Why Teachers Should Dress Up For Events

Hello! Long time no see! Life has been quite crazy lately. I’ll share more about that in other posts! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Today I want to talk about events and dress up days during the school day. Schools have many fun activities for the kids, and they love dressing up and getting to have a special day at school! There is something that can make their day even more fun: when teachers join in on the festivities!

We as teachers are so flipping busy, and dressing up on themed days can seem like yet another inconvenience to interrupt our precious free time. I swear, though, it is worth it to see the kids get so pumped up when the teachers participate! Plus, it is fun for us to get into character!

Yesterday was poetry slam day at school, so the 7th grade English teachers dressed up as dark, tortured poets! We went for the Beatnik aesthetic! We invited the kids to do the same, and everyone had a great time!

My teacher friend Jackie and I look like we belong on the cover of some indie album! It was so much fun!

My makeup is as dark as my soul! The bow is ironic. ๐Ÿ˜‰

So teachers, if you don’t usually do dress up days, try it out!! The kids will love you for it, and you will get a chance to have a little fun at work while still being professional! If you don’t have the items you need, friends’ closets and Goodwill work wonders!

What have been your favorite dress up days as a student or a teacher? Let me know!


Awkward Times

Hello!! So, I was having a conversation with my “teacher BFF” (shoutout to Mandi!!) about awkward conversations with 7th graders! If you teach 7th grade, or have ever known a 7th grader, you know that it is a super awkward part of life! Puberty just makes things weird. The awkwardness is actually something I love, otherwise I’d teach something else! I totally “get” that age group, but there are still times when it is tempting to titter at some of their weird conversations. Whenever I feel the urge to laugh, all I have to do is think of this:

Meet 7th grade Shelby! She wore outfits of literally all pink sometimes, she wore way too much lip gloss, and she signed her school papers as Eponine. Yep, the oh-so-angsty Les Mis character. I guess I identified with her after the most popular guy in our grade asked me to the dance as a joke the year before. I was definitely “on my own.” Yeah, as you can see, I was super cool! NOT!

So if you ever feel like making fun of a middle schooler, just think back to that awkward middle school version of yourself and remember that this strange time is a rite of passage. Those kiddos are pretty awesome, even when they forget their deodorant or make “that’s what she said” jokes TO THEIR TEACHER. (Yep, someone tried it on me). Affirm those crazy heads, and let them know they are loved while providing firm boundaries. One day, they will grow into productive members of society just like we did!

Thanks for reading! Give a middle schooler a high five!


First Musical Rehearsal!

Good evening!! I am so excited, because we had our first rehearsal for the school musical! We are doing Mulan Jr. and I am in charge of the choreography! This is so exciting for me, because I am able to be a teacher while still being active in the arts! I loved doing musicals when I was a kids and a teenager, and now I get to help give that experience to others! It’s a wonderful feeling!

The kids are super talented, and I am working with two amazing ladies to put on a fabulous production! The next couple months will be crazy busy, but I know the end result will be worth the long hours with teenage theatre people! ๐Ÿ˜›

If you work at a school, or at any place with opportunities for extra involvement, I encourage you to step up and be a part of something like that. As long as you keep a good work/life balance (something I still struggle with), it is rewarding to join an organization or volunteer for an activity. Getting involved with theatre and dance at school is a way I can do that (along with leadership team, social committee, and a separate dance team)! Push yourself and get involved!!

I am excited to update you on the awesome stuff that goes on during the musical! Talk to you soon!!


Desk Makeover

Good evening, y’all! Tomorrow is back to work and I’m PUMPED!!! I went to my classroom today and added to my desk to make it a little more exciting! It is by no means a crazy awesome desk, but little things make my work space a bit more fun!

I got a really awesome handmade name plate from my mother-in-law for Christmas, so I put it dead center!

That plus the new sparkly ribbon makes the desk just a bit more fun from the new year! I always like to do a little something extra to combat that post-holiday letdown! Coming in during break is worth it, because you can set up a fun new vibe by just doing a couple tiny things! I set up my math stations activity and dance team stuff as well, just so I can roll in feeling prepared and ready to go! Totally worth the hour spent at work on the last day of break!

How many of you teachers/students are going back soon? Let me know how you like to get back into the groove!


Parent Teacher Conference Tips

As y’all know, the past couple weeks have not been the best of my life. Life goes on, however, and last week was time for parent teacher conferences! My adoptive mom always says that no matter what, you have to “rally and sparkle,” so that’s exactly what I set out to do! I have a few tips that worked for me during my conferences! I hope they help! 

