Weekend Coffee Share: An Event-Filled Week

Join us for some coffee time!If we were having coffee, I would offer you a warm drink out of the cold. The temperature has dropped overnight and we have gone from hot and humid to chilly breezes. The constant fluctuations in temperature make it difficult to know what to wear – and have caused a number of people to get sick (myself included). Today it is starting to feel like Fall – coincidentally today  is the official start of the new season.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I had quite a busy week. On Monday after school I went to an author event organised by Harper Collins Canada. I heard A. J. Finn speak about his debut novel The Woman in the Window as well as Mary Kubica on When The Lights Go Out. Both of these novels are psychological thrillers and it was interesting to hear how different their writing process is for the same genre of novel.

On Thursday night it was Open House at our school. On this evening, the parents have the opportunity to come in and visit our classrooms. I had the chance to meet some of the parents, and book a follow-up meeting with each of them. The sense I got from each parent I met was positive and I am hoping we can work well together this year in order to create a good learning experience for their child.

The next day I was exhausted, as I always am when I am at school for 12 hours straight. I came home early after school on Friday, just missing the big storm that damaged a number of trees in our neighbourhood. Today I am resting in the afternoon to be ready to get back into the swing of things on Monday.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that my weekend read is A. J. Finn’s The Woman in the Window. So far it is thrilling and it is sure to keep me reading the entire weekend. I am sure that I will not want to watch too much TV this weekend.

What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

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

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Weekend Coffee Share: First Week Back

Join us for some coffee time!If we were having coffee, I would tell that that the temperature has dropped suddenly by 10 degrees celsius. During the past week it was extremely hot and humid – on Wednesday it was unbearable to be outside at midday. I was lucky, though, as the academic school year had begun and I have air conditioning in my room.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that after the Labour Day holiday on Monday, I met my new group of students for this year. My group consists of fourteen grade 1 students and six grade 2 students. As expected, they were very quiet the first two days. By Friday, however, they were comfortable enough during the activity time to be extremely chatty – now they need to learn to whisper when they are chatting!

The first four days back at school went well. I am still establishing routines and expected behaviours. As each day passes I am getting to know my students and soon I will know what their needs are. I am currently still setting up their notebooks and folders while keeping up with the daily tasks of my job. As always, there are deadlines at this time of year and I will check them off one by one. Each day I have arrived home exhausted – a person forgets how exhausting establishing habits can be.

The First Week Back © Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

Yesterday when I locked my classroom door, the room had begun to take on the artistry of the students in my classroom. Bit by bit the walls will look less bare and reflect the children that inhabit it during the day.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that now my weekends will reflect the routines of the school year as well: laundry, grocery shopping, household chores and, of course, Zumba.

I wish you a wonderful week. May it be a positive one.

What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

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

Weekend Coffee Share: Getting Ready

Join us for some coffee time!

If we were having coffee, I would be greeting you on the last long weekend before the start of the academic school year. During the past week I have been going into my classroom and getting it ready for the first day of school. I have set out the furniture, prepared the children’s notebooks and labelled them with their names. I have planned the first day activities, and have started to immerse myself in my weekly routine by going to bed earlier and rising near my normal time.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I stayed at school late on Friday to make sure everything was ready for the first day back. I am looking forward to meeting my new students who are, at the moment, a mere list of names. I am sure they are looking forward to school too, but with a little trepidation as  they do not know who their teacher will be for the year. The long weekend before we go back I will prepare in other ways: I will complete my weekly grocery shopping (when I am on break, I shop on a needs basis), get the laundry up to date, and finish all other household chores.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that it will be good to be back in routine. Not only will my days start to follow a familiar pattern, but also the late afternoons and evenings when I attend my group exercise classes will be to a set routine. It will certainly be easier to attend my classes as Fall approaches with the weather being cooler. I was thankful this past week when the temperatures outside dropped – I do prefer the Fall weather as it is not so hot and humid. This summer has been difficult for me as I struggled to sleep at night from the heat; and had to cope with heat rash.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this weekend I will get some reading in – my last chance to spend plenty of time in other worlds. Once I get busy with school work, it will be difficult to find the time to read as much as I have in the last month.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you to enjoy the long weekend (if you have one), and to enjoy the rest of your week.

