It's Monday! And today is the best kind of Monday because tonight was Writers' Night. What might that be you ask? So glad you asked. Writers' Night is something I started a few years ago, and it's one of my favorite things we do during the year. Students come to my classroom in the evening, ideally with one of their parents or a friend or a sibling, etc., and we all write together. I bake cookies and offer them extra credit to get them to show up.
I give them a topic to discuss with their partner (the person they brought or someone I pair them up with), each person shares for about five minutes while the other person takes notes, and then they write each others' stories and share them. At the end we have time for people to read from the "chair of power" if they are willing to share their finished product with the whole group. I was pretty sure no one would come when I hosted this for the first time three years ago, but it's always had a pretty good turn out. I love it because it gives my students a chance to talk to their parents about something that has nothing to do with grades or sports schedules or any of the other things that can fill up the conversation between parent and student. I know there are lots of families in which meaningful conversation happens daily, but I also know it's so easy for the day-to-day things to consume the conversations. I also like that I get to know my students and their parents in a different way. It's also really fun when I get to meet younger siblings or significant others or friends. Tonight there were around 25 people at Writers' Night, and we ate cookies, wrote about the things our families value and laughed quite a bit. It was a good night.
One of the things I prioritized when I stared Writers' Night was the need to remove the normal teacher/family hierarchy in the classroom. To help with that, I intentionally go home and change into casual clothes--jeans and a t-shirt or something similar. I don't want to look like the teacher on this night. I want to look like a fellow writer. And I'm a big believer that clothes can establish power. That's why we call it a power suit, right? In lots of other situations, I want that power--for parent conferences and back-to-school nights I dress up to communicate that I am a professional that takes my job seriously. But on Writers' Night, I want to look like a fellow writer joining the group as an equal.
My outfit for work today had more to do with being comfortable on a Monday. I'm really not even that happy with the fit, but I do like the colors. I can't really go on and on about this outfit because I'm not sure I'm happy with the complete look, but I mostly just wanted to show the before and after of teacher me and Writers' Night me.
This particular one is a bit big. I ordered a size up from my usual because, to be totally honest, my "normal" clothes have been a bit tight and I didn't want to order something just hoping it would fit. On a personal note, my weight fluctuates a bit, and I used to be really bad about punishing myself for that by making myself wear things that didn't fit, weren't comfortable, and made me spend the whole day super aware of the extra weight I was carrying. At the start of this year I decided that life was too short to continue doing that. I decided that I would buy a few pieces that I could wear at varying weights (skirts like this one, less-structured dresses, etc.). This way I could feel confident and comfortable while I worked to get back to a healthier lifestyle. I think I've actually had an easier time getting back in shape since I don't come home from work feeling fat and gross after a day of not being able to breath in my clothes.
I'm not linking anything today because I'm not sure I like this outfit enough to tell you to go buy it. I'll give both of these pieces another go on a different occasion and see if I can't pair them in a way I'm happier with. The perk of working in a high school is that if I have a fashion bust, I just remind myself that the stereotypes about teacher fashion create a pretty low bar for my wardrobe, so a disappointing day isn't really that big of a deal.
Okay. So here are my takeaways:
1. Brands that produce the same cut each season are the best.
2. I refuse to let myself be overwhelmed by my current weight. I believe that I should be comfortable and confident in my clothes even if I'm in the process of becoming healthier.
3. Some days are better hits than others (fashion-wise), and that's okay.