Friday, July 27, 2012

My "Teacher Style"

One of the great things about being a teacher is that it's easy to justify back-to-school shopping. Kate from To the Square Inch is hosting a blog carnival (linky party) to showcase teacher style, and I've decided to participate!

Like most teachers, I am on a budget, and in years past, I've relied heavily on Old Navy to meet my back-to-school needs. However, I haven't been very happy with their quality lately, and since one of my summer goals was to pare down my closet, I really need quality pieces that are going to last through more than just one school year.

I'm a tall girl (5'11 barefoot) and not as thin as I used to be, and it has become increasingly difficult for me to find clothes that are cute, comfortable, and classic (I do NOT want any burnout tops in my closet!). Sometime in June, I was turned on to Lands' End by plus-size blogger Brittany Gibbons. Lands' End is great because they carry pretty much every size range (petite, regular, tall, plus, petite plus) and they're good about listing the lengths of dresses and shirts, so it's easy to tell if something is going to be long enough. Because of LE gives such detailed info on their website, I was able to confidently order a whole slew of sleeveless dresses to get me through the summer. I have literally been living in these since they arrived, and I plan to continue into the school year. I'll probably top these with cardigans, but sleeveless tops and dresses are usually fine for work in Alabama since temperatures will likely be in the 80s right on into November.

I bought this sleeveless linen shirt dress in "meadow mist" (pictured). I've been wearing it with wedges this summer, but I'll switch to flats for work. I haven't taught in heels since I interned.

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I own this cotton modal fit and flare dress in taupe ("mushroom"), regent (pictured), navy, and red ("wild cherry"). It is hands down THE most comfortable dress ever, and the fabric is a really nice weight.
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I have this sleeveless poplin dress in "wild cherry" (shown). It also comes in white and china blue. I love that it is fully-lined, and I'm tempted to order it in one of the lighter colors. I'm afraid I would look like an old-school nurse in the white!
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I bought a couple of tanks to pair with cardigans for days when I want to wear pants.

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I also got this wrap sweater for when it starts to cool off (December). It reminds me of a ballerina sweater I had in high school, and it's so soft and cozy that I'm thinking of ordering another in camel. Can you tell that when I find something I really like I tend to buy it in every color?

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I also purchased these supima cotton cardigans in navy and palm, and I'm in love! They are a great weight--not to heavy for summer, but not so thin that they'll come apart. I have plans to order a few more of these in some neutral colors as funding allows, but I think I may order the "Autumn Sunset Heather" over the weekend. Every Auburn girl needs a burnt orange cardigan!

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Here are a few others that are on my radar. Lands' End is great about offering major sales pretty regularly, so I'll be keeping an eye on these.

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For footwear, I'm a fan of simple sandals and cute flats. I own several pairs similar to the ones below.
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What's in your wardrobe for the new school year? Do you do some major back-to-school shopping or buy individual pieces throughout the year? Link up with Kate to show us your teacher style!
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Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this post in any way.  No retailer, manufacturer, or company mentioned here even knows who I am. If I sound like I'm on their sales force, it's because I've been really pleased with their product!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

How I Got Here: Part III

I always love to hear how fellow teachers got their jobs. It's helpful to those looking for teaching positions, but I still think it's interesting to the rest of us, too. At my former school, I found that the interview process I experienced was completely different from even my coworkers' experiences. In light of that, and in hopes of helping future educators with the interview process, I've decided to share the tale of how I got here. (Note: This is Part III of a multi-part series. Read Part I and Part II.)

When we left off, I had just finished my interview with The Worst School Ever, and as Hubs drove us back to the lake where we were spending the week, I called my mom. As I was describing the urban area we were traveling through (and in which the school was located), she cut me off mid-sentence and said, " Look, I get that these kinds of places probably need good teachers worse than any other schools do, but based on what you've just told me, I'm prepared to pay you not to work there."

Luckily, it didn't come to that.

That same day, a Thursday, I received a call from the superintendent of a little city school system in a neighboring county. He didn't have a straight math opening, but they were looking for a grad coach to work with students having trouble passing the graduation exam. The teacher hired would be pulling mostly upperclassmen from electives during the school day and tutoring each student in one or more subject areas. The superintendent said that the previous grad coach was moving to an open position at the elementary school level and as soon as he knew he had the opening, he started looking at his notes from Education Interview Day in March and thought of me. Was I interested in interviewing?

Well, the superintendent didn't know it, but his system was one I had not planned to interview with at EID. The teacher who heads up the teacher mentoring program for the system was helping man the booth at EID, and when she saw the big "MATH" label on my nametag, she literally grabbed my arm and dragged me over. After a few minutes of talking with them, I was sold on the super-small, family atmosphere they described, and I signed up for a screening interview. After the 30 minute interview, I felt compelled to move them to the top of my list, and I had been checking the state website where teaching jobs are posted since March, hoping to see a posting for this system.

I quickly scheduled the interview and spent my weekend researching the grad exam and beefing up my portfolio.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Because You Have Googled Your Teacher (And So Have I)

As you may know, this blog began as a personal one and has only recently begun the transition to a public, teacher blog. In preparation for returning to school in the upcoming weeks, I have reverted all my past posts to drafts. Soon, I will begin re-publishing posts fit for little eyes. Subscribers, please bear with me as your reader picks up this "greatest hits" feed.

Thanks!