This week was a bit unusual, so I thought I would post a few teacher outfits for warm days and testing days. We had students taking the SAT on Tuesday and the weather become really warm as the week went on. I thought I would show a few of the ways I deal with testing days and Fridays.
This outfit was for testing. This time of year, is so tricky. The AC isn't turned on until it is consistently warm, so I study the weather with the dedication of a meteorologist. This day we were lucky to have mild weather, so I focused more on something comfortable and shoes that would't be loud while patrolling...I mean proctoring...
While my shirt is from a season or two ago, I'm attaching a few options. Just click on the pictures below:
I must say that as much as I love this shirt, it's not as flexible as I would have hoped. I like it with these grey jeans that I love (here's a link to a similar pair), but I'm not finding as many other options as I thought I would. I'm going to try it out with some skirts and shorts, so I'll keep you posted (I'm sure you will wait with bated breath!). Either way, it's so helpful to have really stretching jeans and a comfortable top for a day that is lots of sitting, walking and staring at kids. It also doesn't make sense to dress up on these days because you're not leading a class and most dress shoes are noisy if your day consists of walking among desks.
I paired this with my Birkenstock sandals. You can click on the picture to the right to go to the Zappos page.
I've said this before, and I'll say it again. On testing days, here are my questions about an outfit:
1. Will it adapt to unfamiliar classroom layout and temperature?
2. Will it be comfortable no matter where I end up sitting (stool, student desk, teacher desk, etc.)?
3. Will the shoes be comfortable for walking to the bathroom 3 million times, standing for long periods, and walking around a classroom?
4. Will my outfit be quiet while I'm moving around?
This may seem like a lot to think about for just one day, but these days happen often enough to be worthy of a routine.
And for my next trick...
I'm also including my Friday outfit because it's another one of those "Spring is so weird" outfits. We got an email earlier in the week warning us that it was supposed to be warm and the AC wouldn't be turned on until the weekend. So, I wanted my most summer-y school outfit. I got this linen-ish shirt from Banana Republic a few weeks ago when they sent me a coupon. I had been looking at it for a few months any time it came up in a Facebook ad, so when I got a coupon, I thought it was a good time to go for it. It was perfect for the day. The loose fit and summer material made it perfect for a day that got warmer as the day went on. Click on the picture for this shirt. Oh--and it's a hi-low, which I love, but I think you could probably also tuck it into a skirt or jeans for a bit dressier look.
I paired the shirt with these Lucky Brand "super skinny" jeans. If you're like me, you are terrified of that word, especially in online shopping, but these actually fit really well, and I think they are really versatile. I switched up the rest of my outfit for the Nats game last night, and I would say that these jeans looked just as cute with my Nats shirt, baseball hat and sneakers as they did with this outfit, and I think I've also paired them with heels and a blazer. They stretch just the right amount throughout the day and return to their original, more fitted (shall we say) shape after coming out of the washer. I also really like the color.
I also like them because they are high rise enough that it wasn't a pain to wear them to the ballgame or to school.
And I wore my new Birks again. They still are a bit uncomfortable on one foot at the crossover point, but it was way better, and I'm thinking by the next time I wear them, it'll be no big deal. I've linked them to the picture, and I'm leaving you with a few more pictures of the outfit. In closing, on hot days, be kind to yourself. It's always good to have a few sleeveless shirts that can stand a hot day...maybe even a lesson outside if it gets too bad!
Since it's Friday, I thought I would share my outfit and talk about a few of my favorite things--layering and wedges...and tech-free back-up lesson plans.
Today was one of those fun days when the teaching forces smiled on me. I had a lesson planned and the slideshow created on Drive, and then, as I was getting ready, I thought, "Wait! No! I want to do this other thing!" And as I was drying my hair, I planned out something completely different that I thought would do a better job of getting my students thinking about the complex relationships in the book. The good news is that this new lesson plan only required butcher paper, markers and a quick sketch on the board. When I got to school and realized that, because of the delayed opening we would only have about 45 minutes per class and, because of the power outage that had happened that morning we didn't have internet, I was really glad I had reworked my lesson. As a teacher, it seems that at least once a year, a force beyond your control completely screws up your brilliant lesson. Sometimes it's the internet, sometimes it's the copiers, sometimes it's a fire drill. But just know it's going to happen, and that's okay. But also, know that it's okay to go low tech--group work with butcher paper isn't a bad lesson. Giving kids index cards and having them write down things they want to talk about from the book isn't a bad idea. Having kids take time to find a meaningful passage from the reading and having them share/discuss isn't an unproductive day. If anything has been made clear to me through 10+years of teaching, it's that it really helps to have a few structures that you can fall back on even if everything you were planning falls apart...or if you just feel like your students need a day to put their interests in the center of the lesson.