1. Dress to impress

I feel like this one is a big “DUH!” but it needs to be said! When I do conferences, I go for an old school professional look with personalized touches. My makeup is done, but not overdone, and I do sleek, no-nonsense hair to avoid hair-related fidgeting! French twists work wonders! I also make sure I don’t forget my name badge. Here is my outfit from Monday’s conference:

Sweater: Brooks Brothers
Skirt: Calvin Klein

Shoes: Kate Spade

Earrings: Kendra Scott

Bracelet: Rustic Cuff

2. Be prepared

When parents come, don’t be that guy who has to fish through a boatload of memories to find the kid’s grade. I had a (cute and pink) folder ready with each of my students’ grade reports and missing assignment reports so that I wouldn’t draw a blank. Many of my fellow teachers with more students had it all ready on an iPad, which also works well. I’m just old-fashioned! ๐Ÿ˜‰

3. Start with the positives

No matter how bad a kid’s grades or behaviors are, always start on a good note. If it’s “that kid” who always shows up when you don’t want him to, compliment the parents on their commitment to his education and his perfect attendance record. Make sure you are saying something that is true, though. The parents can tell if you are being fake! After you have talked about the good things, it is easier to bring up concerns, because you just showed that everyone is on the same team.

4. Be professional

Again, duh, but it must be said! I always try to build rapport and mention common interests, but our main job is to show that we know what the heck we are doing! I keep the introductions friendly, but I present myself in a professional manner when I am going over my grades and observations. Acting too austere can put parents off, but joking the whole time won’t work either. You have to find a happy medium that keeps parents comfortable and assured that their kid is in good hands.

5. Celebrate afterward! ๐ŸŽ‰

You did it!! You got through parent teacher conferences! I like to go out and celebrate! That picture above was taken at Flatire Burgers, where Ben and I enjoyed a casual post-conference dinner! It was also our monthaversary, so bonus! We as teachers work our patooties off, and it’s okay to #treatyoself sometimes! 

I hope these tips were helpful! If you are not a teacher, I hope your kids’ teachers are making you feel at ease! Which tips would you add to this list? 

Until next time! 


Change Your Negatives to Positives! ย 

Hi there!! Before we start here, I want to throw out a DISCLAIMER: I am not speaking to people who have chemical imbalances and cannot combat negativity without some outside help. I know that mental illness is something different, and that needs to be validated. For all y’all struggling with it, I love you and am here for you. Okay, now we can get on with my thoughts! 

I co-teach in 7th grade math, and we have been going over positive and negative numbers. When you are adding a positive and a negative integer together, you subtract, but keep the sign of the bigger number. Blah, blah, blah. I know, why am I giving you a math lesson right now? Because it totally applies to life! 

When negative things happen, some of your positivity is obviously subtracted. However, we must make sure that the positive in our lives is always the bigger of the two so that our life stays joyful instead of crossing over to the dark side! 

Yeah, okay. Easier said than done. Duh! No one ever said life was easy! We all have times in which positivity seems unattainable, but we can do our best to put positive spins on negative situations. I am going through some private stuff that is difficult (and keeping it out of social media) and I have to choose positivity in order to be successful, since it’s a situation I cannot control. In those instances, attitude needs to be a conscious choice because it’s the only part you can control. Just like I choose to go to the gym in the morning and to keep attending professional developments, I choose to keep my mindset healthy!

Since this is not my chosen place to talk about the super personal stuff, I will give an example of a professional negative I turned into a positive. I teach an evening ESL class to adults as one of my side hustles, and it has been difficult to get the majority of my class to be on time because of their jobs and/or kids. Not always their fault, but still a bit frustrating. I was thinking of ways to turn it around, so I decided to make the first 15 minutes of each class into a fun warm-up activity. Since they are learning about American culture as newcomers, I start with fun information and discussion questions about the obscure holiday of the day! Today was national tourism day, and the other day was hamburger day! This fixed my problem of having to start and stop my content lessons, because the beginning activities are more relaxed and conversation-based, while still allowing them to practice their language skills and cultural knowledge. It has also given some people the initiative to get to class on time, because they never want to miss the silly holidays and conversations! It’s a win-win, and an example of spinning a negative situation into a positive one! 

If you’re still feeling down after all that, maybe a PSL will do the trick! Works for me!

How do you turn your negatives into positives? Let me know!! See you soon!