Back To School Night, year 11

I always wear a dress on back to school night. I wore the same one three years in a row, and It was about to be four, but then I spied my blue COS coat/dress thing in my closet. I was convinced I’d get a lot of wears out of this thing – and this outfit was just wear number 2. I’ve really been trying to buy less this past year, and buy more mindfully. But I’ve failed, as evidenced by this blue coat I bought back 9 months ago and have worn exactly twice. I do still like it a lot, I just need to figure out more ways to style it, as its quite the bright statement. I need to get as much use out of it as possible while this weather lasts. Once winter hits, I’ll be living in my Arc’teryx Atom forever.

The sandals on the other hand, have gotten many, many wears over the years (since 2012), and will be a staple in my closet for years to come. They give just enough “fancy” to elevate a simple t-shirt dress into something appropriate to meet parents in.

On that note, I really need to work on my Back to School Night game. I’m terrible at meeting parents. I’m not the best at small talk in general, and I always feel socially awkward around adults. My prepared speeches always disappoint, I get thrown when I get told kids names as if I only have one Jessica, and my words always come out fast, shaky, nervous, insecure, and therefore curt sounding. I always end up with at least one angry parent. This year, I had one parent say, “That’s it?!?” at the end of my intro/welcome to my class talk. Sigh. You’d think I’d have this all figured out by my 11th year, but nope. Every year I get more and more involved parents who want to know things – I just don’t know what it is they want to know! Who has a Ted talk on giving good Back to School Ted talks? I need to watch it.

coat: cos – dress: uniqlo – belt: jcrew – sandals: madewell – earrings: sara boeck – watch: fitbit

And Then It’s Over

Summer has come and gone, seemingly in a heart beat. This year B and I did not do any international travel, so I theoretically I had plenty of time to just lounge around. Never seems to work out that way though right? What I did do was work in the garden, camped three times, traveled to SF twice, spent some time in DC with the family, and took a quick trip to NYC! Phew! I am forever grateful to have 2 months off every year to decompress from the school year. I don’t think I would ever last if we didn’t.

Yesterday was our first day back to school for a week (and a day – we started on a FRIDAY) of meetings, planning, and set up time. Students show up right after. This means I’m going to get good use out of my closet again. I’ve essentially been living in my Nike shorts and a tank all summer! There have been a few new additions to my closet for this coming school year – first of which is a new school bag. I end up changing up my school bag pretty often. In BK I used my Freitag tote for 2 years, then started switching every year here in Denver. I guess I’m just always on the search for the perfect school bag. I need something that can protect my laptop from drippy coffee thermoses, water bottles, and can haul my lunch without crushing it, all while being cute and gentle on my back. I don’t have far to walk ever (car to classroom), but as I’ve gotten older my back is more sensitive to weirdly balanced weights. The truth is though, I’m just a sucker for cute bags.

This year’s bag is an Osprey one I picked up at the Summer Outdoor Retailer Conference in Denver back in June. B and I worked for our friend’s coffee company Bivouac pouring cups at the event. This means of course that I got to go and check out all the new stuff coming out soon by all the Outdoor brands. Not many booths were selling things, but Osprey were on the first day. This bag is set to come out in Spring 2020 (I think), and it’s called the Arcane Totepack. I jumped on the chance to buy one as soon as I saw it (they sold a second style too, which of course I also bought because I couldn’t choose). Currently, they have something similar, but definitely not as cool. This one is a roll top style with an internal laptop sleeve which means I can just open and dump stuff in without fumbling around with a zipper that accidentally unzips as I load. There are padded backpack straps that can be disconnected and tucked into the bag, as well as tote style handles that also can be tucked in out of sight. The fabric is a soft brushed matte material that doesn’t seems to collect hair, but does collect dust a bit. The tote handles are a seat-belt material that is soft on the hands. So far this bag has been on a 11 day trip with me from SF to DC to NYC, and I’ve used it one day for school. I really like it! The pink bunny charm is an extra cute thing I added for fun.

hair clips: goody – top: uniqlo – pants: urban outfitters – shoes: mohinders – bag: osprey – bag plushie charm: bt21

Back To School Night

Last Wednesday was back to school night.  While I’m a firm believer in wearing “wear what ever you want” as a teacher, I broke out my most professional and conservative dress for Back to School night. I ended up meeting about 10 parents that night, and managed (for once) not to stick my foot in my mouth this year.  Success!

