Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Orange Red Lipstick at Work

It's finally warm enough, more importantly, light enough to take outdoor photos in the afternoon.  Between my morning hustle teaching an enrichment class before school starts and winter darkness, I haven't been able to do my usual outdoor photos for some time.  It felt good to be out and about, getting decent light. 

By the way, I've always wanted to be a teacher who wears her bright lipstick to work and doesn't care.  It only took six and a half years, but here I am!

my favorite pumps! mustard yellow leather by Seychelles

lipstick 'so chaud' by MAC, blouse from H&M, denim pencil skirt & leopard tote from J.Crew, tights by HUE
I love a dark tight against a lighter shoe.

time for some afterwork errands!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Comfortable, Yet Teacherly

A chill day at work.  Comfortable, stretchy skirt, warm cowlneck and flat boots, this is my ideal teaching outfit.  Easy to ride my bike in, looks teacherly enough and yes, comfortable.  I don't usually use that word in conjuction with clothing, but it's true.
sweater from the Gap, skirt from Target, knit tights from J.Crew, boots by Ninewest

I love the seams on this skirt, makes the skirt appear my structured than it is. 

A Period in Seventh Grade

I covered for a seventh grade class today. My thought before the period was over: this class needs an intervention.

I greeted them at the door with good mornings, and some of them tried to reject my greeting. I encouraged them to take seats, get started on the do now, and some fought me resisted.  Those who didn't have supplies, I encouraged neighbors to share, as I certainly didn't bring extra pencils and paper with me to my first period coverage.

As for the girl who went to the bathroom and returned to find a penis drawn on her book, I encouraged her to stand up for herself. Demand respect! You don't have to tolerate that disrespect. I also told the boys at that table, that's not how you treat people. How would you feel if... you know, the usual what if it was your sister, mother, auntie?

There was a table of girls with chips on their shoulders who couldn't seem to take my gentle direction.  Take out your notebook.  Let's get started.  Who here needs a book? Immediate attitudes.  I gave them copies of Rumblefish anyway.  They were going to read, if I had anything to do with it.  At least, I was going to encourage them the best I could, despite what they were showing me.

Yet, the students did not learn. I suggested to the other teacher, who was relatively new to the room, separating the students and placing two groups on each side of the room of students who want to and are ready to learn. That way the trying-to-move-forward energy is spread out, and the two teachers could then continue to "teach the class."

At the end of what-felt-like-several-periods, I stood at the door and dismissed the class. I told them have a "good day" or "have a good morning" whether they wanted it or not.  Just like they could give and did give resistance, I gave positivity and encouragement.

I believe in spirits at times, and clearly there is a spirit of resistance, of not learning, in that class.
After dismissing the students, I hurried happily back to the sixth grade wing.  Thankfully my challenging students are still genearlly respectful and open to learning.

Miss M

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Sparkly Tweed and Mustard Pumps

I thoroughly enjoyed the mix of textures in this outfit.  It felt a little military as well, I guess the sturdy sweater belted... either way, the combination of sparkly tweed, chunky knit sweater and mustard pumps made my day.

my "warm" sweater from Uniqlo, thrift belt, j.crew skirt and mustard yellow, Seychelles pumps

my dog kept wondering what I was doing and why I wasn't taking him for a walk already

I love the texture and sparkle of this skirt.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Miss M is a Full Person.

A student read one of my Yelp reviews. She told me I didn't "tie it up."  I explained to her that my reviews are informal writing, and if I were to wrap up each one with a conclusion it would be redundant and less interesting.  Some reviews are short and to the point, and I'm okay with that. As long as I can write a proper essay when necessary. 

This is a new age of teaching.  They also found my Instagram that I started years ago but never used. At first I thought of the few extra grown reviews  I've written, but then I pushed that thought out of my head. Miss M is a full person with a complete life outside of school. 

Wait until one of them finds my blog. 

Miss M

Friday, January 11, 2013

Chambray & Denim

my go-to chambray shirt from Old Navy, my denim snake print jumper from the Gap

random snakeprint, yes! and a hint of my trusty gold studs

black tights by Hue, leopard flats from Old Navy, gold watch by Guess

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Teaching Gratitude

As part of our post holiday debrief, the students RAFTed, or wrote full paragraphs with evidence, about their breaks and then shared them with the class. One student, the same student I witnessed throw the basketball she had gotten as a gift from the school through charity over a random fence as I was leaving work the Friday before vacation, wrote about how she got a doll from her aunt and she threw it out the window. My co-teacher interrupted to say, no you didn't! But she insisted she did-- I believed her-- and continued saying she responded with,"what am I three?" She also said her aunt got her another gift. She then continued on with her RAFT saying, they say you're supposed to be grateful and that it's the thought that counts, but this isn't Thanksgiving!"

I had to interject with a mini lesson of my own. A teaching moment. I prefaced my story with I have a sister who turns ten this month. She was very excited about Christmas as she tends to get a lot of really good gifts due to the fact that she has several much older siblings. I talked about how as she was going on and on about gifts, I told her, I can't wait to see what you get me! What you made for me-- she's an artist. I then went on to say that it is the thought that counts. It's a blessing to receive a gift. Plenty of people do not get gifts in life. Be grateful and you can always regift it to someone else, or to charity. I tried to help her understand with-- your aunts feelings were probably hurt. But then she said, no they weren't! She got me another gift.

There comes a time when a teacher approaches a line that she may not want to cross. Yes, it is my job to teach the whole child, but I do not have the right to criticize her lack of gratitude or what her aunt is NOT teaching her. Eleven years old is too young to grasp the value of giving and receiving. It is up to us, older sisters, aunts, fathers, and yes, teachers to help get that message across.

Otherwise, I worry about these children who may grow up to expect to always get what they want and never have to be grateful for anything they have because they're supposed to have it all. It's a beautiful thing to want to give children the best, but they also need to be taught core values that will last longer their those iPad minis, kindle fires, latest smart phone or Ugg boots ever will.

Through that, empathy is taught. And so is resilience. As much as I also appreciate nice things, I am grateful that I am more than what I have, and I am one who can connect with all, regardless of education status or presentation.

Maybe the nuggets shared by myself, co-teacher and paraprofessional today will resonant with the girl. And maybe they won't.

In the end, my little sister made me a beautiful collage of my favorite things as well as things that represent me. I truly appreciated it. I put it on my refrigerator as soon as I got back to Brooklyn. I hope she remembers for next time, you don't have to have your own bank account to give a gift. You have paper, markers, and the thoughts to put something together for someone to have.

Until next time...

Miss M