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

Weekends as a Xiao Yi

Xiao Yi means “little aunt” in Mandarin, and that’s what I am when I’m down in DC.  I try to make the trek down there at least once a month to see my little niece Jojo.  One day she will start calling me xiao yi and I want to be there  so she can put a face to a name.  She only 7 months old right now though, so I guess I’ve got some time.

I hopped on the bus for the 4 hour trip down to DC friday night and met up with this guy.  My old Viking friend Aurora also lives in DC so I took the opportunity to meet up with her and her little man Macaroni for a drink.

down in DC11

Saturday, My sister Kris and I hopped aboard her friend’s boat in Annapolis for a sail around the Chesapeake Bay.  I spent my high school years on the San Francisco Bay sailing with the Sea Scouts, and it feels fantastic to be out on the water.  I’ll take any and all invitations for sailing.  I spent a lot of the day on the boat thinking about how different my life would have been if I had joined the Coasties out of high school or if I had gone to Cal Maritime Academy instead of pursuing biology and teaching.

down in DC7
down in DC8
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down in DC10

Sunday was brunch day and auntie time with Jojo.  My sister picked the place and her friend Sean joined us.  We rounded out the afternoon with oyster shooters before dropping me off to hop on the bus for the ride back to Brooklyn.
down in DC5
down in DC4
down in DC2
down in DC3

down in DC6
down in DC

Sean helped me snap a photo of my new Zara sweater dress.  This dress is a bit out of my comfort zone with it’s clinginess, but it’s a weekend and it’s comfortable but edgy-ish all at the same time.   I’m digging Zara lately with the simple lines and colors in their fall line up.   Not too jazzed about the glitter in the fabric, but I guess you can’t win ’em all.

sunnies: knockaround – dress: zara – bag: freitag – shoes: madewell, borrowed from kris

Thinking aloud – the teacher outfit

Thinking-aloud: a strategy used by teachers to teach reading comprehension or problem solving.

I’ve never tried the “think-aloud” strategy in my class.  I saw a teacher model it once and it felt awkward, silly and uncomfortable.  Then again, that teacher was generally awkward, weird and uncomfortable socially anyways.  Go figure.

Like a good teacher should, I thought that maybe I should at least try this strategy at least once before throwing it off as gimmicky.  So here goes: Think-aloud – the teacher outfit version.

Damn – hit the snooze 2 too many times.  panic!  brush teeth, wash face, pee and’s overcast outside, and my app claims it will be 48°F out today – warm!!  Oh crap it’s late – panic! what do I wear, stare at closet, WHAT DO I WEAR? panic!  coffee. I’m going to need 11 cups today.  cooooooffffeeeeee.  load the thermos.  what do I wear?  oh eff it, same old black jeans on!  oh yeah…I like that t-shirt and it’s dressier than just a t-shirt, it has “leather”!  edge!  k. k. k. k. k. now what else do I need…belt, shoes.  I’m tired of boots and it’s “warm” out – yay favorite oxfords!  I’ve missed you.  crap, they dont match all the black….uhhh…sweater!  solved.  warm, soft, brown, present from an ex-boyfriend.  slap concealer on spots brought on by burrito and beer binging in SF last week, where’s my grape soda flavored lip balm?  coooooffffeeeeee.  shit, if i dont leave now, I wont have time to organize before classes start.  grab puffy coat, throw bobby pins in hair, keys! bag! cooooooffffeeeee.  hustle.

the edge

the edge2

the edge3

the edge4

the edge bass bellingham

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the edge6

glasses: warby parker – sweater: j.crew – t-shirt: zara – belt: gap – jeans: bdg – shoes: gh bass – watch: fossil

Every lesson needs an assessment, so here’s the exit ticket:  Using evidence to support your answer, predict which item from friday’s outfit will most likely be incorporated into the look for Ms. Schenck on monday.

Yup, think-aloud still feels silly, awkward and uncomfortable.

sack it to me

Last night B and I went out on a ‘date’, meaning we went out to a nice dinner, and a nightcap.  For me it’s an excuse to throw on some tights and indulge in my love for roomy sack dresses.  Anything that accommodates cocktails, apps, a main and dessert without making you feel like your clothes are on the verge of exploding.  We went to the Library, at Public.  On the Schenck scale of goodness (more on that some other day), it was pretty good.  Poor picture quality – the hallway lights in our building have that ever present yellow tone and I didn’t want to bother fiddling with the white balance.  Also not shown, the 2 other layers, hat and scarf worn on top of the dress to shield me from the freezing weather outside.
United Bamboo for Madewell crepe dress

United Bamboo for Madewell crepe dress

United Bamboo for Madewell crepe dress

dress: united bamboo for madewell (purchased right before christmas at an extra 50% off sale, making it a killer deal for a well made silk dress) – tights: uniqlo heattech (very necessary for the cold front that’s been coming through NY) – booties: zara (on sale now) – clutch: f21 (old)

Blending in

It’s Thanksgiving, so B and I are in DC with my sister Kris and her husband Dave.  Ate turkey, pie and everything else, twice.  I have a nice stack of papers waiting to be graded over the weekend, so today and tomorrow are dedicated to eating.

I’m blending in with this dress and all the greenery in DC.  B said “you’re camouflaged! ” when he took my picture and convinced me that standing on a log was a good idea.  He also thinks that I need to learn how to do spinning heel kicks if I’m going to wear shoes like this.  The dress and shoes are pretty expensive by my standards (anything over $60) , so I have to make sure I get a lot of use out of them.

scarf: h&m – dress: madewell (pretty recent, but not available anymore)- cardigan: j.crew – tights: uniqlo – booties: zara – bag: borrowed from Kris

Going Out

B and I actually “went out” friday night, meaning went out to a place that didn’t involve our couch. Amazing really, considering that for the past few months we’ve spent just about every weekend on our couch, drinking wine and watching movies.  All domestic and shit.  This domestic and shit phenomenon is a common thing among teachers – in bed by 10pm, awake by 6am and forced to be perky by 8am when the kiddos walk in your classroom door.  So by the time the weekend rolls around, all you want to do is marinate on the couch hugging a bottle of wine.  If anything, you might head out to the local bar with your other teacher buddies, drops some cash on beer and unhealthy bar food while you discuss dropping knowledge on shared students.  This Friday night however, B and I had a plan – we had an invite to a Punch Party at B’s friend Darren’s house in the Lower East Side.

After 30 min of rifling through my closet, B hassling me to hurry up and 5 outfit changes, I resigned myself to the going out basics.  Skinny black pants, a basic t-shirt, black boots and red lipstick.  There is still a whole bunch of exciting things going on, while still being basic enough to not feel like you’re out on a sartorial limb.  This is my new go-to fashion philosophy:  Basic, reliable and comfy but with a few interesting details.  My two details for the night were my new hard-ass studded booties and a new lipstick, Red Square by Nars.  All together exciting enough for this increasingly fashionably lazy teacher out on a Friday night.  Didn’t even bother putting in contacts or changing my ever present teacher-bun-hair!

glasses: warby parker beckett – jacket: two year old madewell, but similar one here – flannel: uniqlo – t-shirt (which I looove, btw) & booties: zara – belt and pants (got mine on super sale): j.crew – necklace: f21