Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Pale Blue Peplum, Scallops, and Pom Poms

I am itching for Spring to come! I keep seeing so many cute spring styles being released online and in stores and I can't help but wish that I could move my sweaters out of my closet in order to make room for all things spring! With unpredictable South Carolina weather however, that wouldn't be the best decision. So, instead I'll just pretend that I wouldn't get the slightest bit cold in today's outfit (which may just be one of my favorites to go live on the blog). 

My blue and white obsession is back this year in full force and this light blue shade in particular has made its way to my wardrobe in a variety of pieces already as spring approaches. While some may be embarrassed that their outfit matches their bedroom I am here to embrace it and the fact that blue and white is such a classic color combination! 





dress (under $25, available in Navy as well)  // scalloped block heel sandals (under $30, grey here) // pom pom tote (my DIY here) // bracelets ( 1 & 2 ) // gold and white bracelets 

Everything about this dress scream me. From the peplum hem to the ruffle color and better yet the price (under $25) this purchase was a no brainer! The only hesitation I had was whether to buy it in navy or light blue. Since this dress is definitely one of those pieces that is a classic with a twist what better thing to pair it with than shoes that fit that category as well? I can not get enough of these nude scalloped block heel sandals. The block heel seems to be really in for spring and the scalloped ankle strap had me nervous that my size wouldn't be in stock when I finally clicked add to cart. Much to my relief I was able to get these in my size and without breaking the bank at under $30! I am so tempted to get them in grey as well so don't be surprised if you see this exact same option with the navy version of this dress and the grey scalloped sandals because I am very tempted! 

Consider this pom pom tote my adult Easter Basket. I made this tote summer after my Sophomore Year and have loved it ever since (see how here). It was pretty affordable and is the perfect tote to take to the beach in the summer and hold blankets in my room the rest of the year! When Nell and I were shooting these photos we couldn't help but think about how cute this ensemble would be for a bridal shower or Easter brunch this coming spring. Personally, I know this will be on repeat from weekday to weekend as I gear up for graduation festivities and other events at Furman.

I hope your week is off to a great start! Only 4 days before I am heading home for spring break (but who is counting?)!

I'd love some ideas of what content you'd like to see! I have some fun ideas for the coming weeks but would love suggestions to work on while I have time over the break! 

Monday, February 27, 2017

Step Into My Week

I am really loving that Step Into My Week posts go live on Monday! There is something about being able to write about the week after a weekend that gives it a much more positive spin! Plus, it is fun to share photos with y’all from events soon after they happen. I hope y’all are feeling the same way about this adjustment as well!

Having Monday off made this week a bit more relaxing which I loved! Unfortunately when I spend time relaxing that is when my body tends to get sick so on Tuesday I woke up with a bit of a cold. Fortunately with the help of some sleep and medicine I felt much better by Wednesday! 

left: top (from LOFT outlet, similar) // pants // flats (the most comfortable shoes for teaching) 
right: top (mine is J.Crew Factory, similar here) // fluted skirt // flats (more affordable version here)

tassel cardigan (mine is LOFT outlet, similar here) // striped shirt // pants // slip ons

On Friday of this week we had our big fundraising color run. It was so much fun and at one point I think I had more color on me than the kids. I got to throw it at them as they ran laps to raise money for the school. About half of our class went home right after so the afternoon was slightly more laid back.

Aside from doing lesson plans and perfecting my resume this weekend KD had a function! It was themed Space Jam so some people went galaxy-esque, basketball, and Looney Tunes. I took my roommate Sophia who is also a KD but is inactive this semester and we had a blast! We are both a bit embarrassed with how sore we are from all of the dancing this morning. 


I hope y'all had a great weekend and are looking forward to a good week ahead! 

Friday, February 24, 2017

Peplum Striped Shirt

For being a short week Friday felt so far away all week! Unfortunately this weekend is not going to be nearly as exciting as last week since I'll be preparing lesson plans and hopefully making sure all my ducks are in a row to teach all subjects to the students while also preparing for Spring Break (one week from today)! 

There is a lot to get done before heading home next week but I know having a light at the end of the tunnel will be a great motivator to get it all accomplished. I am so excited to have some time to brainstorm and write different posts that I've been wanting to feature on the blog and I know Spring Break will be a relaxing time to do that. Hopefully I'll spend some time outside soaking up the sun too.

After getting dressed in "teacher clothes" all week when it comes to the weekends I want to be able to grab clothes that I know will be comfortable and that I won't really have to think about when it comes to putting together an outfit. This outfit is one that fits all that criteria for me. I've worn it to coffee shops to study and on car rides to visit friends and I feel equally put together as I do comfortable and cute! I feel like it is no surprise to y'all that I love stripes and combined with the peplum hem I was immediately sold when I saw this shirt. The best part however, is that it is under $20 making it a real winner! 