What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

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

Weekend Coffee Share: A Book-Filled Week

Join us for some coffee time!

If we were having coffee, I would welcome you in and offer you something iced. After a few cool days – and a couple of perfect ones! – we are back to high humidity. I was enjoying the cooler air and the fact we did not have to use the fans. Alas, it looks like we are in for a steaming hot day today.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I have not been well over the last two days. Getting caught in the rain on Tuesday and then going into a highly air-conditioned place was not good for my body. An itchy throat and itchy eyes resulted (though the itchy eyes may be a result of my allergies). As I am still on break, I stayed at home and relaxed – and read a few more books 🙂

Speaking of books, I am almost caught up with my book reviews – you will see them coming this week. As I am typing, I have two left on my pile to review. I have read a number of very good books over the past two weeks and I hope that you will enjoy reading what I think about them.

On Tuesday I went to a series of talks organised by my school board for beginning teachers. I receive an invitation as I mentored a number of new teachers over the last couple of years. The talks were interesting – especially the one on guided reading. When registering, we received a gift of two picture books – one in English and one in French. I was happy when I saw the French one as normally I receive English books which I have to give away. The picture book looks like a fun read and I already know how I will use it for a writing prompt.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I met up with a friend of mine whom I do not see too often as she lives quite a distance from me. Our children played board games in the bedroom and we sat on the sofa for 5 hours and did not stop talking. Time passed by too quickly! We have set aside another day for our friendship before the summer break is over.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am very excited for an event that is happening this afternoon at the offices of Harper Collins Publishing Canada. I was on the waitlist for one of their events and was offered a spot yesterday. I have never been to one of these events for book bloggers and look forward to it.

That is all my news for now. Next week will be filled with getting ready for school. Have a wonderful rest of the day.

What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

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

Weekend Coffee Share: An Event and a Find

Join us for some coffee time!

If we were having coffee, I would welcome you with a smile and apologise for meeting with you so late. My excuse? I was reading a book that made me smile – and I did not want to put it down!!!

If we were having coffee, I would definitely offer you the iced version as it is still very hot here. The heat is making me feel lethargic and I do not feel the desire to do too much. I avoid sitting at the table to type on the computer – I would much rather sit in front of the fan and immerse myself in the books I have chosen to read. This week I am determined to sit down and write up some reviews of books for you to read – especially as I have recently read so many wonderful stories.

As I am telling you of stories, I wish to share with you the author event I went to yesterday. The event was organised by Indigo, a local chain of bookstores. The two authors on the panel – Tracy Banghart and Elly Blake – are Young Adult writers of fantasy fiction. I have not read their work yet but I enjoyed listening to them speak as they shared their writing process and what inspired them to write their story. I asked what they like to read when writing, and both of them said romance. Interesting. I am sure their novels will have a bit of romance in them. 🙂

Not much else has happened during the past week. I have exercised, read, and Skyped my mom. I did go shopping for a few items for my classroom (which teacher can resist?!?). I saw the perfect caddies that I have been looking for to use at my table groups. I have been avoiding the brightly coloured ones and have been on the lookout for wooden ones in neutral colours. I was so excited when I saw a possibility in a Michaels flyer (Micheals is a craft store). On Friday I ventured outside to go to the store and was ecstatic when I saw the perfect baskets.I took 6 of the baskets – five for the group tables and one for the table I will work at with the children. The best thing was that the store had a promotion on – two for the price of one – and I saved quite a bit of money. In addition to the promotion, I also got a teacher discount.  🙂

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that next week will be a little busier. It will be my last week off duty before I go into my classroom to get ready for the new school year.

What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

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

Weekend Coffee Share: Connections

Join us for some coffee time!

If we were having coffee, I would welcome you in from the heat and offer you an iced drink. It has been hot this past week with high humidity . My body definitely does not like the heat as attested by the heat rash I have been experiencing.

