Peas and Hearts

Intensive week ended, and it’s bittersweet.  Of the all the kids we taught to blog, two have been keeping up with it into the next week post-intensive.  Yay Celeste and Cathy!  The school year is winding down, only 16 days till my kiddos take their Living Environment (biology) regents exam.  Regents exams are a double whammy: kids have to score a 65 or above to graduate, and my performance as a teacher is evaluated based on how many kids pass.  So what happens?  I stress out insanely about getting through all the material and the last few weeks are a mad dash to get through the standards.  Also, I stress out about the kids who are failing the class, which is attributed to a lack of motivation to complete assignments obviously is becasue my curriculum is not engaging enough nor is it rigorous enough.  Since apparently good teachers know, there is a correlation between increased rigor and engagement/buy in.  Seriously, I’d like to see the data for that.  I have my own informal data from my classroom and it shows that the harder I make an assignment, the less the students are motivated to complete it.  I wish that wasn’t the case, but it is.  I just don’t know what the answer is.

I’m going off on a depressive tangent here, so I’ll stop and instead write about a shallower topic…clothes!  I’ve love, loved this corduroy pea coat for the past 8 or so years and it’s about to get packed up for the summer.  I love the cut and how the collar pops up when I button it – keeps my long neck shielded from the wind.  peas




glasses: warby parker – coat: super old gap – sweater: old j.crew – jeans: old f21 – shoes: frye

teacher outfit reliables

A thin cardigan:  warmish, thin and drapey.  Cardigans keep you warm during prep and cover up your arms so you don’t feel too naked in front of the kids. They also cover any arm jiggles you might think you have when you are furiously trying to get through a lesson before the bell rings and you’re writing like a mad woman on the board. Definitely aim for something not so thick and bulky that you end up dripping with sweat before you get a chance to breath and remove layers.  Some reliable, tried and true and fairly affordable options:

J. Crew: this on is currently on sale at $50 (with extra 30% off) which brings it to $35.  It will last a long long time (3 years and counting of weekly wear for me) and is the perfect amount of open weave vs. warmth for the classroom.

Uniqlo: can’t go wrong with Uniqlo.  Great price and quality that compares to more expensive brands.  $19

Stretch skinny or straight black jeans: slimming, easy, stretchy, and comfortable.  Black jeans are simple and basic enough that they match with everything possible and allow you that extra time in the morning to just grab your coffee mug and run so you can get to class early and prep. The color also makes them professional looking enough – they’re not sweats and they’re not blue jeans.  Boom, profesh. Some reliable, tried and true and fairly affordable options:

Uniqlo: black skinny fit tapered stretch jeans. Normally priced at $50, you can usually wait for them to go on special at $40

Madewell: more expensive, but really soft and will hold their shape. $99

Forever 21: inexpensive, washes well, and durable. $10

Button ups: sleeveless and sleeved (for winter, the only time it can actually get cold in a classroom even with 35 teenagers fogging up the place). A dressed up (professional) version of a top with room for your pits to vent/breathe.  Helps to have armpit breathing space when you’re doing your daily song and dance in an effort to keep the teenagers “engaged” with the lesson.  I mean, lets face it, not all kids find the functions of the golgi apparatus and endoplasmic reticulum fascinating.  But they will find my mimed rendition of protein synthesis at least mildly amusing.  Miming takes a lot of energy, and as we all know, a by-product of work is moist pits.  Some reliable, tried and true and fairly affordable options:

Uniqlo: see above.  $30  Classic cut (not too slim, not too manly boxy)

Madewell: on sale now, only in lime green.  Wait till other colors go on sale, then get-em while they last.  Durable and roomy without making you look like a box on top.  $40

Black ballet flats:  This should be a big duh.  They’ll help you survive the day even when kids are too busy talking about the latest cafeteria fight to even acknowledge your presence at the front of the room.  They’re comfy enough without being sneakers, and … bonus points for being able to slip them off during staff meetings so you can give your dogs a breather rest.  Some untried and  possibly sucky but fairly affordable options:

BDG at Urban Outfitters: on sale now at $20

Forever 21: $25


Frye: my personal splurge, 2 years ago.  The leather stretches out over time.  $149

Watch: the bigger the face, the better, so you can check yourself when you’ve been rambling for too long about how “nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution”.  One I like but don’t have, nor am I willing to shell out the cash for just yet:

Nixon: I like men’s watches – big.  $125

So, fellow teachers, did I miss anything?