I've also come to realize that a god pair of casual tennis shoes when paired with jeans can be the perfect thing to throw on when you're wanting to be comfortable. In South Carolina we have almost completely moved past being able to wear boots (this winter has been so hot) so I've liked having these gold and white tennis shoes to mix things up. Leave it to J.Crew and New Balance for making tennis shoes look effortlessly cute and not too mom-esque when paired with jeans! 


shirt (under $20!) // jeans // shoes 

I hope y'all enjoy the last few days of February and are hopefully taking advantage of being outside with the moderate weather most people seem to be getting. On Wednesday I realized that I hadn't been outside since 7:15 when I left at 5:00 so I made it a point to run outside that afternoon. I'm hoping to spend some time outside between lesson planning because it is far too nice not to enjoy! 

Thursday, February 23, 2017

How I Organized My Student Teaching Lesson Plan Binder

I've mentioned this before but I definitely do not want Prep In Your Step to become a teaching blog. This blog has always served as a creative outlet for me and with teaching on the horizon it is my hope that it remains that way. With that said, a number of y'all have been asking for some posts that incorporate a bit of my experience or ideas when it comes to teaching which I think is fair. If I've learned anything from the education department at my school or student teaching so far it is that as a student teacher there is just no way to do it alone. Planning can be overwhelming and each day is so different that you never fully feel prepared. Since that is the case I figured that if I could help ease someone else's experience in any way then I definitely would like to.

Furman sets the standards for us very high so if you are student teaching then you may not be required to have the same sort of things for your supervisor when they visit. I thought it would be fun to share a look at my lesson planning binder with y'all since the organizational aspect of this was something that my friends and I struggled with. I have finally found a method that works for me and am aware that my method is very different than some other people's. It is all about finding what works for you that also works for your program and your cooperating teacher so don't be too worried if it changes around over time (mine already has a little bit).

I am a very visual person so when I started out and organized my lesson plans by week it completely threw me off. I felt like I was always searching for something and didn't feel all that prepared even though everything was right there for me. I eventually decided that organizing my lesson plans by days would be helpful. Furman makes us re-write our teachers' plans into their specific template so each of my lesson plans is typically between two and three pages. I place them behind one of the dividers (labeled A-Z but I have 2 sets) in order of when I teach them. So for us, math is first thing in the morning so that is the first plan I see followed by science, social studies, writing, and reading. The dividers I have at the back (labeled 1-12) have the teachers plans for the week. The teachers at my school all pretty much fit their weeks plans onto one sheet of paper so that is nice to reference when I am just trying to review for the day. 

At the beginning of my binder I made a calendar that outlines when I am teaching various subjects. This is helpful for both myself and my supervisor since we are encouraged to ease into our experience. I also have a course assignment due date chart that I made as well as other resources from readings I've done that I would like to implement into my own classroom some day. Another helpful sheet that I made was a brief run down of my students' learning styles and any medical issues they may have. This is great to reference when I am planning lessons to ensure that I am reaching all students learning modems! 

After I have taught a lesson I like to put a post-it note directly on it of what went well, what didn't, or anything I'd change for the next time I teach it. I also include information about timing or changes I'd make to specific resources that go along with it. I know this will be helpful to look back at in the future so it is worth taking a minute or two at the end of the day to do. 

After each subjects' lesson plan I like to include any resources we are using. I print out powerpoint to have on hand, student note sheets, observational notes I've taken, and even answer keys just so they are all in one place. This is really nice when I am reading over my plans and making sure that everything is ready for the week ahead since I am so visual when it comes to things. 

So there you have it, a quick but seemingly thorough glance at how I have my binder organized thus far. If there are any teachers out there reading this who have any tips at all please do not hesitate to share. Collaboration is crucial to teaching and I have definitely felt overwhelmed by everything at times so I would love to hear your insight!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Blush Pink & White

Yesterday was just the *best* day. If anyone knows anyone really high up when it comes to government holiday making & calendar printing I wouldn't be opposed to you suggesting that every weekend should last three days. I was in the best mood and had the most stress free Monday and could really use more of that and the relaxation it provided in my life. Although, with the relaxation came a little bit of a cold that I have been downing emergen-c to try to combat it!

I think the groundhog may have gotten it wrong when he claimed that we were going to have six more weeks of winter (come on, Phil). It is supposed to be in the seventies this week which means deciding on outfits when it comes to student teaching may be even harder than usual. Let's just hope the weather stays this warm since Spring Break is only 2 weeks away and I'd prefer not to have a sudden cold snap! 

Usually I am quite the rule follower in every aspect of my life but realizing the added outfit options possible in my closet by wearing white jeans in the winter has caused me to become a bit rebellious in this sense. As February continues on I find myself constantly wearing dark pants and grey sweaters which can be kind of sad since in my world that is lacking a lot of color. White jeans have become the perfect alternative and when paired with a nearly neutral blush I've come to realize just how much color can affect my mood. This is the type of outfit that makes moderate February days feel a bit less dreary and more welcoming of spring! These white jeans are my absolute favorite and are a staple for the whole year at under $60. The white color is crisp and the fit is flattering without being too skinny or suffocating. I've had this blush sweater in my closet for a while now and had yet to find the perfect way to wear it. After seeing numerous bloggers style blush all year round I figured that I would give it a go. I now know that this will be an easy to reach for outfit when I want to look put together yet feel completely comfortable. I'm also pretty positive that 2017 is going to be the year of slip on shoes because this pair from Dr. Scholls takes the cake when it comes to comfort and adds a slight cool factor when it comes to any outfit. 



