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)

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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)

Weekend Coffee Share: Beginning to Wrap Up

Join us for some coffee time!If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the weather for the last week has been perfect – not too hot and not too cold. This morning the air outside is refreshingly cool and has the potential to be hot and muggy. By then all my chores will be done and I will be able to do a little bit of relaxing  and reading.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am taking things slowly in class. I have finished the curriculum and all the planned activities that will be reported on in the report cards. Now what I will do with my class are fun learning activities. During this upcoming week three of my students are leaving before the end of the school year to go on vacation and I am therefore getting all their work together so that it can go home before they leave for their planned trips. We will also have the class party a week before I normally would hold it as I want to wish them all well for the upcoming year – as well as give them their gift.

In addition to gathering all of my students’ work, I have started taking down things from my walls and putting items away in the cupboards. I was told on Thursday that my classroom will be used during the Summer for a Summer camp so it is important that the room be tidied and ready for another person to use by the 29 June. The downside to this is that my task needs to be done in 2 weeks; the upside is that I will be forced to finish on time and not linger over the tidying in the first week of our break.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that my family is missing the father of our tribe. We managed to speak to my husband last night and it was nice to see his face and hear him laugh. Sigh … another 2 weeks and then we will all be back together again. At least for a while.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am going to have a busy week. My report cards will be returned and I will make the corrections; the school concert is happening; and I will be tidying my room. The children are excited that the Summer vacation is almost here – and the teachers are looking forward to the break and the chance to rest and connect with their families. There is quite a buzz in the school at the moment.

I wish you a wonderful week ahead. May it be filled with sunshine and smiles.

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 Successful Week

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If we were having coffee, I would greet you with the news that I have completed my report cards. All I need to do is read through them once more to check for errors before printing and submitting them. I am pleased that they are finally done – I really pushed myself this week to get them finished. Now I can focus on completing a few things with the children (including lots of outdoor play), filing and getting their work ready to go home, and tidying things away in the classroom. I cannot believe that there are only three weeks left of the school year – the last two months have really gone by quickly.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that it is strange not having my husband at home. After 19 years of living with a person, you get used to having them around. He is missing us too but it is good for him to spend some time with his siblings. One can never be sure when he may have the opportunity again.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that during the past week I managed to blog 6 days out of 7 days. I have also managed to get my book reviews up to date (the last of them will be posted in the upcoming week). Each time I tell myself that I will keep up with them as I read but something (another book!) gets in the way. I am better able to type my thoughts when I have just completed the book as my reactions are fresh in my mind.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the weather has been a little cool this week. The rain we have had has been good for the little garden my class and I planted last week. It is currently surviving – no kids have damaged it by pulling out plants, or running over the flower bed.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am now going to do some grocery shopping. Before I go, I will look in the fridge to see what I didn’t use during the past week. I have not had to cook as much with my husband away so I know that there are some vegetables left over.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you to enjoy your week. Make it a good 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: It Feels Like Summer

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If we were having coffee, I would tell you that it felt like summer during the past week. The temperatures and the humidity were high, causing us all to feel a little listless. Our bodies have not yet acclimatised to the heat – though it was very pleasant to feel the sun beating down onto our heads instead of feeling the chill of a winter wind.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that my husband has arrived safely at his destination and that my brother-in-law’s funeral was yesterday. I have not yet spoken to my husband today but he has texted to say it went well and was well attended. We miss having my husband around and we look forward to him being back home in a few weeks.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I did some gardening with my class on Friday. We had a fun time digging in the dirt outside. Friday was the best time for me to do some planting with them and I am hoping that the garden survives the weekend and that we watered then plants enough. I was hoping that it would rain a little this weekend but, even though it has been cloudy and cool, we have had no rain.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this week we did the class placements of the children we are currently teaching. During the class placements, the teachers of each grade get together and place the students into classes for next year. These placements could be shuffled around by the admin during the summer – especially if we lose students. But, for now, most of the work has been done.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I have begun working on the report cards. This is our final week for assessment and it will be filled with tests for the children so that I can be sure that I give them the grade that they deserve. It is unbelievable that there are only 4 weeks left to this school year – the last couple of months have gone by so quickly!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you to enjoy the upcoming week. Now I need to go and complete the household chores that wait for me every 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)

Weekend Coffee Share: Bits and Pieces

wordswag_15073188796611453091488.pngIf we were having coffee, I would usher you in from the chilly weather. The past two days have seen a drop in temperature but, thankfully, not so far down that we have had snow. The beginning of the week we experienced beautiful spring weather – gentle breezes and and temperatures warm enough that we could walk outside for part of the day without wearing any jackets or sweaters.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am exhausted. No matter how much sleep I get, I wake up feeling tired. Only a couple of months left of school and then I will be able to sleep late and recharge my batteries. In an effort to lessen my fatigue, I did take a week off of exercise which, I think, did help. I was disappointed, however, that the day I went back to fitness classes, our Zumba instructor was absent and there was no one to replace her 😦

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this week the butterfly kits arrived at school. On Thursday, the caterpillars were big enough for me to separate into smaller containers; it is quite a fiddly task as you should not touch the worms. When I get back into my classroom on Monday, I will open a few pots and leave some of the caterpillars to roam free. The children do enjoy watching them climb up the branch I will place in the terrarium.I have noticed that if I do not free them, the children do not visit the centre to watch them. In addition, it takes longer for the caterpillars to form their chrysalis if they are left to roam free.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that tonight my family and I are going out to celebrate Mother’s Day. We do not eat out at restaurants too much so it will be a treat. And, as always, the extra treat is having my family eat together and share their stories.

