Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Day Two...I mean Day One, Pt. 2

Today I met the rest of my students. Three years ago I started making a priority of calling home on all of my students one night during teacher work week. I know--it's a big time commitment, and since I don't start calling until 5:00 (in the hopes of getting in touch with more people when they are home from work), it makes for a long night. But I'm not exaggerating when I say that this choice has transformed the start of the year. If there is anything I could say to new teachers it would be to block off some time and make this part of your start to the year. I'm not one of those teachers who thinks the way she does things is the only way to do things, and I still have plenty of things that I struggle with, but this is one thing that I really, really think is worth the time. I get plenty of disconnected phones and I leave a TON of voicemails, but this habit does a few things for me:
1. Even if I only get to leave a voicemail, I've let the parents/guardians know that I am invested in their student's education.
2. As I pull up each student's information, I get to see a picture of them (unless they are new to school), and I get a chance to see if there are any flags on their page that let me know about allergies, family concerns, etc.
3. For the parents/guardians that I get in touch with, I get great information about the student before I even meet them. It's really heartwarming to hear a parent gush about how hard working the student is, and for some students, I get a better sense of their struggles. And the funniest phone calls are when the parent hands the phone to the student, and I get to greet them.

I don't want to sound like one of those really annoying movies about teachers where the teacher changes one thing and everything is suddenly perfect. It's not like that at all. But my first days are better and more fun after I've called home. And I've noticed that parents are really willing to work with me if there is a concern later in the year if I started out our relationship on a positive, friendly note.

Okay--so that's my soapbox speech about calling home. Do it. You'll thank me later...probably not when you are at school at 8:00 finishing calls, but a few weeks later, you'll thank me.  On to my outfit for today.

We have block scheduling, so we have two first days. For today's second first day, I chose another dress. And it's another dark neutral. Shocking, I know. Just like yesterday, I wanted something I could easily move in and would be forgiving if I was clumsy.

If you are a true follower of this blog, you might recognize this dress as the first one I wrote about on the first day I posted. But this time I styled it a little differently. I'm more in love with this dress each time I wear it. It's so easy to wear and since it's black, I can mix it up in a ton of ways. I can thrown on some flats and make it a little less fancy or pair it with heels to bring more of my professional side. I can also mix any number of cardigans with it too. Exciting, I know. But it's the little things sometimes. Don't judge me for my excitement over cardigan options. 

In a totally dorky moment, I'll admit that when I put this cardigan with it, it reminded me of my parents' high school colors, and I was happy. I paired it with a pair of shoes that I bought  few years ago but always pass on wearing in favor of something more sensible or neutral. I told myself that this school year I would be better about wearing the things I own, so I sucked it up and put these in my gym bag last night. But being a bit of Nervous Nellie, I packed an extra pair of comfy heels in case I couldn't make it all day in these. The truth is, these shoes are surprisingly comfortable, so I think they'll end up in my gym bag more often. I will admit that I took them off during my planning period and wore the flip flops I keep under my desk. I see no need to wear heels when I'm just running around the building or sitting in the library grading papers. 

And before I give you my rules and links, I just have to make a random observation. I am always aware that I'm short, but I looked over at my dresser today and was reminded that I never feel as short as I do when I realize how little fabric it takes to fully dress me. Anyone else have these moments? 
So now that I'm through both first days, here are my big takeaways for styling your first days:
1. When in doubt, go for the more professional option. 
2. But wear forgiving clothes--both in color and cut.
3. And have layers ready for a broken or overly-determined AC.
4. And wear shoes that give you confidence but won't make you wince all day. 

Okay--for this outfit, here are some options:

Brooklyn Pump

Cotton Caryn cardigan sweater

Short-sleeve flounce ponte dress

product photo

And this one has ruffles!

Primary Image of Ruffled Herringbone Sheath Dress

Okay--well I hope that gives some good ideas for start of the year wardrobe choices.

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