Performance

It’s funny how much translates from one district to another.  So far, NYCDOE’s “rigor” is just about the same as DPS’s “rigor”.  Today I spent the bulk of my day working on year long “Student Learning Objectives” and creating a “performance based task” for the end of the first unit (no more expeditions).  It’s been a long day.  I am lucky this year though – I am working closely with a super thoughtful teacher who is also teaching bio.  The catch is, my schedule is still not set yet and the first day of school with students is this Monday.  At first I was told I would be teaching Physics (2 sections), Bio, and a credit recovery course.  Now I may be teaching one Physics, Honors Bio, Bio and the credit recovery.  My eyes went buggy a first, but I’m determined not to stress over having 4 different preps (courses to teach) till everything is set with the master schedule.

Today on the clothing front I went a bit nicer than the usual t-shirt and jeans of summer.  I’ve also been sporting these amazingly sassy sunglasses all summer.  My friends Sara and Pedro gave them to me before I left Brooklyn and they are seriously the best ever.  They’re Valentino and probably the nicest thing I own.Performance1

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sunnies: valentino – shirt: madewell – skirt: super old dkny – shoes: saltwater sandals – tracker: fitbit


Don’t be a jerk

*jazz hands* New classroom!! *jazz hands*

Today was day three of seven “school launch” days for staff at my new high school here in Denver.  It’s been meeting after meeting, training, team building activities and orientation.  I barely had time to snap some photos in my new classroom.  I still have to find the optimal place with the best non-yellow lighting in the classroom, but as you can see, my new room is really stinkin nice.  Talk about an awesome science classroom – there is a dedicated instruction section and separate lab benches in the back.  It’s the nicest classroom I’ve ever seen AND, the students get ROCKING CHAIRS.  That’s right, rocking chairs. training day4Today’s training was on classroom management, aka 100% engagement (buzz word alert).  It was actually a nice refresher on methods I’d forgotten about such as various non-verbal cues, anonymous whole class corrections and private corrections.  It made me think about my classroom management style, which has evolved into a very stern, strict, I’m-not-playing-around-so-you-better-check-yourself type of management that some students find a bit rough around the edges and if I’m honest with myself, a bit jerky.  I don’t usually loosen up until second semester when the kids know the routine and know not to test me anymore (for the most part).  So my focus this year in terms of classroom management is, don’t be a jerk.  I need to breathe more, control my frustrations, stay calm, and utilize private corrections more.  One of the first things I taped up on my wall by my desk is my post card of a Barbara Kruger piece, “Don’t be a jerk”.  I love that little postcard – I picked it up at the Hirshhorn in Washington DC in 2012 and it’s been a classroom staple of mine.  This year, it has new meaning.  I used to point to it occasionally when kids were mean to each other, but this year, it’s for me.

Don't Be A Jerk

On the clothing end, it’s really nothing exciting.  I’m still on a basics kick and I’m in love with my summer sandals: the oh so trendy right now Birkenstocks.  B calls them “Jesus Sandals” or “big black boats” and I can’t really disagree with him.  I just got so obsessed with how cute I found then all of a sudden (just last summer I called them the ugliest things ever) when they started popping up all over my Feedly feed of fashion bloggers.  I’ve also retired my trusty Freitag bag for a while.  The plastic smell never really dissipates, and I was getting pretty tired of it.  So I dug out the old J.Crew purse from my SF teaching days.  Still holding up ok for now.  I do have my eye on the also uber trendy Fjallraven Kanken backpack though.  I’m such a sucker for hipster trends.  Sigh.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

glasses: warby parker beckett – cardigan and bag: super old j.crew – t-shirt: madewell – jeans: j brand via nordstrom rack – shoes: birkenstock


Since You’ve Been Gone

Or, since I’ve been gone.

I’ve let this blog drop for the past 8 months for a few reasons:

  1. I fell into a sartorial rut
  2. I ran out of things to say (or so I thought)
  3. B and I decided to make (yet another) life change by moving to Denver, CO
  4. I got busy (but not really, it was more laziness than anything)

I’m still struggling with #1 and #2, but slightly less so now.  My climate has changed and more significantly, my mode of transportation has changed.  We bought a car, so I no longer have to schlep it through snow/sleet and for that matter walk very much at all to/from school.  My Fitbit has had depressingly low numbers since we moved.  I no longer have to worry about new shoes giving me blisters after walking miles or how hot/cold I will be on the walk to the subway. I can wear whatever I want now, thanks to the fancy A/C and heated seats in the new ride.  It’s borderline bougie.  In addition, I’m starting at a new school here in Denver.  That means new all of the things: classes, students, standards, curriculum (the district curriculum tells you to teach from a textbook – that’s practically a dirty word where I come from), BBC (blackboard configuration), buzz words, rules, etc.  I will have heaps to talk about.  I’m entering my 6th year of teaching high school science in public schools.  I’m just going to go ahead and pat myself on the back for making it past the legendary “50% gone by 5 years” mark.   Do I feel like an experienced teacher?  Nope.  Not even close.

