FMF Day 1: Worship

In the 21st century, our lives are full. We rush from one place to another, cramming as much as we can into our day. Many families are unable to spend quality time together – and often the time that they do spend with one another is limited by the brimming schedule of both parents and children.

In a life shaped by modern values and filled with busyness, where does God fit in? Whom do we worship?

In modern cities and towns, pews in the churches are empty. Church buildings are renovated and used for different purposes – some are even refurbished as homes. God is no longer is part of a person’s life and daily routine. The Lord’s prayer no longer begins the school day, and saying daily prayers is a habit few follow.

Who has replaced God? Knowledge and understanding how the world works. The belief in self and the confidence that a person can control much of their own life. The words ‘spiritualism’ and ‘mindfulness’ are bandied about. A person no longer prays to God, but meditates to calm the spirit. A person no longer believes in God, but is spiritual.

As humanity moves towards worshipping the self, it loses the sense of community and faith that once held it together. Will there be a time when men and women will come to realise that focusing on the self is not gratifying? Will they once again learn to have faith in a Being greater than themselves? Will they once again worship God?

Do you believe there will be a renaissance of worship?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

(This post is in response to the FMF October challenge in which we write for 5 minutes every day in October. For the first post on my series titled Reflections on Modern Life, click here.)

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31 Days of FMF in October 2017

It has been a number of years since I have participated in the Five Minute Friday (FMF) October challenge in which you write for 5 minutes everyday on a given word. In 2014, I wrote a series of posts on moving from the southern to the northern hemisphere titled Migrating North. In 2015, I wrote about some of my teaching experiences in a series of posts titled Blackboard Scribbles.

This year I have decided to take up the challenge once again to help me get back into my blogging routine. Kate Motaung over at the Five Minute Friday website does not suggest you choose a theme for the 31 days of posts – but I found I enjoyed focusing my writing on a particular topic. This year I have chosen to reflect on our modern lives in a series of posts titled Reflections on Modern Life. The title came to me while walking home yesterday while I was thinking about our habits and stresses in current society.I hope you will enjoy this series of posts and look forward to your contributions to the discussions in the comments.

Will you be participating in the FMF October challenge this year?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

Five Minute Friday: Depend

dependThere are so many people who depend on me. I think first of my children who look to me to help them feel secure and to provide them with the essentials they need (including love and support). I give them what they need willingly and with no regret. I love them and am grateful to have them in my life.

The children in my class depend on me and rely on me to guide them in their learning journey. The parents trust that I will look after their children while they are in my care – that I will nurture them and keep them safe. The people who hired me, and the ones who supervise me in my work, depend on me to follow the curriculum and to find ways in which to engage my students in their learning.

This year we have a number of new teachers at our school. In grade 1 we have three teachers who are new to the school board – and two who are fresh out of university. These newbies depend on me to help them with their new teaching experience. As their mentor, I answer any questions that they have, help them plan activities for their room, and support them in any way that I can.

And who do I depend on? My family to help me when I need emotional support. The admin at our school when I have work related questions. And my faith in God when I feel life is overwhelming.

Who do you depend on?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

(This post was inspired by the Five Minute Friday prompt: depend)

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

Basement Renovations

PHOTO PROMPT © Sarah Potter

The builders uncovered the shoes during the renovation. Hidden in the recesses of the basement behind a false wall, they did not know what to make of them. Worn and cobwebbed, the footwear looked to be a few decades old. Set aside, they were forgotten as the area was gutted for the new owners of the homestead. As the last wall was ripped down to make place for the new insulation, the owner of the footgear was found. The bones and leather-like skin covering was also dusty and cobwebbed. Renovations ceased. The ire of the clients knew no bounds.

Who do you think the bones belong to?

© 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. 

Five Minute Friday: Accept

acceptLast week I was asked to take another student into my class. New to the neighbourhood, he had become more and more withdrawn in the grade 2/3 class he had been placed in. He was not speaking in class – neither to the teacher, nor to his classmates. Mom was concerned and pleaded for him to be moved. My principal thought he would do well with me because of the way I run my class.

I accepted the challenge.

He is a quiet boy and extremely withdrawn. He does take direction but is hesitant to respond to any questions in French. But what a pleasure it was to see him laugh with the rest of the class when we were being silly during carpet time. And in the morning his smile shines through when Monsieur Zazu, the class puppet,  greets every student.

I have worked with children before who are extremely introverted and, with patience and understanding, I have helped them build their confidence enough to speak in French in front of the class. Seeing him smile and getting him engaged in the classroom activities would be well worth the effort I put in to make him comfortable.