The week began with a public holiday – which for us was a lazy day hanging out at home. I took the weekend to rest from our trip to Paris – something I hadn’t done during the week because I had attended a workshop. This week I did not do too much and managed to do a bit of reading (my guilty pleasure!). Because of the heat, I read in front of the fan and drank a lot of iced tea.

The highlight of the past week was the connections I made with a few people. My cousin, whom I hadn’t seen in twenty years, visited Toronto to see his brothers and I was lucky enough to see him for a couple of hours when his twin brother brought him over to visit. As I had been in Paris, I was unable to see him more often during his visit – but I am grateful that I had a chance to share a cup of tea with him (iced, of course). It was good to catch up with someone from my past, find out what he was doing in New Zealand, and reminisce a bit about childhood moments.

Another connection I made during this past week was meeting up with my mentee for coffee. Both of us are sad that she was surplused from our school and that we will no longer be working together. I enjoyed seeing her smiling face and hearing her chatter. We, of course, began talking about school and what we wish to do this coming year with our students. We cannot help ourselves 🙂 The ideas always buzz around when we are talking.

Today has dawned as a beautiful day. At noon I will be leaving to go on a picnic birthday for the son of one of my ex-colleagues. It will be good to see her again before school starts. I am hoping next week to connect with another ex-colleague before the craziness of the school year begins.

I wish you a wonderful week – may it be filled with connections.

What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

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

Weekend Coffee Share: I am Back!

Join us for some coffee time!If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am back from our family vacation – and have been for a week. We arrived last week Sunday in the early evening. We were exhausted from the trip and glad to be back home. We had spend some solid family time together in Paris and we had loved every minute of it. But we were tired – we had done a LOT of walking! At the end of the day on Sunday, my husband and I lay our heads down on our pillows with a sigh of pleasure. We had missed sleeping in our own bed covered by our own duvet.

Our family vacation in Paris was wonderful and I enjoyed walking the streets of this fair city after 29 years. Little things had changed, but so many things were the same. I enjoyed seeing things like the Eiffel Tower again, and remembering the walks I had taken down the Champs Élysées. It was a treat to see the paintings by Monet and Renoir again, as well as the painting of Napoleon’s coronation at the Louvre. The best thing for me about the vacation, however, was spending quality time with my family. Unlike when we went on holiday at a resort, the five of us were together all of the time. Eating together three times a day, we had the opportunity to talk a lot. Many meals were picnic-like , though we did treat ourselves a number of times at a restaurant.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that during the past week I attended a teacher’s workshop – even though I was not fully recovered from our vacation. The workshop was centred on Math for the K-2 grades. Even though I already knew most of what the presenters spoke about, I did learn a few nuggets that I will implement in my classroom this year. It is important, I feel, to keep on learning and to work on improving my teaching practice. In this way, I prevent boredom from setting in – and I figure out ways to reach all of the students in my class.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that right now it is HOT. All I want to do is sit in front of the fans and read / watch Netflix. I have a number of books that I still want to read before I go back to school and have placed them on the table next to the bed. Our vacation in Paris meant that I did not have much opportunity to read in July as we had spent a lot of time sight seeing. I intend to play catch up during the month of August.

If we were having coffee (of course, iced), I would tell you that my plan for the forthcoming week is to do a little bit of tidying up in our place (if it is not too hot). I like the place to be cleaned from top to bottom before the school year starts as I do not have much chance to do so during the school year. I also plan to read, and to catch up on my book reviews – I have a number to do for the month of July. It is only a couple of weeks left before I begin to get ready for the new school year.

If we were having coffee, I would wish you a wonderful week. And if you are like me and live in Ontario, Canada enjoy the public holiday tomorrow.

What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

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

Weekend Coffee Share: A Week Long Heat Wave

Join us for some coffee time!

If we were having coffee, I would greet you with a smile. The heat wave has finally broken and we are feeling a lot cooler. The past week was difficult as it was too hot to do much of anything. My daughters and I spent the first week of the summer break sitting in front of the fans trying to cool down. Sleep was difficult and we woke up every morning drenched with sweat.

