Teacher Dress Up: Back to School Night

If I wrote this post five years ago, you’d see a casual suit and simple top featured in the set.     Over the last few years, maybe because I’m more comfortable with my age in this profession, I’ve let go of the suit and moved to a more approachable look while still looking polished.  I still recommend a “casual” suit look for novices.  It elevates your look since its difficult to add years to the spring chickens out there.  Below is a simple, classic ensemble – ready to go for Back to School Night.

Back to School Night

Here are the pieces…

This skirt can be used within the confines of a school setting or for plenty of occasions beyond the bell.  I would probably opt for a basic black button up shirt, though for purposes of the set, I went with the “chiffon” look featured below.  I love the idea of a crisp collar with a simple necklace.  The earrings pair well with the ring, though I searched high and low for a “cream” version of these gem drop earrings.  I chose the red shoes as a bit of color for an otherwise plain look.  Since your shoes are not always visible, they won’t distract parents while you’re speaking.  I highly recommend flats for this occasion, though a pointed toe is favorable to a round toe.

The mascara and nail polish are the only “beauty” essentials I am sure to have on Back to School Night.  Also, a quick, light roll of perfume does the trick, since many people don’t have time to go home after school.

Keep it simple, no jingly jewelry, nothing excessive that will draw attention away from the important stuff.  Though, your outfit should command a level of professionalism and business, that will hopefully transfer into your working relationships with parents.

Savvy Strategy: Who am I? Who are We?

Icebreakers.  Kids hate ’em.  You hate planning and facilitating ’em.  But, you continue to go back to the drawing board every year and pretend to half-smile your way through yet another year of class introductions, builders, and breakers.

I have one fool-proof exercise that seems to be appropriate for the wide spectrum of middle school monkeys of all stages of development and fails to tire itself.  I begin by drawing puzzle pieces onto a piece of posterboard.  I make sure to draw one piece for every student, one “title” piece, and one piece for myself.  I write “back” on the back of every piece so that students have a sense of direction and draw on the correct side.

Instructions are simple.  Decorate your piece with images, words, designs that represent who you are.  Things to consider:  your family, interests, hobbies, friends, strengths, etc.

IMG_20130906_182220_201Next, I have students share with a partner and then introduce to the class (if the number is manageable).  Then, students assemble and glue the pieces to a second piece of poster board.  I hang the puzzles on my wall and have quite a display from prior year’s classes.

Overall, idea achieves the purpose of class introductions without the cheesiness, forced nature that so many introduction activities have a tendency to do.  It also is a nice addition to the classroom on Back to School Night.

Teacher Dress Up: First Day of School

First Day of School

First Day of School by teachinginstyle featuring Nine West

I plan to wear dresses for the next two weeks.  1. to squeeze in as many old closet staples before it’s time to bring out the fall wardrobe.  2.  There’s little time between now and when my legs will turn a ghostly white.  I may as well enjoy the slight bronze I’ve acquired over the last few months.
Here is my first day of school outfit.  Simple, comfortable, EXTRA long enough, and impressionable.  The sandals are my go-to.  Not too revealing, but allow my feet to breathe.  I chose a pink cardigan from the Gap and slightly less expensive turquoise accessories.  The watch is a necessity on the first day.  I never seem to know where I’m going, when I’m coming, or who is supposed to be where.  This is at least a sign in the right direction,