And, as luck would have it, my "Hey! Wait a minute!" lesson went really well, gave me a quick assessment on how well my students are analyzing the characters in the book, and gave me some important insight into what I want to discuss in depth next class period. It doesn't always work out that well, but today it did. So I'm taking the little victory.
Along with my love of a good butcher paper in groups lesson, I also wore two of my favorite style choices today: wedges and layers.
I love, maybe more than I should, a collared shirt under a sweater. I HATE putting on those layers, but once they're on and the shuffling of collars and cuffs and shirt tails is all done, I like how cozy it is, and I like the way it looks. I will say that I'm careful about what I pair those layers with. I typically do skinny jeans and a girly shoe just because I'm still trying to overcome the ghosts of bad fashion past in that I wore WAY TOO many sweatshirts with turtlenecks and baggy jeans when I was a kid, so any time I wear a bulky sweater with a shirt underneath I'm super aware of wanting the rest of my outfit to be as far from my terrible childhood fashion sense as possible.
Today's outfit is brought to you by my attempt to buy a black and white flannel shirt and then realizing instantly that the shirt was navy, and realizing after looking at the shirt in multiple lights and comparing it to multiple other things, that the shirt is also a light cream. This meant I grabbed the first navy sweater I found in my closet that didn't have white in it. And that's how an outfit comes together in my world. This sweater was one that I bought maybe 3 or 4 years ago to go with a specific skirt, and now I have no idea which skirt that is. How sad, I guess. And it actually looks kinda awful on my body type when I wear it by itself, so the collard shirt gives it a less frumpy look.
Either way, here are a few options for sweaters and shirts you might want to layer. Here's the link to the flannel--it comes in lots 'o colors. And here and here are the links to the sweaters.
So, my other favorite thing is to pair the layers with fitted jeans and wedges. Maybe I have weird feet, but, for me, wedges offer me the best chance of having happy feet all day while wearing shoes that make me feel a bit more dressed up. Somehow, in my mind, if I'm wearing heels of any form, I feel more dressed up. These wedges are a few years old, and I feel like a real grown-up every time I wear them, so I wear them pretty often. I couldn't find an exact match, so I'm linking to approximately a million options in the hopes that if you are looking for some comfy winter shoes, you might find a great pair here.
In order of appearance, here is a pair from Lucky.
Then here's an option from TOMS.
Then there's this pair from Franco Sarto.
And here's one from Ralph Lauren.
And here's one from Crown Vintage.
And here's a last option from Carlos.
The jeans are from Lucky, and I'm still deciding how I feel about them. I really like the color and the detail and the way they look, but I'm realizing that I'm not sure Lucky makes jeans for people with my proportions. It seems that their target audience might have thinner legs and a bit less in the backside. But I'm hoping I'm wrong, because I really like their stuff. Either way, I like this pair I got SUPER on sale. I still like the ones from Gap best of all, but I wanted the jeans to be more fitted to balance out the bulk of the layers on top. So there you have it.
Okay--I'm off to bed in the hopes of getting up early and being a responsible gym member.
Today was my first day back to work after winter break. Luckily, our school system arranged for today to be a day of professional development. It was a genius move. It's been so nice to ease back into the school year.
Since I wasn't going to see students, and it's CRAZY cold here today, I decided to be as cozy as possible. As a general rule, I say that you should take every advantage you can of a professional development day, and one of those is definitely wearing something super comfortable.
This sweater is something I picked up at Express a few days before Thanksgiving. They had a 50% sale, and I was looking for a few non-school pieces. I think I would still probably wear this on a Friday, but I bought it mainly for Saturday afternoon basketball watching, etc.
Here's the link. It says it's on sale now, and it comes in three colors, so you have lots of affordable options if you are looking for a cozy sweater.
The jeans are my happiest winter break find. My mom had my name in the family gift swap, and I told her that all I really wanted for Christmas was a gift card so I could go hunting for some new jeans. She graciously provided that, and she and my dad even took me shopping so I could try on all the jeans.
