First Week

The first week of school is done! It was a rough week trying to get my body to physically adjust back to being in the classroom with students. I wasn’t hungry when I actually had time to eat, and I was starving during 5th period when I don’t have any breathing time till around 2:30. My restroom break schedule still needs tweaking around my teaching schedule. To help that, I’ve been forgetting to drink any “not coffee” type liquids. By the time next Friday rolls around, I will have whipped my body back into teaching shape with the bladder made of iron.

This year I’ve decided to document my entire “first week back” wardrobe. This is a fashion blog, after all, and there is no more important sartorial week in a teachers year than the first week back. Am I right? This week’s wardrobe is pretty typical for me – I start off with a few nice (read: dress or skirt) and casual it up for the rest of the days, ending with a bang of super dress-down on Fridays.

Monday: 9th grade only (I do not have classes, as I teach 10th and 12th graders this year). I forgot to take photos that day in the classroom, so B helped me snap a couple on my phone when I got home. Giant forehead alert!

first day of school2

first day of school

glasses: warby parker – cardigan: american apparel – dress: j.crew – shoes: saltwater sandals

Tuesday: My actual first day of school. I don’t know what I was thinking putting this outfit together the night before, because I hated it all day at school. I think the shoes have got to go to a friend who has a desk job, because they were not comfortable at all for making laps in the hallways. The skirt was too tight in the waist (summer pleasures brought on a fall squeeze) and kept climbing upwards when I walked. It’s a old skirt, and I used to love it, but I think it’s passed it’s peak. The shirt on the other hand, I love.

jcrew ruffle hem silk top

jcrew ruffle hem silk tank

glasses: warby parker – top: j.crew – skirt: dkny jeans – shoes: h&m

Wednesday: the short day. We have block schedule at my school on Wednesdays and Thursdays. This means I have prep periods all morning, teach only one 1.5 hr class, and then we have early release for grade team and all staff meetings. I love Wednesdays, obvi

3x1 channel jeans

anthropologie leather trim tank

shirt: anthropologie – belt: banana republic – jeans: 3×1 – shoes: mia

Thursday: OMG save me type of a day. Thursdays is the opposite of Wednesdays this year. I teach straight through for 5.5 hrs before I get a real break. By the end of Thursday I could barely remember my own name.

beastie boys shirt

beastie boys shirt2

glasses: warby parker – shirt: target – skirt: banana republic – shoes: mia

Friday: Thank god the weekend is here, I survived! This Friday, I busted out a slam dunk of a first week of school t-shirt, a real gem for this science teacher. B’s mum sent over a super stuffed birthday package for me this year, full of gummy candies, gorgeous smelling soaps, gardening gloves, and an awesome science shirt! It is seriously the best, and the kids definitely liked it. The shirt is from a small Perth based Etsy shop called ScienceStitch. I think mum found the shirt in Perth, so I’m sorry if you’re looking for the same shirt online.

i do science tshirt

science stitch

i do science

t-shirt: science stitch – belt: gap – jeans: 3×1 – shoes: nike (omg, like walking on clouds!)

Penny for Thoughts

As a teacher with friends who are also teachers on Facebook, I come across heaps of articles about teaching or about teachers.  Here are some of my favorites:

The Atlantic – I Lie About My Teaching  Oh lord yes.  Some days I’m in the middle of class and I actually think to myself “I really hope no one comes in and witnesses this hot mess” as more than half of the kids are totally disengaged and I’m floundering from table to table trying to get them back on track.  Then other days I wish I had video evidence of how “lit” my classroom is with learning.

nprED – Making Science Teaching More Than A ‘Backup Plan’  Teaching Science was definitely not my backup plan, it was my first plan.  I think (and I do not have the stats to back this up at all, it’s pure conjecture) a lot of people who go into teaching as a back up plan end up leaving teaching within a few years because, teaching. is. really. hard. work.