I made my seniors evaluate my teaching this year.  A simple survey and with a few short answer questions.  I got some real gems of advice from these ‘adults’, so I just have to share them. 

If you could say anything about this teacher to the students who will take this class next year, what would you say?

“As long as you don’t mouth off, nothing bad will happen”

“Don’t procrastinate like a fool.”

“Don’t take it your senior year because you will slack off.”

“Ms. Schenck is an awesome teacher!! Forget all the bad things others say about her!!”  (omg, what bad things?)

“Ms. Schenck is a very interesting person, she’s funny (that’s wassup!), open-minded, friendly and fashionable!”  (I got props for fashion!)

On that note, here is a camera awesome photo of my outfit today.  Pants were last seen here and sweater last seen here and the flats are by Frye.  Oldies but goodies.

sunny sundays

It’s a sunny sunday, with hella cold wind whipping around.  B and I met a couple friends for brunch at Bar Tartine earlier.  We wanted to chill out at Dolores Park for a bit after, but the San Francisco weather today is prohibitively cold.  So instead, like any good little SF techie/teacher, we are both now sitting inside, staring at our laptops.  I blame my bad back. Last friday, my back decided it was time to sieze up on me, like it does at least once a year. It hurts. a lot.  And, as well as wincing in pain with every step, I was stuck at a 45 degree angle for the past two days. Today I’m more at a 80 degree angle from horizontal.  I stuck on a happy face so that B could snap some photos in front of my neighbor’s garage.

I wore this dress last time to a girl’s night out here.  Not much of a mix up this time, but the cold weather called for leggings, boots and my beat up but loved 6 year old pea coat. What’s hidden underneath it all is one of those grandpa style back braces that employees of Home Depot wear. It’s seriously un-sexy.

sunnies: f21 – coat: hella old Gap – dress: madewell – leggings: target – boots: frye – tote: Marc by Marc Jacobs (gift from my sis), last seen here – necklace and bracelet: old family heirlooms
P.S. check out how Rachel from That’s Chic wears my same dress here. I love this dress!

change comes from within

my friday outfit for a cold foggy san francisco day.  I bought this t-shirt thinking that the kids would get it…that they have to be the change if they want social change.  sadly, they don’t get it right off the bat.  but they will…   I bought mine from the renegade craft fair this past december.  You can find the brand here.  I’m a big fan this and this (though i would never wear it at school) design also.

glasses: warby parker – tshirt: MNKR and target – jeans: madewell – boots: frye – hoodie: TMAHS class of 2012

My new school hoodie!

happy in plaid

One of my TAs (I have one this year!) helped me out yesterday and snapped these photos.  She kept laughing at me, and when I told her I kept a blog, she shrugged and was all, “I know.”   …  huh.

Physiology 5th period: the usual class commenter said, “Ms. Schenck you look like a picnic today.”  awesome

I saw this dress a while ago on refinery29.  I liked it and made a mental note.  At the time even on sale, it was more than I was willing to shell out.  A few weeks later, lo and behold, I came across is in the sale dungeon of Urban Outfitters with and extra 50% off the sale price.  woot woot!  I grabbed it, debated keeping it for a few days, and ended up wearing it.  It’s a good day/work dress (with leggings, as it is super short on me).  quirky colors means teenager eyes are more attracted.







dress: APC Madras, similar here – long sleeve: Old Navy – leggings and necklace: f21 – boots: frye via nordies rack – watch: marc by marc via nordies rack – rx sunglasses: bonlook – on the wrist: paracord from B and gold bracelet from my popo (grandma) from when I was a kid