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

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

Weekend Coffee Share: It Has Been a While!

If we were having coffee, I would hang my head in shame as it has been a while. Days have slipped by and, even thought I have thought of blogging, I have not been able to place my fingers on the keyboard to write a post. This time of the year is always so busy for me – and this year it seems to be even busier. My days have been filled with getting to know the new children in my class, planning lessons, mentoring new teachers, and working hard to create a balance in my life. I have managed to keep going to my Zumba classes, and that I am thankful for.

This year in addition to the usual home and work responsibilities, I added another. The school board I work for has run a day conference each year for the past 5 years on using the Google applications in our teaching. This year I presented with a colleague. It was an added responsibility but I decided to take on the challenge.Yesterday was the day. that I presented. Google Camp, as it is called, began early at 8:30 am and lasted the entire day until 4 pm. Presenting did make me a little nervous but it was a positive experience and I was glad I did it. I was also able to attend other sessions and learned about different applications that have been added to the Google Suite. I now have something new that I want to try out in my classroom. I have heard about it and now need to try it out. It is only by trying it out that I will be able to fully learn how the application works.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the last week was not all work but fun too. Halloween was on Tuesday and it was great seeing all of my students in their costumes. As the parents had come out for the annual Halloween parade, I took the opportunity to invite them to the classroom. The children sang for them and showed them their work portfolio. We had a good day – though not much academic tasks were done.

I did enjoy the day as a blonde – and getting a double-take reaction from people who did not recognise me at first 🙂

If we were having coffee, I would have to say a quick good-bye. We started daylight savings today but the extra hour does not seem to be enough. Enjoy your week and speak to you soon.

What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

Weekend Coffee Share: A Week Too Short

If we were having coffee, I would welcome you with a tired smile. The heat continued until Wednesday, making outdoor activity a little difficult. My sleep during the week was restless because it was so hot (no, I do not have a/c at home – we rely on fans). For the first three days of the week, I was grateful that I now have air conditioning in my classroom – it makes being nearer the construction on the neighbouring site worth it! The children came in from recess relieved to be in a cool space. Everyone was relieved when the temperatures dropped on Thursday – but were not happy with the rain and the drop to below 10c on Friday.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that on Wednesday I went to a teacher’s workshop to refresh my knowledge on running records and using the reading kit for French Immersion the school board that I work for uses. I went with two of the people I am mentoring. It was good to spend some time with them and to get to know them a little more.

Practising Running Records. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

This year, the school board wants us to focus on reading with the grade 1s. We are to begin working with them early on in the year so that we can avoid them experiencing difficulties down the line. Our admin is supporting us in training us (there are 5 grade 1 teachers) and giving us support to implement the plan laid out by the superintendent. Twice a week for 1 1/2 hours, I have someone coming in to read with the at risk students in my class. Organising the reading and making the assessment more formal will help, I think, with knowing which children need help..

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am going to try Class Dojo, a programme/App that claims to help teachers communicate with parents about what is going on in the classroom, and about their own child. I set up my account yesterday and sent out the invites to all my parents. I hope to begin using it on Monday. I will let you know how it goes and whether it works well.

Class Dojo is set up! © Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the teaching week coming up will be four days. Friday is a PA day (professional activity) filled with staff meetings. I would also tell you that next weekend is Thanksgiving here in Canada so many families will be preparing for their family dinners.

Have a wonderful evening and enjoy your week. Our temperatures are forecast to rise – but not as high as they were last week!

What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

© 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

Report Cards Are Done!

The last couple of weeks I been been focused on writing report cards. I have been:

  • Assessing my students’ writing and reading.
  • Flipping through my students’ portfolios to determine their level of skill in Math, Science, and Social Studies.
  • Refining comments and inputting them into the reporting system.
  • Spending many hours in front of the computer.
Working on Report Cards. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

And now they are done! I have submitted them for revision and next week I will make corrections, sign, copy and place them in envelopes. The end of the school year is almost here! Certainly something to smile about as I look forward to relaxing and recharging.

What has made you smile this week?

Weekly Smile #WeeklySmile© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

(This post was inspired by Trent’s Weekly Smile, a challenge which focuses on sharing all things positive.)

 

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