And while things definitely change, a few things do stay the same—such as a demand for accessories, gadgets and gear that will allow kids to stand out and express their individuality. As somebody who substitute teaches part time to support my writing habit, I still take an interest in “what the kids are doing.” At Red Carpet Events LA’s pre-awards bash for the 2013 Teen Choice Awards, I also came across some nifty things that are also nicely suited for teachers (full-time and substitute) who want to remain comfortable and colorful during their busy days.
Geek Eyewear (www.geekeyewear.com): I love the name of the line alone as it encourages the wearer to own and embrace what makes them different. Although high-fashion eyewear brands from Gucci to Dior, Persol, RayBan have made retro-styles and ‘geek’ very chic, Geek Eyewear also makes the statement frames affordable and practical, too.
Optari (www.optari.com): While the company’s spiky bracelets and earrings have a fun, rock-and-roll vibe that’s pre-teen friendly, I love the pens and notebooks forged out of this tactile, material. Now, there is no longer any excuse for a young fashionista or a cool young guy to show up to school without their pen and notebooks.
iKonic styling irons (http://www.ikonicstyle.com): While I was excited about the the prospect of a revolutionary new curling iron to tame my indecisively wavy mane in the shortest amount of time (with their newest inverted cone model), the petite is perfect for the busy teacher or student on the go to tame the tresses.
Kashmir Keratin Hair System: No matter how old a girl is, the one thing that unites us all is that we all have insecurities about our hair. A brand new line of Kashmir Keratin products (shampoo, mask and serum) from Israel promises more time in the open and less time in the morning prepping one’s hair. If we’re not worried about our hair, perhaps we can now focus on today’s lesson.
Flips Audio (www.flipsaudio.com): The sound quality is so good that in the hands of a student, Flips could be a menace (especially with no iPhone rules in many schools). However, in the hands of a responsible multi-tasking teacher, Flips is a brilliant invention. Connect the device to your iPod or iPhone, flip over the earpieces and project your class reading, spelling test or foreign language lesson. You can be sure the kids in the back row will hear it. After the lessons, just put them in their tidy case and lock them in a file drawer. They also come in handy for ambient music and relaxation during your break or lunch.
Computer Apparel: This is where fashion meets function, especially as iPads and laptop computers are becoming as essential to classrooms as pencil and paper. These fun and funky cover-ups for computers not only pad and protect sensitive electronics, but also have a useful camouflage effect (blending in with other clothing you carry around) and have lots of built in pockets to ensure plugs, flash drives and other items don’t get lost in big backpacks and briefcases.
Ballasox: (www.corsocomoshoes.com/shop/collection/ballasox/). Cute enough for teen girls, but practical for the adults in the room as well. We may have to wear job-appropriate shoes, be they heels or running shoes, but it is so nice to have stylish flats literally on hand that fit into a purse or briefcase that we can put on where we want and when we want.
The “After School Special” for teachers…
Bear Bottom Candles are eco-friendly, hand-poured, American-made and 100% soy. Feel like you need a stiff drink or a decadent dessert after a rough day? Think better of it, and light these soothing “cocktails” of aromas instead.
www.1amf.org), which among other things, is involved with improving education and opportunities for young women and girls. The overall mission is to raise funds and awareness to take on such issues as poverty, hunger and disease, and in turn, provide African women and children the necessary tools for achieving self-sufficiency.
Before guests such as Alana Lee, Judi Shekoni, Blake Berris, Jesse Heiman, Brandon Tyler Russell, Ashlee Keating and other up-and-comers went home to try out their new gear, they popped over to the African Millennium Foundation table to sign a canvas by Max Neutra Art, valued at $2,500.00 to auctioned off by the foundation online. It’s nice to know that you can learn a valuable life lesson, even outside a classroom, and here’s hoping AMF will have schooled a lot of fortunate souls about how they can use their name and money to make a difference half-way around the world.