I was fully prepared to go to every possible place until I found just the right pair. I was planning to just buy a few different cuts online and then take the unfortunate pairs back, but then I thought it might be better to just go to the store. Since I'd already looked online, I felt like I knew what I was looking for and was able to ask for specific cuts. I wanted to try on as many pairs as possible so I would know, for the future, which cuts worked best for me. My thought was that this investment in an afternoon of jeans shopping would make future purchases much easier. And I think it paid off. This is what I discovered:
1. The Gap has my new favorite jeans.
2. The jeans at The Loft are not a good fit for my body type.
3. I still want a slice of cookie cake any time I'm at a mall-like setting, even though I know, objectively, that it's not that good.
I was really surprised (mostly about the jeans, but partly about the cookie). I figured the jeans at the Gap would fit much like the Banana Republic jeans I hadn't been as happy with, but I was wrong! They are high enough at the waist to make the work day easy. (I hate having to worry about pulling my shirt down to cover my waist or hiking my pants up all the time.) They are also less stretchy, and I think that's a good thing. They seem to hold their shape a bit better because they don't have stretchy material. I also like the cut--it seems that straight leg jeans are becoming a bit more popular, and I wanted a pair to see how they would fit with the things already in my wardrobe.
Here's the exact pair. I was so excited to find these and another pair at the first stop of the day. I still tried on a few more pairs at a few other places just to know how they fit, but these were definitely my winners of the day.
When it comes to jeans, I think it's worth it to go try on a bunch when you have the time to visit several stores. Since jeans are such a commonly worn piece in most wardrobes, it makes sense to take the time to find a cut that works well for you.
And the shoes are new. They have a bit more of a point than it looks like here. I wanted something boot-ish that I could also wear in slightly warmer weather. Today was my first time wearing them, and I really like them. They are comfortable and, I think, cute. Here's the link to this pair, and they come in a few more colors.
I hope this gives you a good option for a cozy outfit for a cold day. Here are my tips for the day:
1. Fully enjoy your days without students. Wear something that will make you more comfortable while you sit in a training.
2. Look online before you go jeans shopping so you know what cuts stores sell. That way you know you are trying on all of the options instead of simply trying to grab what you see as you walk around.
3. Take the time to find jeans you love--even if it means a serious time commitment. In the long run, you'll spend less time doing this once than constantly shopping for new jeans because you bought yet another pair that isn't exactly what you wanted.
Hope this helps! Happy first day back!
Today is another glorious day of winter break, so I thought I'd post an outfit from my first full day of winter break (last Thursday). I flew home immediately after school on our last day, so I got to wake up at my parents' house and fully enjoy a day with them, in my hometown, enjoying some of my favorite local stores and my absolute favorite tea shop. It was pretty delightful.
I think winter break is one of those times when a teacher must think about what they really need and make it work for them. I know some friends that love spending every minute of their break with family and friends that they don't get to see much during the school year and I have other friends that really need these days to re-energize after being surrounded by students for months. I think it's really important for teachers to know themselves and do what works for them. It's really easy to spend the all-too-short break making sure that you do all the things that you think others are expecting of you and end up not getting the rest you need or get the things on your to do list completed and go back to school just as wiped out as you were before the break. I still struggle with this, and it's always a balancing issue for me. I want to make sure that I spend plenty of time with the people I love and don't get to see often, but I also have to take some time to tackle tasks that take a bit more time than I have during an average school week.
But on to the outfit...I decided to bring home a few new tops I had purchased during J. Crew's big post-Thanksgiving sale and this top was one of my favorites. As I mentioned in my last post, I'm a bit excited about the '90s coming back. This may be because I see this as a do-over for all of my horrible fashion choices in high school, or...well..yeah--that's the only real explanation. Either way, when I saw this top, I thought it would be something fun and different. Maybe it's just me, but my winter wardrobe can get a bit boring with a constant string of sweaters and/or button-down shirts, and any time I can throw in something different, I'm going to go for it. I also like that it's not super fitted and is a peplum design. As soon as I put this one in my digital cart, I started thinking about all of the ways I could dress it up for work or dress it down for a Friday night. I was definitely thinking of the '90s grunge-ish look and knew I wanted to pair it with a denim jacket and grey or black jeans. I'm looking forward to seeing what it looks like with a blazer or cardigan for work. It might be a bust, but we'll find out. Here's the link to this shirt. It comes in a few other colors as well.
I'm a teacher looking to help other teachers feel confident and comfortable in their classrooms.