The New Yorker – Stop Humiliating Teachers  I hear a lot of “I would never be able to be a teacher, I don’t know how you do it” from the same people who say “schools these days don’t properly prepare students for the real world”.

Huffpost Education – Listen To the Teachers Who Stay (written by a respected colleague!)  The flip side and an inspiring call to keep fighting the good fight.  I need to read this every spring, when I start to flip flop on possibly leaving teaching and figuring out a ‘backup plan’.

 

Lots of compliments on my outfit today.  “Miss, you look really nice today” and “those are some bad ass designer shoes Miss!”  They’re not designer, they are fast-fashion, and everything here is old.  The skirt was 50¢ from a thrift store and the sweater is from about 4 years ago.  Yay for ‘shopping’ the closet!

urban outfitters back zip sweater2

urban outfitters back zip sweater

Zara Studded Cowboy Ankle Booties2

Zara Studded Cowboy Ankle Booties

glasses: warby parker – sweater: urban outfitters – belt: gap – skirt: thrifted (no tag and I suspect it was a server’s uniform skirt at one time) – boots: zara

Keep Calm and…

Today was the first day back from our week long Thanksgiving Break.  I was NOT ready to come back – a week of lounging around the house stuffing my face wasn’t nearly enough!  It was rough getting back into the groove today and by the time my last section rolled around, my patience had gone out the window.  Normally, I love my 6th period – they’re a rowdy, noisy, chatty bunch who as a whole are an awesome group of kids.  Sometimes, their shenanigans can get to me and push all my buttons all at the same time.  Today was one of those days and I got angry…but now I feel bad for getting angry.  They’re teenagers who just have a harder time focusing on Biology after they’ve already been in school for 6 hours (kids here have 8 hour school days — I think it’s ridiculous).  I should have kept calm and…let them be teenagers.

These booties are from Zara, a few years ago.  They’re pretty bad-ass, and I got many compliments on them today from students and adults alike.  I don’t wear them that often, for no good reason at all.  My top is from COS, a H&M spin off with a store in Manhattan and is also available online in the US.  I picked this one up over the summer while visiting New York.  I love the shape since it has so much room in the belly area but is still fitted around the shoulders (a trapeze top?).  The fabric is also a perfectly drapey material.    Lastly, I got a technology hand-me-down from B, his Pebble watch.  Winning.

forever 21 high waisted jeans

zara studded boots

pebble watch

cos shirt

zara boots

teacher outfits
cardigan: uniqlo – top: cos – jeans: f21 – boots: zara – watch: pebble – gold bracelet: madewell – jade bracelet: somewhere in china

Science!

Thanksgiving break officially has started for me.  YAY.  I get tomorrow “off” with the rest of the science department, because my principal is generously sending us to the Colorado Science Conference for Professional Development.  I’m so freaking excited.  I haven’t attended a science conference since my first year, when the NTSA held their national conference in SF.  As a first year teacher, it was all wasted on me while in survival mode.  This time around, I’m ready with my science teacher hat.  I need a fresh step in my science curriculum.

I love science.  I teach science.  Every. single. PD I attend is about reading/writing/speaking (common core).  Where is the science at?  No where.  Until now.  Have I mentioned how excited I am about tomorrow?

the feels

the feels2

the feels3

cardigan and jeans: madewell – belt: gap – shirt: uniqlo – boots: doc martins

Back to School Night

We had back to school night the second week of school and I’m only now getting around to posting about it.  I’ve always struggled with BTS nights.  I always end the night feeling like I put my foot in my mouth a couple times.  Meeting parents for the first time always shakes my confidence a bit.  I’m a bit socially awkward around adults anyway, so meeting a bunch all at once is hard.  I always feel like I’m under scrutiny and that I’m being sized up.  Of course, this all stems from my own insecurities – I can hardly blame parents for wanting the best teachers for their kids.  I also shot myself in the foot this year by not taking the extra time needed to prepare a “Hi, I’m your kid’s Bio teacher this year, here’s some info about my background!” type presentation.  If I had, I probably would have had a more successful night.

