Sunday, November 24, 2013

Flannel + Cotton + Tweed + Leather

If I had to define my teacher look right now, I'd call it a button-down shirt, perhaps with a sweater over it.

With that said, here is an outfit I had a lot of fun with.  The mix of textures and prints is akin to the chocolate and peanut butter, Ben & Jerry's ice cream I just had.  So satisfying, and a bit longer-lasting.  I digress.

J.Crew Factory butterfly sweater, Old Navy flannel, J.Crew metallic tweed skirt and polka dot tights, Frye pumps
flannel + cotton + tweed + leather

arm candy! J.Crew pave link bracelet and Guess watch

can you tell that I heart hearts?

Miss M

Always a Lady

Here's a quick outfit from a few weeks ago that I had forgotten about.  Here's an example of when not planning an outfit the night before goes very right.  I needed something decent since it was Thursday, I would be going from work to grad classes all night.  I enjoyed the mix of colors-- navy cardigan with navy and black tights, the swing skirt and hint of pink.  Plus, my little booties were actually comfortable enough to make it through the day.

ASOS skirt and blouse, J.Crew cardigan and tights

hints of gold detailing from top to botom

Steven by Steve Madden booties from several winters ago

I am loving collars these days.
As for the title, I've been getting that a lot late.  I'm good with it.
Miss M

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Student-Led, Parent-Teacher Conferences

This is my first year doing exclusively student-led teacher conferences.  99% of students were forthright.  Parents are more receptive to hearing the truth when their child is the one saying it.  Some of the admissions I heard were: "I insult people," "I talk too much" and "I'm doing well because I've been a star scholar three times."  It was awesome.  Below are the steps I used during these student-led conferences.

Step one:  Greet the parent and student warmly; welcome them into your classroom. Step two: So-and-so, talk to us about how you're doing in ELA class. Or if scaffolding is necessary, how are you doing in ELA academically and in terms of your conduct, how you behave in class?  If student says one or two words, I ask for evidence, or a detail to support their claim (perfect way to once again practice using evidence). Step three: affirm in most cases what student said and connect to the grade received. Step four: if it hasn't been covered,  mention how student has improved, what she needs to improve upon and steps to take to get there. Step five: elicit from student, what she will do to improve or maintain grade. Final step: thank parent and student for coming.  

Now that I teach general education students and special education students in an inclusion setting, I have excellent parent turnout for conferences. In my past experiences teaching self-contained classes, I often got maybe six parents total during both afternoon and evening conferences.  This year, I got about sixty parents, or just over two-thirds of the students I teach.  As you can imagine, the time goes very fast because everyone comes to speak to the ELA teacher and to see how their newly-minted middle schooler is doing. 

To prepare for parent-teacher conferences, I do the following: One, make sure portfolios are in order and accessible for parents. Two, tidy up the classroom and make sure student work inside and out is current. Three, prepare for each student a positive comment, an area of growth, and how to improve their grade. Of course this was a lot easier with 24 student instead of 90, but just as necessary. It's important for a teacher to be and feel prepared; this is something that helps me feel prepared.  Four, have a notebook or paper ready to take notes quickly, as well as a print out of your grades. Five, make sure you're dressed well. Half of the battle preparation is presentation. Look ready, be ready. 

On that note, time for work. I'm heading in early to work on some of the things I said I would do for parents-- from compiling list of book suggestions for a Christmas Kindle gift, to sharing the list of upcoming class novels for the year as well as supplementary reading on the same topics, and updating our online grade book/parent communication tool with additional emails and phone numbers. Yup, a teacher's work seems never-ending. 

Until next time,
Miss M

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Leather-Trimmed Skirt and Pink Boots

Here are some quick photos from earlier this month. I am loving my leather-trimmed skirt from J.Crew Factory! I had a lot of fun with this outfit. I've always loved houndstooth, but I just discovered I also love leather. Next up (hopefully): a well-fitting leather pencil skirt. I have my eye a few at ASOS. 

With this outfit I kept my colors simple and added two pops of color. 

Old Navy sweater, skirt and tights from J.Crew Factory, Swedish Hasbeens boots, H&M necklace

My favorite heart ring-- purchased for a dollar from Not Just Vintage pop-up sale-- and a clear and gold bubble ring. Love!

I look forward to styling this skirt again soon. 
Miss M

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Creating Balance

It is so important for a teacher to maintain a life out of work.  Those of you who know me well, know that this is something I am usually good at.  Ever since I reclaimed my life from teaching, balance is something I prioritize.  I usually maintain my social calendar, exercise several times a week, get eight hours of sleep and work on side projects.

However, lately between my second semester of graduate school for my administration degree and my second year working at my current school with a new co-teacher, I have been neglecting balance.  I did manage to see a good friend for happy hour in the middle of last week, but to only work and drink would be regressive and a little too much like my first few years of teaching.  I digress.

This is all to say, today I made it to the gym!  And yes, that deserves an exclamation point.  Despite running a 10K last month, without much training I should add, I have not been exercising during the week at all.  Today, I lifted before cardio, and during my sprinting portion of my 20 minute session of intervals, I found myself repeating the following mantra: I will teach <insert class section> and <repeat class section> will learn.  That came to mind as I ran hard, when I really wanted to be done with the day and at home already.  It felt good, and uplifting.  This particular section is challenging in ways, but they are learning and today was a good day. 

Something teaching has taught me is: take each day as it comes and count even the smallest successes.  The day a teacher gives up and stops trying, no learning happens and she, herself, is miserable.

On that note, time to write a paper as I watch Greys Anatomy on Netflix.

Miss M