I found affordable J. Crew deals, actually things I can buy with my measly teacher income. Have I mentioned my obsession with that store? It was cheaper than Loft today. I don’t know what to do with myself.
Okay, a bit known fact about me and clothing. I don’t know HOW to wear them. Seriously. I knew t-shirts, jeans, and sneakers for most of my life. It was my attire for work, dates, nights out. I really did not deviate from that until I hit my current 30-somethings. But there seems to be one style that is loved by most and should remain consistent on.
And so, I had conversation that went a little something like this…
ME: What should I wear to the movies? FRIEND: Teacher attire. ME: Dinner with friends? FRIEND: Teacher attire. ME: I don’t even know what to wear on a date. FRIEND: Teacher attire. ME: So a nice cardigan, dress or pants, shoes combo? FRIEND: Yup, teacher attire. ME: How about on a third date? FRIEND: Sweats and t-shirt. Let him see you at your worse and if he wants to take you on the 4th date, he’s a keeper. ME: HAhhHA!
I also discovered that wearing dresses is a lazy way to wear clothes and look decent. Think about it. One item of clothing (the dress) and pair it with shoes and a nice cardigan. Done. Add tights if I feel a little colorful. I can roll out of bed, wash my face, comb my hair, and throw on a dress within a good thirty minutes or less!
When I wear a shirt, I need to consider v-neck, crew, neck, or collared, to match with the dark jeans, light jeans, bootleg or straight leg, to match with the heeled boots, flats, heels, or wedges.
That’s too much work, yo!
I need more dresses in my life.
Okay, maybe not dresses like these, but you get my point.
TEACHER ADVENTURES: When my disguise is compromised
At work, as a teacher, I am Super Woman (well, at least that is how I like to see myself) and at home, I am your average Jane (well, again, that is how I like to see myself). I mean, sometimes I feel like my transitions from one to the other sometimes feels like this:
Yet, clearly, I AM the same woman.
This past three-day weekend someone saw me without my Super Woman disguise. A teacher from another school, within our district, that I never personally met, approaches me while I am waiting in line to order my carne asada burrito with everything and recognizes me by this:
(Yes, that is my left arm…a dozen roses, black and red, by Tim McEvoy of Art Junkies Tattoo, California)
She simply says, “You’re a teacher right…I saw your tattoos and knew I recognized you.”
It was during a hot day in mid-September. A district training after school. I could not wear my cardigan any longer, so I took it off. Throughout the training I was sleeveless and actively participated in the training. No one mentioned my tattooed then, and I did not feel any discomfort for exposing them, nor should I.
My school does not mind that I expose my tattoos. Neither does my district, though I never really heard anything mentioned. The teacher next door has more tattoos and she exposes them on a regular, but she has a VERY cool style that I can never match and is a positively reputable teacher.
And then there is me. A new teacher. The rookie. The intern. The one who was recognized by another teacher not by my face, not by my name, but by my tattoos.
I do not have a problem with that. Personally, I think my tattoos landed me great substituting gigs because students would request for the “tattooed teacher” back when I was a Guest Teacher in my district THAT was cool.
Currently, I do not expose my tattoos on a regular basis. I do, every now and then. Part of what I like about teaching is that I become someone else, I get to play dress up for work and teach what I can. Part of my dress up are my cardigans, polka dot dresses, and earrings. I call it my teacher attire. I LIKE my teacher attire. Plus, I feel my students respond to me better when I LIKE my teacher attire. I feel like a professional, like a grown-up.
But outside the teacher attire…I wear my tank tops and jeans and bum around because I internally am a goofy woman-child.
No really, I am.
Yeah, yeah, you read a post like this before, but SERIOUSLY how I look at work establishes how I feel so being seen in public, in my tank top, exposing my tattoos (which are like personal stories to me) by someone I work with it sort of feels…awkward.
Anyway, I guess it is something I will get used to. I am not ashamed of my ink one bit, I mean, LOOK AT IT! Tim did an awesome job on my arm. And my tattoos do not define me, I define my tattoos, and when my tattoos distract my students I have learned to veer away from the topic and focus on the learning environment and I like having this professional demeanor. My ink is just an accessory with my work attire.
I guess seeing my colleagues (even the ones I never met yet recognize me) I should just remind myself that I am just as human as they are when we are not being classroom superheroes.
Whew! I am new to this teaching world, trying to separate teacher-life from personal-life.
Adventures in Substitute Teaching: First-week Substitute Teacher Attire
Now, I know I am not the most fashionable teacher out there. In fact, in general, I lack some continuity in style. But as an educator, I try to maintain my teacher attire.
And yes, I have tattoos.
Most often asked question, “Do you have to cover your tattoos?”
My answer: No, it is my choice to cover my tattoos.
Second most often asked question after asking the initial most often asked question, “So why do you cover them?”
My answer: Because it is MY choice to cover my tattoos.
Since the temperature of heat out here in the desert reaches its 100’s and higher, sometimes it is just not that easy to cover my tattoos. I like to work at a school long enough so that they know me by face and name, aware of my capabilities, and I show my potential before I even let my ink peep through my sleeves.
I do not teach our students by modeling my tattoos. I model other things, like my lesson plans. A student or teacher would make a reference to my tattoos and I will answer briefly but not engage in a conversation about it. I simply redirect my conversation, just like I am about to do right…
So here this is what I wore:
This is also the first time I really expose my legs. They used to be really pale in comparison to the rest of my body, but I think I balanced out my skin tone this Summer.
A few teachers on campus know how to rock the heels, pumps, and heeled boots. They have great style! And, they are reputable teachers, too! Others know how to rock the more t-shirt and jeans look. I like to TRY to combine the two. Plus, for me, I consider my teaching style, like I need a look that allows me to walk around, reach things (I’m short), kneel down at desks, and, yes, jump up.
So that is what I wore on the first-week of school. I am still working on my overall clothing style, but this style suits me best.