I first saw this dress on my sister Kris, last spring. I went to visit her at work at the Pentagon where she gave me a tour of the place – pregnant with twins and wearing this dress with heels. It looked smashing on her, so I promptly ordered the same thing for my not-pregnant-nor wearing-heels self, in the same size. J.Crew Dresses that are fitted like this usually don’t work with my long-torso-short-legs shape. The butt area on the dress usually just ends up bagging up around my lower back. Kris shared with me a secret though – the “tall” sized dresses are a bit longer in the torso, and therefore work for us without being too short, too tight in the hips, and too baggy in the low back. Huzzah! back-to-school

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cardigan: american apparel – dress: j.crew – shoes: banana republic – goggles: picked up while tidying up the lab

Report week

My classroom is back! This week has been teacher report week at my school, which is our time to gear up for the upcoming school year. We have a bunch of new staff again this year, so it’s been fun meeting everyone and catching up with the old folks. This first few days where many of us are juggling physical work on our classrooms while jumping in and out of meetings can make getting dressed in the morning interesting. I’ve been taking the easy way out by essentially wearing the same thing all week and just rotating out the t-shirts.

These jeans and clogs are stylish enough to keep me from looking like I’m still on vacation, and the t-shirt is casual enough to do dirty work like science supply room reorganizing. A bonus is that the t-shirt is covered in tiny little skulls – the Cheap Monday logo. Normally I’m not into brand logos, but I’ve made an exception for this one since the skulls are just the right amount of cute and bad-ass. I picked this one up in Sydney on the way out to Bondi.

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cheap monday standard skulls tee

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t-shirt: cheap monday – belt: banana republic – jeans: mother denim – clogs: mia, via nordstrom rack – necklace: from my mom and grandmother

I have a new pair of “classroom shoes”. These are the shoes that I keep under my desk at all times just in case my feet need a rest over the course of the day, or I just feel like a change it up mid-day. I used to keep a pair of ballet flats under there, but they have been nearing the end for a while.  Luckily, Oofos emailed me and asked if I’d be interested in trying out a pair of their clogs. Yup, of course I do! I got them in the mail, immediately stuck them on, and didn’t want to take them off all evening. Clouds. Really. Comfortable. Clouds. They’re not the most exciting pair of shoes ever, but they are ridiculously light weight, squishy, and supportive. My friend Mallory has a pair of their sandals, and she wears them all summer, and also when she comes home and doesn’t want to go barefoot. These will be good for those days when I’m breaking in new shoes or just want to treat my feet at the end of the day. Hurray new classroom shoes!

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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.

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

The First Days: Anna

Often times I pass my coworkers in the halls and think to myself, “that is one sweet outfit!”.  Much of my traffic also comes from fellow teachers who are just starting out in the field, or are just curious to see how other like minded teachers are clothing themselves.  In the past, I’ve featured a couple of my Brooklyn friends on this blog such as Millie and Rachel.  This year, I’m starting off fast – with first day outfits.

This is Anna.  She teaches French.  Anna is all kinds of awesome.  She said she doesn’t normally wear this shirt because her hair gets caught in it.  But first days are special, and it looks great on her!  Anna is not one to shop normally, and she couldn’t really remember where every item came from.  Shopping really isn’t the point though, is it?

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top: topshop – shoes: blowfish – bracelets: aldo

One Two

First day of school with students was this past Monday and Tuesday.  Both days – 9th graders only on Monday and all the rest on Tuesday. So I had in effect 2 first days of school.  This is what I wore on day one and day two of the first day(s) of school.  For me teaching is like childbirth (or so I hear).  It’s agony sometimes, but then your mind seems to block all that stuff away after a break from the agony.  The summer must have given my brain time to block a lot of the agony away, because I. Am. Exhausted.  It’s been 11-13 hour days all this week and lots of mental strain trying to get organized and learn 110 names and faces.  Much of it has to do with the fact that I’m starting a new school and teaching one (physics) and a half new courses.  The half is because 2 of my 4 sections are Honors Biology, and I’ve only ever taught at non-tracking schools in the past.  I’m generally not a fan of tracking students, but I’ll admit it’s going to challenge me more as I now have to up the bio game.

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day one –  dress: thrift store find – belt: h&m – shoes: madewell – glasses: warby parker – day two – tshirt and belt: jcrew – skirt: anthropologie – sweater: uniqlo – shoes: sweedish hasbeens