If we were having coffee, I would now excuse myself as it is time to go to my exercise class. If you are a mom who lives in my part of the world, enjoy Mother’s Day tomorrow. I hope you are showered with love.

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 Warmer Week

wordswag_15073188796611453091488.pngIf we were having coffee, I would greet you with a big smile on my face. Spring has finally arrived! I can hear the birds singing as I write this post; the sky is blue and the air is warmer. The air also seems to be filled with a lot more positivity. People are smiling more and don’t seem to be as sad. I am loving the warmer days – especially now that my classroom has warmed up and I no longer have to wear sweaters inside.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the week at work has been good. We have almost completed the structures inquiry in class – only a few more children need to present their work. They are doing a really good job this year in both the building and the presentation of their work. I added in another step to get them ready to talk about their structure and it has done the trick.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I had the opportunity to go and listen to a couple of Canadian authors speak at the offices of Harper Collins  Publishers. What a wonderful experience that was. I had never been to an author meet before and it is definitely an experience that I would want to repeat. Actors are made into superstars and I feel that authors should be too. They often spend years writing the novel for us to enjoy. As a society we really should show more our appreciation for their craft.

If we were having coffee, I would tell that you the signs of spring are all around in the sight of budding trees and blooming flowers. Another sign is my itchy eyes and scratchy throat. Even though I have taken an anti-histamine tablet, my eyes are burning and I have a desire to close them. Allergy season has arrived! I always wonder why I have a worse experience here in Toronto than I ever did when I was growing up in South Africa.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am looking forward to a week of spring. Enjoy a wonderful seven days and I 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)

Weekend Coffee Share: An Event-Filled Week

wordswag_15073188796611453091488.pngIf we were having coffee, I would welcome you in from the cold. In spite of the mild weather we had during the week, both days this weekend have been chilly – the temperatures did not reach the double digits, but at least they did not drop below 0c!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that quite a bit happened over the past week: my attendance at a publishing house showcase, a school trip to the zoo, and my daughter’s birthday.

During my attendance at the OLA Super Conference, I dropped in at the booth run by Pembroke Publishers – a publishing house that specialises in educational books. I left my name and email address with them so that I could receive emails of new releases. A month ago, they sent me an evite to attend their annual showcase. The lineup looked interesting so I accepted the invitation.

From the time I had a bite to eat for breakfast until the moment I lay down my fork after lunch, I was engaged. A line-up of authors spoke about a tidbit from their book. The talks and snapshots were varied and inspiring. I had invited my friend and ex-colleague to attend the showcase with me – and we both loved it. I left the venue with my head buzzing on ideas to improve my teaching practice. I left as well with a purchase of three titles:

  1. Literacy out Loud by Terry Campbell and Michelle E. McMartin. At the moment for Book Club, we are reading about setting up a writer’s workshop in the classroom. This book will, I think, be a perfect compliment to that text.
  2. Guiding Readers by Lori Rog. This text will be set aside for my Summer reading as I aim to improve on my guided reading sessions next year.
  3. Cultivating Readers by Anne Elliott and Mary Lynch. The speaker was so inspiring on ways to get students reading.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that on Friday I went with my class on a field trip to the zoo. As our school mascot is the penguin, we celebrate World Penguin Day (which was on 25 April). This year our principal organised that the entire school had an opportunity to go to the zoo and meet the penguins. On Friday it was the turn of my class. The talk was informative and the children had many of their penguin questions answered. After lunch we had some time to walk about the zoo before heading back to school.

Yesterday was a big day for my daughter – she turned 18! I cannot believe that the little baby that I brought home is now officially a young woman. She had a few friends over to celebrate and eat lunch with her. After we had prepared the lunch, my husband and I went out to give them some time alone. We took the opportunity to see a film we had been wanting to see for a while, Black Panther. We both loved it. I found the fight scenes so graceful. There were a few moments in the film that caused shivers down my spine. Loved the storyline. Loved the acting.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that it is now time I do a little reading for the Book Club I am running at school. Speak to you next weekend, and have a wonderful 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 Cold Yet Successful Week

wordswag_15073188796611453091488.pngIf we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am so happy to see a bit of blue sky today. This past week felt like winter with freezing rain, snow, slippery sidewalks and winter boots! All the adults at work were complaining while the children gleefully played with the snow during recess. By yesterday afternoon about 80% of the snow had melted (though we hadn’t seen much sun). I am hoping that next week we will have a proper Spring.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that my colleague and I ran our first Teacher Book Club session on Wednesday. The meeting was well received and people afterwards came to me and said how much they had enjoyed it. I loved how people were sharing their thoughts and even their own experiences in the classroom. I had moved my tables (the children sit in groups at round tables) so that we were in a large circle. We were therefore able to see the faces of everyone as they spoke. There were twelve of us at the first meeting, and I do not think the number will dwindle.

If we were having coffee, I would continue on the subject of work and tell you that our assignments for next year have been decided. I have been given my first choice – which was to continue working with the grade 1 and 2 combined class. I will have more grade 1s in the class next year and plan to adjust my programme accordingly. The bonus is that I shall stay in my current room so I will not need to pack up and move to another space.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the guide book to Paris that I ordered from Amazon arrived earlier in the week. My husband is currently reading it and I think I will need to grab it from him sometime this weekend – there are a few places I want to check out that I did not visit the last time I was in that fair city.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that nothing else has happened this week. The days have followed the usual routine. Hopefully next week will be warmer – and I know will be a little different (I will tell you all about it 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)