Anyways, I chose to wear heels for BTS night this year.  It was a 13 hour day, and my feet were 100% comfortable as I walked my tired body and mind to my car at 8pm.  Midi skirts just always look better with some extra leg length.

BTS night4

BTS night3

BTS night

BTS night2

glasses: warby parker – top: uniqlo – belt: jcrew – skirt: anthropologie – shoes: sweedish hasbeens for h&m

Fallin for a Safety Net

There is something to be said about high quality professional development. When you participate in a good one, you can walk away with immediate ideas and an implementation strategy to try out the very next day. You know the PD was worth your time when you learn something new that blows your mind a bit and makes you excited to try it out. This was how I felt after a PD led by one of my colleagues recently on “close reading”. I had been struggling with teaching my students how to read independently AND gain useful information from their reading. None of my students in Brooklyn were reading at grade level and I never really knew how to teach them reading comprehension strategies. Of course I took a literacy class in my credential program, but that was more theory and not at all practical applications of teaching literacy.  At most, I annotated for/with them and hoped that things stuck after some questioning and discussion. Here in Denver, some of my honors kids are reading at or above grade level, but I still have a majority who will read fluently, but without full understanding. It’s refreshing to have a short PD that teaches you something concrete, useful and simple to implement the very next lesson. In addition, it’s super helpful to have somewhat of a safety net in the form of a fellow teacher right at your school to help clarify routines, and give you tips.  If you want more information on close reading, check this out (though it’s much more useful to see it in action).

fallin fallin2 fallin3

glasses: warby parker – cardigan: madewell – tank: banana republic – pants: urban outfitters – boots: steve madden

This outfit is from the day I incorporated close reading into my lesson on Potential and Kinetic Energy.  I know these pants aren’t the most flattering for my body type with it’s slouchy look.  But hot damn, they’re comfortable.  They were also just $15 from the sale section at Urban Outfitters.  They’re still on the website (but for $30 – I got them at an extra 50% off), the Silence and Noise Winston Trousers.  They’re thick and warm for this freezing weather in Denver, and have I mentioned how comfy they are yet??

Kicks

I want to start off with a heartfelt appreciation for all the supportive comments in my last post.  It had been a month of struggles and I was at a particularly low point.  I guess I really needed words of encouragement from fellow teachers, and the advice really helped me feel like I’m not alone with these issues.  At my last school in Brooklyn, the small staff regularly ate lunch together and I always felt supported and encouraged by my peers every day.  We’d spend those 30 minutes sharing stories, ideas and giving advice.  In hindsight, those lunches really helped support me both as an educator and an emotional human being.  That lunch culture is not really established at my current school, so I find that I can go an entire day without any more than a “hello” type interaction with adults at school.  I need to set up some lunch dates!

Things have been going much better these past few days.  Classes have been running smoothly, I’ve had positive interactions with almost all of my students, and I had a couple restorative conferences with individual students that helped clear the air.  Also, students are turning in heaps of late work and raising their grades, which helps boost morale in the classroom.  Things are on the up and up – though I’m still not sure if this school is the right fit for me.  TIme will tell.

In other news, I did a bit of retail therapy this past weekend.  I got myself some new kickers.  I’ve been wanting a pair of 8 eye Docs, but I’ve always been held back by my ridiculous boot collection and the price.  So when I saw that I had a $20 gift card and they were on sale for less than $100 at Nordstrom, I caved.  Plus, B was out of town and he’s usually my voice of reason on how I don’t need anything.  While at the mall, I popped into J.Crew where they were having one of their 30% off sale prices events.  I picked up this adult version of a sweatshirt – it’s merino wool and ridiculously soft and comfortable (J.Crew Collection).  With the sale and my educator discount, this sweater was practically free super cheap!

kickers kickers3

The ever present pencil in my hair – it’s the only way I can keep track of fit.kickers4

scarf: super old no brand – sweater: j.crew – jeans: uniqlo – boots: dr. martens