looking the part

While I’ve had my share of regrettable fashion choices (you can ask my former boss about the summer I cycled through 12 different colors of the same t-shirt dress), I’ve always considered myself a rather stylish person. I love dressing up, and I’m a big believer in the idea that what you wear influences how you act. So the minute I found out I was hired for a new teaching job, I knew it was time to hit the mall.

One of the reasons teaching is such a cool profession is that you’re allowed to be creative and have fun with your wardrobe. When I think of how women in corporate careers are expected to dress, images of black-and-white pantsuits and patent leather pumps (which are cute but impossible to walk in, at least for me.) I always expect teachers, especially the younger ones, to wear bright colors and cute dress with ballerina flats and fun accessories (think Jess Day, Zooey Deschanel’s character on the show “New Girl.”) And that

Anyway, I took photos of what I wore the first week of school, so let me know what you think! (And yes, that’s a “tattoo” on my prosthetic arm.)

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when your ‘last resort’ is your ‘dream come true’

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If you had told me even five years ago that I would be experiencing a major career switch before the age of 25, I would have thought you were crazy. I was IN LOVE with my social media position at the Oxygen Network, and I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else. I was also fortunate to have an amazing boss and mentor (whom I still love and admire like crazy) who later brought me on with her as the digital marketing coordinator for a political news network. When that network was sold to an international news network, however, I started to realized that maybe social media was not the right career path for me. I loved creating content and curating the various social pages, but the job became increasingly focused on the marketing aspect of the business with little room for creativity. (It’s not like you can be super creative when you’re reporting facts and news stories.) And that shift wasn’t particularly exciting for an artsy and nerdy English major who is happiest when she’s dreaming up new ideas and working on creative projects.

10628626_10152804020652642_9176936420018892715_nI knew that I had to make a major change in my life when, after being laid off from my job in early spring, I was surprised to find that I was actually elated and relieved. I was free. But free to do what? I had an English degree and absolutely no desire to pursue a career in law (can you seriously picture me in a drab old court all day?). So what’s a girl to do? Remembering my childhood dream of becoming a teacher, I reluctantly took education classes and figured that was my only option. Teaching was a career choice I had always kept on the periphery, considering it my Plan B in case I was on the verge of becoming a starving artist or something like that. But after giving it a lot of thought and spending the summer in Norway, where I did some deep soul-searching and (as cliche as it sounds) discovered myself a little better, I decided to give this teaching thing a shot.

1979508_10152801864832642_7612538560193325680_nFlash forward just over a month, now that I’ve been teaching for nearly four weeks, and I can’t imagine why I’d been so reluctant about choosing this profession. I think I was born to be a teacher. Is there anything more rewarding than knowing you’re educating and inspiring a love of knowledge in the next generation? Is there anything cooler than doing whatever you can – from wearing a book-themed shirt to handing out Ninja Turtle and Frozen stickers – in order to make lessons relevant and exciting for today’s kids?

In the upcoming posts, I would love to share more about my new life as a teacher. I still love to write about growing up with a disability and sharing stories about others with disabilities who have accomplished amazing things, but my life is about way more than just my nonexistent hand. And I really want this blog to reflect that.

 

Peace,

Caitlin (or Ms. P, as the students like to call me)

 

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