Get to know the beauty behind fashion icon Teacher Lookbook - Janelle Brown! Our March blogger spotlight, Janelle gives us a peek into her fabulously fashionable (and fun!) life as a teacher and blogger. Check out our interview with Janelle in this guest blog post below!
Who is teacherlookbook?
That’s me!! Hello all, my name is Janelle Brown and I love sharing my personal style on my fashion blog and Instagram account, teacherlookbook. I am a first-year fifth grade teacher working in Rocklin, California. When I’m not in the classroom I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, exercising, and of course shopping!
How did you get started with blogging?
Teacherlookbook initially began as just an Instagram account. When I first started pursuing my teaching credential I worked as a substitute teacher. I wore outfits in the classroom that I thought were so teacher-esque that I felt the need to share them. You can imagine polka dots, stripes, cardigans GALORE! I posted these outfits to my personal Instagram account and got an outpouring of love from my girlfriends, but flack from my guy friends. They equated seeing my #ootd posts to seeing what people post about their lunch, haha. #noonecares
So with that, I decided to take my posts elsewhere and started an Instagram account dedicated solely to my daily work wear. Very unexpectedly, it started to grow and grow. I soon found that #somepeopledocare. I had friends and followers encouraging me to share more details about my looks, which inspired me to start a blog…. and viola! That’s how this whole blogging thing got its start.
Where do you get your fashion influences and inspiration?
Pinterest! I have to set a timer before going on Pinterest because I will scroll through this app for hours. My favorite feature is having the ability to narrow my search. I’ll look up “work wear” and “teacher style” and pull inspirations from there. I also follow some of my favorite bloggers on Pinterest and try and recreate their looks with my own spin. Some mornings I wake up in and go to my teacherlookbook inspiration board to base my look of the day on whatever jumps out at me.
What’s a day in the life of teacher lookbook like?
It’s pretty darn busy, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. First, I wake up and get ready for school. There may be some Pinteresting happening as mentioned, but I have to have self control at this hour because I’ve got young minds to cultivate. Getting myself ready in the morning is actually one of the most enjoyable parts of the day for me. It’s a nice hour of me time, self reflection, and planning for what the day looks like. Some days I love picking out my outfit and others I wish I had Cher’s digital closet from Clueless. Anyone remember that? Why doesn’t that exist with today’s technology?
Then off to Room 22 I go. Teaching fifth grade means I have to be on my toes at all hours of the day. I have twenty nine students who are each at various academic levels and have their own specific needs. This can be really challenging but also very rewarding. While there is a large scope of content that we need to cover at this grade, we still manage to have fun while learning. I personally think this age group is the best to work with. At age ten and eleven my students are able to hold meaningful discussions and ask fantastic questions. Their personalities are developing, as is their sense of humor. They are quite social but still aim to please their teacher, so for the most part controlling twenty nine kiddos is manageable.
After they leave school I spend time planning for the next day. This is my first year working at this grade level, and I teach math, language arts, science, and social studies. It can be very overwhelming your initial year preparing to deliver every lesson for the first time. I could stay at school until midnight every night and still feel like there was more to do, so I try to give myself grace. I’m very much looking forward to next year when I can recycle and build on this year’s lessons.
After school I like to have downtime. If I’m wearing something worth sharing, I’ll take a quick selfie and post my outfit details to my IGers. I love reading the comments people have and getting feedback from followers. In the evening I like to work out, watch my shows, or hang out with friends. Most days are pretty busy, but they are also wonderful and I am grateful for every second.
What’s the silliest/cutest comment you’ve ever gotten from your students about an outfit or accessory you were wearing?
Just one? My favorite, which I actually took a picture of and shared with my Facebook friends, is hysterical! My fifth graders were working on an independent math page and one of the questions said, “Write a real-world problem that you can solve by writing an equation. The answer to the problem must be 6.”
I had two students who were working together come up to me and share their answer. They wrote, “Ms. Brown has 24 necklaces. She needs to buy 4 jewelry boxes. Ms. Brown wants to put the necklaces into even groups. How many necklaces would go in each box? 24 / 4=6 necklaces” A+!! Clearly my students know me too well.
I posted a picture of it to my Facebook page and the responses were pretty great too. My teaching partner responded, “I think they left off a digit in the hundreds place.” Another friend wrote, “I love that this is a ‘real world problem.’” Someone else posted, “Good thing they didn’t bring up shoes.” Apparently my kids aren’t the only ones who know of my shopping addiction.
What is your favorite part about being a fashion blogger?
My favorite part about being a blogger is receiving positive feedback from friends and followers. I’m amazed at the support and positivity shared by women on social media and blogging platforms. Just as much as I enjoy being inspired by my favorite bloggers, it feels good to be the one inspiring others. It makes me happy to know that I may influence someone’s look or turn them on to a new brand or jeweler who I love to work with. While I enjoy sharing my looks as a form of self expression, it’s also very validating to hear that other women out there appreciate it as well. Girl power!
Behind every successful blogger is an amazing support group. Who is in your personal dream team?
First up is my family! They rock. My parents having been so generous with their love and support for me. They helped me achieve my dream of becoming a teacher. I am undoubtedly blessed to have been raised by such gracious, encouraging, and hard working parents. My sisters, Amy and Molly, are the people I turn to in all things, especially fashion. The chain of text messages with mirror pictures asking “Does this look okay?” or “Which shoe do you like better?” is endless. We also share clothes, jewelry, and handbags, which is so fun. Sisters are the best.
Then I have my “people” aka my best friends, Morgan and Sam. Morgan is a killer photographer and even better friend. She takes pictures for the Sacramento Kings and blogs for them, and she also photographs me for my blog posts. We have so much fun shooting. Morgan and I actually had the opportunity to go to Paris last May together on a blog related project and had the time of our lives. Samii Sue is my friend, therapist, and hair dresser all in one. I think its an unstated requirement of hair stylists to be professional advice givers in addition to cut and color specialists. Sam has all of those requirements down pact. She also has the world’s most glamorous closet, it’s seriously beautiful. We jewelry swap from time to time, which is one of my favorite and cheapest ways to shop. If you don’t do that with girlfriends, I highly recommend it.
Hope you all enjoy these looks with the All Naturale pieces! Tag me on Instagram @teacherlookbook to show me how you style them.
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