I managed to do quite a bit of reading this week and completed three novels – many of which I have been waiting to read for a long time. It was a very pleasant feeling to read guilt-free as I had no deadlines to complete, and no work responsibilities. This upcoming week, however, I will not do as much reading as I prepare for our family vacation to Paris. I will begin packing at the beginning of the week to ensure that we have everything that we need. I like to give myself a bit of time to pack so that I can still shop for the essentials that we need and do not have at home. I will also spend time on our itinerary and fine-tune the details of what I have already planned.

My week has been very low-key – perfect for the start of my school break. I have gone to a few more exercise classes than I normally do. I like being able to go during the day as the classes are not as full and there is more space to move on the floor. Inn addition, I get to experience different instructors and different routines.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you to enjoy your week. May your days be not too hot, nor too cold.

What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

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

Weekend Coffee Share: After a Long Weekend

Join us for some coffee time!

If we were having coffee, I would apologise for not meeting with you earlier. The past week has been a little crazy. School has ended (yahoo!), my husband has returned home, and I have been resting during a heat wave.

Last week was our final week at school before the summer break. It was bittersweet because while we were all glad with the start of the school break and the chance to rest, we were also sad to say goodbye to teachers that had been surplussed (I had worked with one of them) and to our principal (who was moving onto a new school). During the week I pushed through my fatigue and put away things in my classroom (summer school is happening in my room) so that I could finish soon after our staff meeting on Friday. A few of my students had already left for their vacation so the number of kids in my room was low. While they played board games and worked on some activities, I worked at making sure everything was sent home and tidied up in the room.

We had our staff party on Thursday evening at which we said goodbye to all those people who were leaving us. The weather was perfect for sitting outside. I enjoyed chatting to some of my colleagues – we really should get together like this more often and get to know one another as people instead of working alone in our classrooms. The evening ended on a sad note. I will, however, see my mentee during the break once we have both gone away on our vacation.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that we met our new principal on Friday. We will see how it goes with her. Her personality is definitely different to our previous principal and the vibe at the staff meeting was not the same. It is certainly stressful to begin again with someone new – and have to prove oneself all over again.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that we went to pick up my husband from the airport on Friday evening. It was good seeing him arrive safely, and to have him back at home. Sunday night dinner was great – he cooked, giving me a break, and the tastes and flavours were yummy. As my daughter said, we had missed eating his food 🙂

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that on Saturday we went to help our son pack up a little as he is moving to Vancouver in August. Another change that is bittersweet. We are pleased that the move means a step forward in his career, but are sad that he will no longer be near us and we will no longer see him every weekend for dinner. At least we will get to spend some solid time with him during our family vacation before he leaves Toronto.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that we have been experiencing a heat wave since Friday. The extreme heat is very tiring and discourages one from doing anything. The country celebrated Canada Day this weekend. but the heat discouraged me from going out to celebrate. Instead we stayed at home near the fans!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I intend to do a lot of reading and relaxing during the first week of my summer break. Hope you have a good week too.

What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

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

Weekend Coffee Share: A Little Tardy

Join us for some coffee time!If we were having coffee, I would apologise for being a little tardy with my news this week. I did not feel well this weekend so I did a lot of resting, reading, and netflixing – I could not face sitting in front of the computer. I am feeling exhausted and my body is telling me so. The weekend was spent with an aching throat and lethargic limbs. I really do need a break.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that last week was the school concert. It was a long day – and a tiring one. I got home after 9pm – and then it took me a while to wind down. What is really annoying is that so many parents do not thank us for looking after their children while they watch the show. All it takes is a thank you for us to feel appreciated.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that we received bad news last Thursday – our principal is moving onto another school next year. I will miss her as I have a connection with her and will miss her sound advice. She is moving nearer home and onto a middle school. I think she will have many visitors this week – and receive many gifts as parents, teachers, and children love her.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I had the opportunity to go to another author event on Thursday evening. I loved it! I think it is great that Harper Collins Canada introduces us to their authors whenever they get the chance. I enjoy hearing the authors speak about their novel and their writing process.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I need to go now. It is the last week of school and we will be doing a lot of tidying up this week. I wish you a wonderful day and will speak to you next week.

What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

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