What challenge do you accept this week?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

(This post was inspired by the Five Minute Friday prompt: accept)

Weekend Coffee Share: A Busy Week Flew By

If we were having coffee, I would definitely have the iced version! It is HOT here! Fall/Autumn has begun – and yet we are experiencing a heat wave. This is definitely not my favourite kind of weather. It is too hot to sleep, too hot to relax, too hot to breathe! It seems the heat will stay with us for the next few days. Tomorrow I will envy the children who wear shorts to school.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that we had our Curriculum Night at school last Tuesday. On this evening, teachers have the opportunity to let parents know a little about how things work in their classroom. This year we did things a little differently and had an Open House. I enjoyed it as I had a chance to speak with individual parents as they dropped in during the evening. I think the same format will be followed next year as teachers who are not normally visited (music, gym, library), were greeted by parents. I set up a few centres in my classroom so that parents could see a bit of how the children learn in my room.

During the week I received a new student who was moved from the grade 2/3 combined class. He is extremely shy and does not speak to anyone. I am hoping to help him gain confidence in speaking French, as well as make friends. I have seen him laugh a few times when we are on the carpet and it is a beautiful thing to see.

Last weekend I went to the library to pick up a book for my daughter and saw a tome I could not resist! As you know, I enjoy historical fiction and I quickly grabbed Alison Weir’s novel titled Anne Boleyn, a King’s Obsession. I am finding it  riveting so far – there is so much about her that I did not know. She definitely was a woman ahead of her time who believed that women could do so much more than they were allowed to do in the 1500s. I look forward to seeing how she merged her desires and the expectations society had of her.

As I get ready for bed, I am hoping that I can fall asleep. I will definitely leave the fan running as the heat is unbearable. I hope it is not too hot in your part of the world.

What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

© 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

Weekend Coffee Share: The First Week is Over

weekend coffee share logo hosted at parttimemonsterblog.comIf we were having coffee, I would greet you warmly on this chilly evening. I would tell you that I wanted to chat earlier, but the day seemed to run away from me. I have decided to try and create a new routine and try my hand at blogging in the evening. Maybe this way I can get back into writing.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that my first week back at school was tiring. By the time the school year ends, you forget how little the children were when they started off with you – and how dependant they were on you. This year I have more grade 1s than grade 2s – and it does make a difference in the dynamic of the class. The grade 1s are not yet used to working the entire day – and they are not used to participating when we work together on the carpet. It takes a lot of energy in the beginning to encourage them and teach them the routines. I have worked only four days with them and I know they will eventually become independent.

During the first week at school, the children in my class did a number of activities. This week I will be adding even more to their routine.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that Saturday was welcomed so that I could rest a bit. I did not give Zumba a rest, though, and found the class rejuvenating. The fitness club I attend has put out a new Fall schedule and I am happy to say that a few more Zumba classes have been added. Most of them are during the day but I am able to attend the one on Sunday morning. Guess what I was doing this morning 🙂

If we were having coffee, I would wish you a wonderful week. I know that I am going to get to know my class more – and attend my Zumba classes. I am also hoping to get some blogging in. Enjoy the rest of your evening. Goodnight.

What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

(This post is linked to the Weekend Coffee Share hosted by Diane, The Part-Time Monster)

Summer is Over

Summer is over and tomorrow I will go back to my normal routine. It is unbelievable that the past two months have gone by so quickly!

As you know from my last post, my mother came to visit us. Her stay lasted two months of the summer and we kept busy: chatting, sightseeing, shopping, sewing, spending time together. I am sure you noticed that summertime did not include blogging. Lack of social media output had not been my intention but I did find it difficult to include time to spend in front of my laptop during my mom’s visit.

When my mom left, I took a few days to rest  – and to participate in my favourite past time. I curled up on my favourite spot in the living room and read a few books on my to-read list. Once that time was over, and some errands had been completed, it was time for me to get ready for back-to-school. As you may remember, construction is happening next to our school. During the summer, the school board prepared for this and did a lot of construction at the school itself.

The grounds at our school were changed and improved on. New windows were installed and many classrooms received air conditioning units. My classroom was painted (finally!) as were a few others. Due to the construction, we were not allowed on the premises until last week.

When I stepped into my room it was a mess. I noticed that not only a white film of dust layered everything in the room, but also that some of my cupboards had been emptied. I sighed and began the huge task of getting the room in order. The last week of my summer was spent at the school and ended with me finally having the space ready to receive my new students tomorrow.

I look forward to the new school year and getting back into my routine. I have restarted my exercise routine and hope to pick up my blogging routine once I am back at work. The summer is over (as we can feel from the cooler weather) and it was one well spent.

How did you spend your summer?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017