As I reflect on my first month of my seventh year teaching, I think of my self now and who I was in the beginning.
Picturing my self now-- the way I dress, my bike-- this is what Brooklyn has done to me! I am not the teacher who started out as a NYC Teaching Fellow six years ago.
I went to my first interviews in a gray skirt suit from Ann Taylor, black pumps and stockings. This was in the August heat mind you. I even took out my then nose stud. That was until I met an assistant principal with a nose stud and dreadlocks in a well-fitted suit. She was herself, she was gorgeous, and she was professional. She was my subtle welcome to NYC.
Fast forward six years and I'm interviewing for my second teaching position. I'm wearing a mustard pencil skirt, purple top tucked in, gray cardigan, brown pumps, and my nose ring. Unwavering. Confident. Truly knowing my stuff.
I used to wear stilettos and wide skirts to work, but now I wear pencil skirts and pumps. Part of that is a body consciousness change-- I've embraced my shape, there is room for hips in middle school-- and stilettos?! What was I thinking? Not all heels are purposed alike. Mid to kitten heel pumps are more professional. That and my feet will not tolerate the nonsense.
As for my bike, I've been riding to work since my third year of teaching. The first year I walked, the second I took the bus and by the third I had a bike. I've always ridden an old-school, cruiser-type bike. Except now I graduated from my rusty, but somewhat trusty, vintage Free Spirit with the extra wide seat to a polished, contemporary Virtue.
My six plus years of teaching have taught me something. I am not stagnant. My style has evolved; I voluntarily left my old school; I've deepened my professional knowledge; I've held leadership roles; and got a new bike.
My teacher persona has evolved, and will continue to do so.