While I am certainly hoping to be able to wear all of my spring clothes soon discovering the versatility of white jeans in the winter will hopefully make dressing for the season slightly more bearable! 

Monday, February 20, 2017

Step Into My Week

Happy Monday! It certainly is a happy Monday for me because I got to sleep in (aka past 5:20 so waking up at 8:30 definitely felt that way). The school I student teach at is off for Presidents' Day so I get to hang out at Furman today which is actually really nice since Furman classes are still occurring today. 

I know Step Into My Week posts typically happen on Fridays but somehow Thursday nights become a bit too busy for me to make sure that they go up then. I think from here on out I'll be doing Step Into My Week posts on Mondays so that I can ensure that I have a post go live on Fridays and include my weekend while it is still relevant in my SIMW posts. Hope y'all are ok with this switcharoo! 

Last weekend I had my meet up at Swoozies in Greenville which was really fun and I talked about it here. The rest of that weekend was pretty laid back with homework to be done and a lot of hanging around.

pajamas // mug 

This week was definitely an interesting one. With Valentine's Day on Tuesday the kids acted as though every day was Friday which became its own challenge. I went to dinner with friends on Tuesday night, to a barre3 party on Wednesday night, and actually was able to enjoy my weekend so I am hoping that I am finally getting the hang of this whole student teaching and college student balance (although I know that isn't entirely the case). Below are the outfits I wore this week to teach in and I can't tell you how ready I am to bring all of my spring-y clothes back to campus to make things more colorful again!

left: striped shirt // flare skirt // loafers (similar)
right: pants // boots // blouse

left: sweater // necklace // pants // booties
right: dress // boots

sweater (similar) // pants // shoes // necklace

Hope y'all are ready for a little story time because I definitely have one from Friday. As I was headed to school around 6:30 on Friday morning I had the pleasure of experiencing my car stalling. I've never had any major car issues before aside from a flat tire on the way home for Easter one year and this was quite the eye opener. I somehow managed to hit my hazard lights as fast as possible to avoid having cars run into me as the light I was stopped at changed. When no cars were coming I was able to put my car in neutral and back it off to a side street. I tried turning my car off and back on and it started to shake and various lights came up on the dashboard. Fortunately I was right across from a gas station so I walked across the highway got some gas and attempted that although I didn't need gas. When that didn't work and the car still shook I knew I was kind of SOL. I called a friend that happens to student teach at the same school and she offered to drive me but first I had to figure out what to do with my car since it was very much so in the way. I tried calling some guy friends to see if they could attempt to jump my car so I could park it in the gas station parking lot and quickly discovered that most of them do not answer their phone so early in the morning and didn't actually know how to jump a car. NOT HELPFUL. If there are any guys reading this if you're ever in this situation I would highly recommend that you still offer to come and help or send a friend that could help. Eventually the girl at the same school that I student teach at came and a nice guy who happened to graduate 4 years ago from Furman stopped to help since we clearly looked pretty clueless (also it was freezing out so that wasn't ideal either). He attempted to jump my car and when that didn't work I had to call AAA to have my car towed. We were an hour late to school (fortunately our teachers and supervisor were more than understanding) and I was frazzled all day long because of my hectic morning. My car was fixed by the afternoon which was really nice but it was quite the way to end the week. 

Friday night I went to a date function with Nell that was themed "you are what you Netflix." We went as Chip and Joanna Gaines from Fixer Upper which everyone thought was funny and made a pretty easy costume. Saturday morning Nell and I took a bunch of blog photos and went to breakfast at Tandem (a great crepe place in Travelers Rest) before I headed to Charlotte to visit my big. I got to Charlotte around 4:00 and Caroline (my big) and I spent time catching up before heading to dinner at Seul Gastrolounge, a delicious tapas place. After dinner we went to a friend of hers house before heading Uptown for the night. We went to a couple of different bars and it was interesting to see the difference between Charlotte nightlife and Greenville's. We finally got back pretty late and went right to bed as we were pretty exhausted. The next morning we walked to Sunflour Cafe which was delicious and walked the Light Rail for a while before I packed up and headed back to Furman. When I got back I did a little bit of work, Nell and I went for a walk, and then made a delicious dinner before chapter (recipe here). 

I am spending my morning cleaning and preparing for the week ahead and am excited to spend some time in the library this afternoon to embrace actually being on campus prior to two meetings tomorrow. I know waking up tomorrow bright and early again won't be quite as relaxing but I'm hoping that a slower day today will help me prepare for another week of teaching. 

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