tiring part, for me, was the tidying up. By the end of Friday, though, everything was put away so that the caretakers can clean over the summer. As I locked the door on Friday, I was satisfied that I had done everything that I was expected to do. The space looked empty and bare – and it was a little sad to think that my time with this year’s group of children was over. Over the next few days, I will reflect a little on the past school year and think back on some good moments. The flowers gifted to me by the parents will help with this. There will come a time, though, when I will start thinking of my future students and what I can do to encourage their learning.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I spend quite a bit of time reading during the last weekend of June – and sleeping! I am still feeling tired but I am sure that will eventually pass. The weather has also suddenly become summer-like with hot temperatures. This type of weather definitely makes me sleepy. Any exercise or housework I want to do, needs to be done before the heat prevents me from moving too much. The humid weather during the summer is definitely not my favourite.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that today is a public holiday. To be precise, it is Canada Day – a day that has been set aside to celebrate the day Canada became a united country. When walking the streets, we will see a lot of red today. 😀

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am now to get ready to celebrate the country’s holiday. I wish you a wonderful week and we will catch up next weekend.

What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

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

Weekend Coffee Share: Almost There

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am loving the warmer weather. Yes, it has finally arrived and we can step outside in our short sleeves and sandals. The temperatures have risen – but not too much – and the rain has stopped. It is perfect for the last days of school.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that things are definitely wrapping up at school. During the past week, I started sending home the children’s work and the room is already looking emptier. This week I aim to spend my time tidying my classroom and putting things away for the summer. The children are enjoying the small amount of time they spend working and I am taking them outside for more play, as well as giving them the opportunity to play with the blocks that I have in the classroom.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that on Friday we released the butterflies to go forth and pollinate. I allowed the children to take the butterflies out of the terrarium – they were thrilled to hold them in their hands. It takes a while for the insects to realise that they can fly free so they stay for quite a while on the children’s hands.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that we had a school-wide assembly on Wednesday to say goodbye to our office administrators – both of them are leaving at the end of this school year to retire. We will miss them dearly as they have been an integral part of the school for more than 20 years.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I had an unexpected treat on Tuesday – I got to have coffee with a dear friend of mine whom I don’t see too often. We intended to chat about a book we read together, but got side-tracked with catching up! 😀

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am feeling exhausted – so much so that I fell asleep on Saturday and missed my Zumba class! 😦 It is near my summer break though and I am sure that this week will go by quickly. It will be sad to say goodbye to the students I have had for this past year but that is a part of teaching.

If we were having coffee, I would wish you a wonderful week. I know mine is going to be filled with endings and good-byes.

What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

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

Weekend Coffee Share: Zumba Routine and a Book Launch

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that it is a lovely day outside today. The sun is shining, the air is warm, and the feel of spring is in the air. Yesterday it was a bit windy and a little overcast, but I still enjoyed my afternoon walk (luckily the rain held off).

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I tried a new Zumba class yesterday afternoon. I decided to extend the exercise and walk instead of take the bus (hence my enjoyment of the mild day). The class was fun and I enjoyed the vibe in the room. I will definitely attend her classes more often! It was also fun to see familiar faces in the room as so many people were there who go the class I attend on Mondays.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I have started attending the Monday Zumba classes again now that my practical exam is over. No longer do I have to frantically practise choreography to make sure I make no mistakes during the assessment. Inn addition, my practice session with my colleagues this week was more relaxed and, as such, I made less mistakes. Something is to be said to being examined in an authentic environment!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that on Tuesday last week, I met up with a dear friend of mine and we went to the book launch of a local author. I loved that my friend and I took the opportunity to meet and to do something book-related. We both love reading and immersing ourselves in the stories created by others, and this event was a treat. It was the first my friend had attended and I am pleased to say that it will not be the last! If you want to read more on the event, head on over to my blog post for more detail.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the student who won the auction for the fund-raiser at our school was Teacher of the Day on Friday. He was so excited to take on the task and loved being able to choose what the class was to do. The first thing he did was say no “cahier jaune” (which is the French writing/grammar practice page that they do every morning as they enter the room). He chose to watch some Raptor’s highlights (whose victory was celebrated at the school), and to do Just Dance (with him choosing his favourite songs to dance to). Outdoor play was included in the day, as well as playing with the lego and blocks. Another highlight was him and his friend going out for lunch with me. Definitely enjoyable to hear the boys chatter and enjoy their time out with me. He was serious about his job and helped children as they completed the previous days tasks; and insisted on helping me with some marking. 🙂

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that my daughters’ and I are now going to finish up with our plans for Father’s Day. If you are a Dad celebrating this day with your family, enjoy it – I hope you are showered with love. It is a day on which I think of my own Dad who is, unfortunately, no longer of this earth. But I smile when thinking of him as I imagine him here with me.

What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

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

Weekend Coffee Share: Better Late Than Never

If we were having coffee, I would apologise for meeting up with you so late. My weekend routine was thrown off a little so I did not get to blog like I usually do on a Saturday and Sunday afternoon.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the week was very busy. I completed all the assessments of my students. They got into the habit of working quietly while I worked with each person at a time. We are now almost done all the activities that I have planned for the year and so the pressure on me has eased a little. The last few days have been beautiful – warm and sunny. Today, though, I see it has reverted back to being dull and grey. I hope it doesn’t last long as days of indoor recess are not fun!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that last week we had the staff appreciation lunch at our school. For this lunch, parents organise a hot meal for us to thank us for all the hard work that we do for their children during the year. I love it – not only the meal itself but that we take a short time out and eat lunch together. The parents also make the setting in the library as beautiful as they can. The flowers always look so pretty.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that Friday was a PA day during which I wrote the report cards. I had already done some work on them and I planned to sit in my chair until I got them done. I arrived at school at 8am and got them done by 1:30pm. It is amazing how much work you can do with a little determination and no distractions. I came home exhausted and spent the rest of the afternoon reading.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that my practical exam to be a group fitness instructor was on Saturday afternoon. I was nervous even though I had being practicing for hours over the last few months. All my friends made it to the exam and I went in with their encouragement at my side. It was good to see their well-known faces while I was teaching them and their support helped me complete the session. I was nervous for the results as I knew I had made some mistakes (practical exams are not my forte). After my session, the instructor made some comments that made me worried that I had not passed.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I got an email Saturday evening telling me that I had passed! I could not believe it! Her comments and suggestions for improvement are valid and I have something to work on in order to improve. Now I have to decide what to do with this certification. Going through the process has been quite a learning curve for me and I am glad I did it.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I now need to get ready for work. Enjoy your day and let’s have coffee next week.

What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

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