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

So This Happened Today…

It was bound to happen one day. Most days I am inadvertently matching with a fellow teacher. Today, I went to the door to let in my AP Bio class, and there was my outfit, on another person, a student. Obviously I had to ask her for a quick photo, and her permission to post this online. I really don’t mind matching with her though because she is so darn cool looking 😉

shirt: uniqlo (on both) – jeans: levis (unknown on her) – shoes: birkenstocks and vans

The First Days, Year 11

School is officially in session! The first week is coming to a close and I’m just now getting around to posting about the first days of school. It’s always hard to break back into the teaching routine every fall. I’m exhausted by the end of the teaching day and my body feels like it’s been run over by a truck by the time I get home (after a HIIT or spin class after school as well). I’m sure I look like a zombie walking out of the building every afternoon, it’s so hard to be “on” as an introvert after such a relaxing summer of being “off”.

It’s been a great week so far though. I have a fantastic group of kids this year, for real. I know I say this every year, but these kids are so freaking awesome this year in both Physics and AP Bio. I’m very excited, as cliche as it sounds. We did labs these past 2 days and I was blown away by the thinking these kids were doing. So much creativity and insight, I’m really going to have to ramp things up this year! I’m also super thankful to be able to teach the same subjects for a second year in a row. It’s big, because it means I can actually improve my lessons from year to year instead of constantly running just to keep up. Now I will finally have the luxury to think about how to make lessons more exciting, how to build independence in learning, and how to really work at developing critical thinking and analytical thinking skills in science.

Anyways, this is what I picked for the first days. The first day is 9th grade only, so I did not have classes ’til the second day when my 11th and 12th graders showed up. My tank is not new here at all (I’ve had it for over 6 years!), but pretty much everything else is. My pants are the Everlane Straight Leg Crops and they’re really good for everyday use even though I got them in a size too small. A woman at the SF store told me they stretch out a lot, but I should have known not to go that small as I generally prefer looser pants now a days. I normally wear a size 8 and these are a size 4! But still considering I went 2 sizes down, they’re really stretchy and still super comfortable even sitting down.

The shoes are my new favorite sandals, the Mohinders Woven Slides. These sandals were my best shoes of summer by far – super comfortable, versatile, and ethically made, which is something I’m trying to learn towards more and more. I’m eyeballing getting a pair of their woven flats, but I can’t justify another pair of shoes just yet. These were a gift from B via Huckberry last December, so hint hint on the shoes!

These earrings though…a co-worker stopped me in the morning and said I was really upping the earring game this year. I secretly pumped my fist Napoleon Dynamite style when she was out of sight. I have my good friend Sara to thank for them, as she made them herself! They’ve inspired me to start a ceramics class this November!

earrings: a sara boeck original – tank: madewell – pants: everlane – shoes: mohinders – watch: fitbit

That second day, the air conditioning was not functioning very well, and I sweat through my dress every period with the nervous type of sweat. I’m sure you can all relate. The dress (and sandals) you have all seen before. It’s such a great spring/summer work dress that I have one in Navy also. Good to know it can handle sweaty pits without showing the sweat stains too badly!

dress: uniqlo – shoes: mossimo/target

Easy-Like

I am turning into one of those people who chooses outfits based on comfort and ease.  I used to always “suffer for the fashion”, and occasionally I still do. When the weather starts heating up though, tight restrictive clothes get left in the drawers. This dress, for example, is a tent.  It lets plenty of air in to circulate around, is made of a quick dry material, and there are no tight spots anywhere. I bought it in Japan (Uniqlo, obviously) last summer, and if any of you have been to Asia in the dead of summer, you know what it’s like to steep in your own sweat for hours on end. Japanese brands have breezy clothes figured out – linen or quick dry roomy pants or dresses is where it’s at for work. So dress tents (with pockets!) are in for the next 2.5 weeks!  Summer vacation is so close, I can just taste the freedom.

Speaking of comfort though, I love wood clogs – most of the time they are actually very comfortable (counter intuitive, I know). These oldies though, I’m just going to have pass on to someone else with narrower feet. I bought them while we were living in Brooklyn, but my feet must have spread more since then. Swedish Hasbeens run on the narrow end, and my feet are just getting wider and wider with age. Clogs really do last forever though, and I will keep buying them.

*Side note, you should all check out Insecure on HBO by Issa Rae. She is a favorite of mine, and the entire third season’s episodes were titled “__-like”*

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dress: uniqlo – shoes: swedish hasbeens 

Hey, Stranger

I haven’t posted in almost a month, or as the kids like to say, “It’s been a minute.”  Lately, the last thing I want to do when I get home is stare at a computer screen. My phone screen on the other hand…it’s a work in progress. So here is what I wore today, which happens to also be the first snow of the year here in Denver. In addition, here is what I wore almost a month ago. I might be back soon to blogging, or it might take months. We will see when the interest and motivation comes back. In the mean time, follow me on Instagram!

