Five Days of Sweet Teacher Outfits

Whenever I talk to my colleagues, new teachers, or friends–I’m always asked the same question: “What do you wear?” Granted, I currently teach at a university, so the dress code is more lenient than when I worked in the high school setting. However, just because the rules of what you can wear are more lax, doesn’t mean you should go to your job looking like you just rolled out of bed. So, for this blog, I’ve gathered some of my favorite staples in my closet AND some trendier pieces that work well when paired with classics. Being an educator doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your personal style. You just have to be more creative when it comes to implementing it.
Monday: Classic in Cream? I like starting the week off with something more dressy. I think it just gets me pumped for Monday in some odd way. So cream, black, and white is a safe pallet  but it can be easily updated with a funky bag (I do like big books…) and great bangles. Each of these pieces can be found easily and at a fair price. Kohl’s accessories anyone??
Black, tan, and white!
Tuesday: Chunky sweaters and comfy cords. I like to be comfortable when I’m teaching, but my students have said to me numerous times that I never wear color. Grey is a color, friends–so if you’re stuck in greyscale world an easy update is the colored cord. I love cords because they’re soft and warm, so pairing it with a go-to black chunky sweater makes for a nice and almost midweek outfit. Pair it with a black tote bag, studded clogs, and earrings to match the hardware. There can be spice even if you are a fan of black.
Black, red, and studs!

Wednesday: So you like wearing dresses, do you? You must be teaching children who know how to walk and go to the bathroom on their own! Congratulations. (I kid. I taught preschool for a short time–there is no such thing as fashion there.) Dresses can be tricky since hormone infused boys will look everywhere but the board when you’re wearing one. Trick? Tone it down with a cardigan. Show legs, cover the arms and chest, and add in these grey scale accessories and that go-to tote. Pair a dress with flats for school settings. Heels belong with pants for the classroom.

Grey Dress
Thursday: Love those new knee length skirts? I do, too. I also love purple, but haven’t had much success with wearing it until I came across this little combo. Same rule applies for classroom dresses. Cover the arms with a long sleeve white tee, and wear it tucked in to mimic the high waisted skirt look while still keeping those knees covered. Pair with killer accessories like this necklace and silver flats for another pop of color. Ditch the black tote for today and switch to this cream, structured tote.
Purple skirt

Oh, it’s Friday?? You’ve made it through your first week of teaching? Wear some jeans, darn it! You’ve earned it! Keep it classy AND casual with a classic white tee, DARK jeans, and a fun striped blazer (that can also be paired with Monday’s black trousers–how convenient!) Finish it off with heels, a cook cocktail ring, and that black tote that I own so many of.

Friday outfit striped blazer
Hopefully, if you’re a new teacher you can begin to add in your own style elements once you get more comfortable with your students, colleagues, and parents (if you’re in the elementary or secondary schools). I HATE when people say that teachers can’t be fashionable and professional. I’ve been doing it since 2010 (minus the plaid tweed incident of 2011…forget I mentioned it). PS – these outfits aren’t just for teachers! We can ALL benefit from a work update now and again. Happy shopping!

Items for Every Teacher’s Bag

In two weeks my school reconvenes for the Spring 2013 semester. I’ve taught a variety of levels before finding my home in the college level classroom (and with school age children as a whole), but many of my other teacher pals are always amazed by the amount of things I carry in my “teacher bag.” It might be because I’m paranoid, but I tend to keep many of the same things in my “teacher” bag that I would carry in my normal purse. For the teachers out there in the blogosphere who need to know what to carry, and to the interns who are hoping to land their first teaching job, here is my list of go-to products that have proven useful for me, my former preschool kids, and my current college crazies.

This baby right here is my teacher bag. After a long time of searching for the perfect school bag, I finally decided to drop some dough on a North Face Borealis Backpack. A while ago, I wrote a blog post about how spending more on certain products turns your accessories into an investment. Two years later, my backpack is still looking as new as the day I purchased it. This backpack has paid for itself twice over and I couldn’t be happier with it. So, the first step is obviously finding a strong foundation to carry all of your items–and believe me, you’re going to have a lot of them!

So, what should be in a teacher bag? Following is a list of products and items I’ve had in my backpack since I landed my job a year and a half ago. Remember, I teach students who are usually over 18 years old yet each of these items has come in handy for them and for me.

Tissues and Hand Sanitizer: These two products have saved me when it comes to staying healthy and has kept my students healthy, too. I bring enough tissues and hand sanitizer so that I can share it with my students. I’m with them on an average of four times a week or more! If they stay healthy, so do I!

Water Bottle: Not until I began talking for hours on end every day did I realize that coffee doesn’t cut it. Get a cheap reusable water bottle and you’ll skip having to run out in the hall to a water fountain. (Yes, this is spoken from experience).

Band-aids and Neosporin: Yes, even for older students! If you can whip out a band-aid it keeps your student in your class rather than them losing time to go to the nurse. For college students, it’s just plain convenience.

Burt’s Bees Tinted Lipbalm: I chose this lip balm for two reasons. 1) Because I support Burt’s, their philosophy, and their products. They make a good product and in my opinion they work to stay ethical. 2) Because it gives me quick color for in between class touch-ups without a hassle. While you’re teaching, easy = your best bet!

So, in addition to the pens, pencils, paper, post-it notes, and planners (notice all the P’s??) a teacher should be prepared with a little something to keep you looking fresh and products that keep your students safe and healthy. I’d also like to add that in most cases you will be buying your own tissues, purell, and other “extra” supplies. It’s just the way it is and those who are dedicated to the education profession already know that! Get packing!

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