Thankful Thursdays

My first ever thankful Thursday on my blog! After a day like today, where I feel completely exhausted, I think I need to do this. Here are some things I’m feeling thankful for:

  • Food from our amazing cafeteria at all of our grade level and PLC meetings. Today we had an assortment of tea, summer rolls , fruits and baked sugar cookies.  My school is pretty amazing. They know how to feed us.
  • Access to macbook pro carts. I have a set of 11 in my classroom plus I can borrow another teacher’s cart to get a whole class set.
  • My amazing cleaner who comes on Thursday afternoons when I am at work. She not only cleans and does my laundry, but she ORGANIZES my kitchen. Since I just moved into my apartment, things are a mess. When I get home I love seeing things organized into different cabinets.
  • Having 22 students with unique personalities and backgrounds that make my days full of laughter and joy! Our team is named team wonder and we have a wonder bacon cheer. I’m still not sure what the obsession behind bacon is for some of my boys.
  • E-mail updates from friends back home! 🙂

            What are you thankful for today?

Monday Manicures

Often, she never looks at me. I’m stuck in darkness, through the long ride on the subway and the walk home. As, I get pulled away, I dream to see new things, outside the classroom. I long to see a new home. Yet, I take the long ride and often, end up coming back to my classroom without a glimpse of sun. I’m always longing to see more. I know there is more to life out there.

However, last night was different. I was taken out and talked about. I was shared with a friend. I got to smell the lavender and different aromas. I heard new music and saw a new side of Singapore. I felt like I was finally breathing.

***

We had found a good groupon deal, only $18 for a mani/pedi which is quite the deal here in Singapore. A manicure alone usually costs $25. Well, we finally found the time to put our groupon to use and enjoyed this pampering on a cloudy Monday evening yesterday.

In the middle of our pedicure, we started talking about school, and one of the other teachers mentioned that she should have brought some school work with her. Then, I realized I had my copy of my Everyday mathematics lesson for the week in my bag. So we did manage to squeeze a bit of lesson prepping in the midst of our pampering.  Our mani/pedicures  ended up taking over 2 hours. It was well worth the time and pampering.

Please tell me I’m not the only one guilty of doing this. You would think that by now, I would stop taking work home, but you never know. Sometimes, it does actually get done.

Slice of Life Tuesdays is hosted by Two Writing Teachers. Join us with your slice of life today

High Tea Buffet @ the Regent Hotel

High tea, buffet and a fancy hotel, you simply can’t go wrong! Luckily, due to a cancelled reservation, I was able to make the first seating of the afternoon tea buffet last Monday at the Regent hotel here in Singapore. This was my first time there and I took my cousin who was visiting.

I was absolutely amazed at their selection and quality of food. Yes, it is a bit pricey, it was about $50 (singapore dollars) per person including tax and service. However,  it was totally worth it. The spread of food they had from scones, macarons, sushi, salad, meat carving table, finger sandwiches, cheese & crackers, crepes station, fruits, all types of dessert, and more was incredible. The presentation was beautiful and the taste didn’t disappoint. Plus, you can order two different drinks. I ordered the Jasmine green tea and then a more summery mango tango tea. Here are the photos via my iphone & a photo editing app. pixlr!

   

A Taste of Singapore

Here are some photos of the top things to do here in Singapore, and I think I did it all in a long weekend! Good thing for visitors that make you do all the touristy things. 🙂 Here are some shots from Marina Bay Sands Hotel rooftop, the Singapore Flyer, Sentosa and some good food. I finally checked out Loy Kee Chicken & Rice near my house and also had amazing brunch at Wild Honey by Orchard.

 

Cherishing the Small Moments

This past first week of school has been busy and hectic to say the least. I’ve started a new teaching job in a new country, Singapore. Despite the excitement and newness of a new place, at times I miss and long for the familiarity of my friends and family in New York and Korea. It’s not easy being away from the people closest to you, the ones that know you inside and out while transitioning to a new place full of people that don’t know you. At the same time, I am so thankful for the school community that has made the transition really smooth for us newbies. Thus, that’s all part of the life of an international school teacher.

My school is fast paced to say the least. However, in the midst of all the first week of school busyness, I am cherishing the small moments that I’ve had with my students.

  • The first time we had independent reading, complete silence and 22 students glued to their books. I wanted to rub my eyes and make sure this was real.
  • Students telling their parents they love our class read aloud book, Wonder by RJ Palacio. I’m so glad that I decided to choose this book.
  • “School is over already?” Students that are surprised that the school day has already ended.
  • Students that get upset when independent reading time is over.
  • Students that wrote “Ms. Kim is the best teacher…” on their letters to their parents for back to school night. (I admit I might have jokingly suggested the line, but I didn’t think so many of them would really write that!)
  • High-fives from my students as they leave the classroom! Something new I’m doing this year. 🙂

So on that note, to all the teachers starting school, what small moment did you cherish with your students?

Slice of Life Tuesdays is hosted by Two Writing Teachers

Being the Best

“We are trying to be the best school in the world.” That is what our new superintendent says casually during conversations. Yes, that’s a lot of pressure, especially if you are a new teacher! 🙂

It has been really busy these past few weeks, getting ready for the start of school. As a newbie, there is so much to learn and things to get ready in the classroom. So many nights, I just get on top of my bed and fall asleep with the lights on. It has been exhausting and exciting all at the same time. We had an open house on Saturday where ALL the parents and students come to meet their new teacher. Our school is huge, so that means about 10,000 people on our campus at once! Luckily, I’m in my classroom all morning, so I don’t get to see all the people walking around.

I managed to get my classroom all ready for the open house. I actually bought and assembled both the rocking chair(IKEA) and easel (Takashimaya) all by myself! Life would be so much easier if I had a car here. It’s too bad that cars are ridiculously expensive in Singapore because the permit to buy a car starts around $60,000. That doesn’t include the cost of the car!

Anyways, don’t be alarmed by the Canadian flag on the door. I have a really funny Canadian neighbor, and it cools that our doors connect.  It would be kind of funny if I put a US or Korean flag on it one day as a prank…. Well, I felt that I should blog and remember this moment before I start school tomorrow morning. This is the moment, where you are full of hope and anticipation. Have a good first day everyone!

A City Built in a Jungle

During the job interview process, the interviewer described Singapore as a city built in a jungle. I don’t know why, but this stuck in my head.  Months later, now that I’m living here, I can definitely understand why.  The other week, while my friend was running, I went on a stroll with my camera in the Singapore Botanical Garden. It was a beautiful and huge garden in the middle of the downtown area. I didn’t have much time, so I will definitely be coming back to explore some more!