THLT blundstone monoprix

THLT blundstone shirt dress

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THLT monoprix shirt dress

glasses: warby parker – dress: monoprix – leggings: costco – boots: blundstone

THLT susina kellen flat

THLT uniqlo merino turtleneck

THLT uniqlo ribbed turtleneck

THLT suisana kellen loafer

THLT first snow

top and jeans: uniqlo – belt: banana republic – shoes: suisana via nordstrom rack

Last 2 Days

I’m on a shopping ban till June – no shopping of any kind. No new clothes or beauty products, no extras of anything I don’t actaully truly need. It’s going to be tough, but it’s also forcing me to “shop my closet”. It’s a ridiculous phrase, because it feeds into our consumerist addiction of shopping by not shopping – the exact habit I’m trying to break! On the plus side though, I’ve been rediscovering loads of old loves.

I watched this Valentine’s Day make up tutorial the other day by Chrissstttiiine, and it reminded me of how much I drooled over the J.Crew style makeup back in 2010. Bright matte lips and minimal everything else – exactly what I love.  The next day I went rummaging through my lipstick collection (it’s embarassingly superflous) and dug out my old trusty NARS lipstick in Heat Wave. It’s always been a “summer color” for me in the past, but it’s been worryingly hot here in Denver this past week. In fact, we hit the record for the hottest february day ever last Friday at 80˚F. I’ve worn the same lipstick 2 days in a row now – something that almost never happens.

Today, on her way into 5th period, a kid said “Miss, you look like a character out of something today…your lipstick and the stripes…I don’t know, it’s a look”. I’m not sure what that means, but I interpreted it as, “Miss, you look super chic today, like straight out of a French-y scene in a J.Crew catalog!” right?!?

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shirt: uniqlo – jeans: f21 – belt: banana republic – shoes: mia – lipstick: nars heat wave

Yesterday, I dug out all of the old favorites. Everything I wore yesterday has been in my closet for at least 4 years if not more. My old favorite Madewell wool flannel blazer I picked up in DC while shopping with my sister. The oldest pair of Forever 21 jeans I bought back in my first year of teaching (worn 2 days in a row). The first pair of ankle boots I bought back in 2009 when everyone was all about tall riding style boots and I thought I was so hip to wear low ankle booties. The oldest t-shirt I own, so thin it’s almost too risque for school. All to match one of my oldest lipsticks. This is a lot of talk about old stuff. I’m approaching middle age. The next step to to buy a motorcyle (I reeeeeaaaaaaly want one again!) and wear all of my oldest and favorite-st clothes forever. In fact, I wore this same exact outfit back in 2012 on a trip to NYC before we moved there. So old.

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blazer: madewell – tshirt: threads 4 thought – jeans: f21 – belt: gap – boots: nordstrom bp – lipstick: nars heat wave

Nasty

Nasty Women of the world unite! I saw this t-shirt a while ago on the Instagram feed of a woman I watch on Youtube – Stephanie Villa (#stylecrush). I loved it so much I absolutely had to pick one up for myself even though I started a shopping ban at the start of the year. I wore it yesterday, and turns out it played right into the spirit week theme for the day – black out. Winning.

Speaking of winning, I’ve decided today that it’s ok to give myself some pats on the back more often. Over the years I’ve been so well trained by evaluation rubrics (like LEAP and Danielson) and professionalism rubrics (that’s a thing here in Denver) to think only in terms of what I coulda/shoulda/woulda have done better – because unless you’re a unicorn, you are not a good teacher (or at least just effective). So well trained, in fact, that I’ve completely forgotten to remember that sometimes, I’m Good Enough, I’m Smart Enough, and Doggone It, People Like Me! 

Today I hosted a learning lab through PEBC, where about 15 teachers and administrators came into my class and watched me teach. I was so nervous, my hands were shaking a bit at the start! The focus of this learning lab was on teaching students to use thinking strategies in a Science classroom. The content for the day was gene expression, so I taught it through the lens of supernumerary nipples, with some reading, discussion, and grappling. The kids were great – they did everything I planned, and asked the best questions. They performed so well they even all remained in their seats and kept discussing the prompt while I went into the hall to break up a fight! Seriously. Never a dull moment. Today’s learning lab was more learning for the observers than my own learning, but I did get one valuable lesson out of this – that I’m actually a pretty darned good teacher sometimes, and it’s ok to admit that to myself more often. It’s ok to be a Nasty Woman!

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glasses: warby parker – t-shirt: twostringjane (etsy) – cardigan and jeans: uniqlo – boots: madewell – bracelet/cuff: julia szendrei – belt: urban outfitters