So what has happened since I’ve been gone?  If you follow me on Instagram, none of this is news to you.

I went to the Dominican Republic over winter break with a couple of awesome friends.

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I went to Puerto Rico over spring break with yet another awesome friend.  Most amazing tropical beach vacation ever.

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Hung out with my niece and went with my sister to the White House Correspondent’s Dinner pre-parties again.

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B and I packed up, said goodbye (with a bit of tears) to my crew kids at Leaders, bid farewell to Brooklyn and moved to Denver.  We’ve been here for a month so far,  more on Denver to come.

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Nice Photos

Today, one of my crew kids O told me, “you take nice pictures, miss.”  It took me a full minute to process what she had said.  “oh, so you’ve seen my blog”, I said finally.  My initial feeling was one of fear – a ridiculous feeling considering how open I was about my blog when I taught my week long blogging intensive. What ever students discover about me through my blog has already been out for a long time. I’ve been running this blog for 2 years!
Another comment struck fear in my heart today. A student, H, told me it looked like I was wearing a crop top with this sweater. He then rushed on to explain that the colors are deceiving with the tan bottom, and “you know. . .it looks like you’re naked.” OMG, kid. it’s practically a grandma sweater! right?!?
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glasses: warby parker – sweater and boots: madewell – jeans: uniqlo – belt: banana republic


Bag Lady/Man

Every teacher is a bag lady/man to some degree. We manage to schlep large quantities of paper, supplies and knick-knacks to and from school regardless of the day. I’ve carried papers home to grade, only to carry it right back to school untouched. Even so, I consider myself a light packer, based purely on the number of bags I bring everyday – one. Here are my bag residents, the stuff that lives permanently in my teacher bag – a little teacher voyeurism.
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1) beanie – for those really frigid Brooklyn mornings 2) phone – with a card case that carries my ID, credit card and metrocard 3) small pouch for small things like lip balms 4) lipstick of the day 5) sunscreen, for field trip days outside 6) non-scented hand lotion 7) tokyo milk roller ball perfume – for the days when I need an olfactory pick-me-up 8) mirror – to check for boogers and lipstick smears 9) oil blotting sheets – I’m an oil slick by the end of the school day 10) smelly floral hand cream – gives a little zing to my keyboard action 11) various lipshit with color – I need to have a selection at all times 12) gum – so I don’t dragon fire my coffee breath all over the kids 13) headphones 14) first aid kit and tissues – for when “I have a hangnail, I can’t write, so I can’t do my work” complaints 15) baggu bag (llamas!!) – for packing in the groceries needed for the day’s culinary class 16) book of the moment for zoning out on the commute 17) pens/pencils – obviously 18) wallet – for everything else that doesn’t go in my phone case 19) glasses cleaning cloth – that oil slick inevitably ends up all over my glasses 20) sunglasses – unused for the past month or so

bagging it2All this crap and more fits into my daily carry for the past 1.5 years, my Freitag tote bag.  On top of all this, I throw in my lunch for the day, about 32 ounces of coffee in 2 thermoses and a scarf/puffy coat if it’s cold out.

That’s all folks.  Interesting?  meh?  Did you lose a few brain cells looking at another “what’s in my bag” type post?


growing old, growing pains

My neck.  My back.  My knee.  My neck, and my back and my knee.  All three have been paining me for the past month.  It all started back in 2006 or so when I pulled a muscle or something moving boxes at home.  Ever since then, my back has been shit.  Usually my back just decides at random times to lock up for a week, then it goes away.  Lately though, it been just a dull frustrating nagging ache with twinges of acute pain.  Sometimes it feels like body aches from a fever, other times like my kidneys are crying.  Oh the pains of getting older and a body breaking down.

My back has been nagging me for long enough that the kids know what’s going on when I start doing my grandma moves in the middle of the class period.  They’ve seen me lie on the floor, hobble around and stretch.  They used to act concerned, but those days are long gone.  Secretly, I know they still care.

Also, new boxy Madewell top, another new addition from my weekend shopping trip.

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shirt: madewell – belt: super old gap – jeans: uniqlo – boots: super old boutique 9


Pumpkin

I miss the pumpkin ice cream from Mitchell’s in SF.  In it’s place, I’ve been making loads of pumpkin muffins, pumpkin-lentil soups and I’m wearing pumpkin.  It’s my favorite fall color, next to my bordeaux cheap-o lipstick.  Since B is away at a meet-up in Denver (I’m going for a quick weekend visit this friday!), I went shopping this past weekend and I did some damage at Madewell.  I swear I was just there to pop in to see what was new (yeah, right) till I saw the extra-30%-off-sales sign.  I’d just finished wasting brain cells watching “Sister Wives” on Netflix (I know, I know), and this top just screamed Mormon-chic.  Naturally, I had to have it.  By the way, everything seems to be a lot more online than in the shops – this shirt cost me $28, while online it is listed at $80 without any extra sale!  Ridiculous.

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glasses: warby parker – shirt and boots: madewell – skirt: j.crew – cardigan and tights: uniqlo


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