I Am Queen of the Verbal Double-Take

I offer the following as proof of my entitlement:

The phone rang this morning, and on the other end was Meghan, calling from the charter school I sent my resume to last week. Remember the one where I was sparked by word that there is an opening for a sign language instructor, but that I found out via an internet search that they’re also looking for an English teacher? Well, we had a lovely chat, Meghan and I, about how excited they were to meet me and would I be available this week to come and sit down with the director of the school?

“Sure!” I said, “whenever you’d like.”

“How’s Thursday around ten?” she asked.

“Fine!” I said (though I now realize that it’s NOT fine – I promised CT I’d do a guest-speaker thing about reading film in her summer class at the university, so I have to call Meghan back to reschedule). It was at this point that I realized that I had no idea which job they had in mind for me.

“By the way, Meghan,” I said, “which position will I be interviewing for?”

Here comes the punchline…

“Well,” she says, “we were thinking about trying to match you with the P.E. job.”

(***What?! Sorry?!? Um, P.E.? As in “physical education”? As in GYM CLASS?!?***)

I managed to hold myself together remarkably well, given that this was, perhaps, the very LAST thing I expected dear Meghan to say. ME?! Teach P.E.?! HOW EVER did they get the impression that this might be something I could do?

So I asked Meghan, in as professional and composed a manner as I could, why I was being considered for that particular position. She explained that they’d looked over my resume (though, obviously, not very closely, huh?!) and saw that I work for a health club. Fitness instructor must equal P.E. teacher in their world, and they thought I’d be a great match.

I made haste to point out that my Master’s degree is in ENGLISH teaching, and that I’d really prefer to be considered for THAT job. A disoriented Meghan put me on hold for a minute to consult with someone, then came back and said “why don’t we just keep your interview time, and you can work out with the school director which position you think would be the best fit.”

Um. Yeah. Sure, okay, I guess.

So, now, I’m trying to figure a few things out.

One: what is it about my resume that makes people think “P.E.”? Because, whatever it is? I need to fix it. FAST.

Two: what if I love the atmosphere and staff and philosphy over there, but they only offer me the gym job? My state certification is in “secondary education,” which means I can teach from 5th through 12th grades – it doesn’t say ANYTHING about WHAT I can teach (though I’m more than sure I wouldn’t pass muster for “highly qualified” status as a gym teacher, even WITH my fitness certifications). Technically, then, I COULD be a gym teacher. Can you IMAGINE?!

“OKAY, kids! Today, we’re going to run relay races. The object here is to get your team over the finish line first – BUT! – there’s a catch! At each interval, there will be a bag. You must reach into the bag and pull out a slip of paper with a part of speech written on it. You cannot advance to your leg of the race until you can correctly define AND offer an example of the part of speech you’ve drawn. Ready?! Set?! GO!!”

Again, I say:



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6 responses to “I Am Queen of the Verbal Double-Take

  1. Oh … ugh … hmmmmm …

    My first instinct is to say: take it. A teaching job is a teaching job. But then again, I don;t know how bad one gets ‘labled’ if you start out teaching something like that.

    Sorry … I guess I’m no help at all. 😦


  2. Hrmmm…tough call here. I’d be surprised if they do consider you highly qualified since you weren’t taught in physical education.

    Have your interview. Try and get them to put you in for English. If they hard press the PE, then use your best judgement. Assuming the English position is filled, if you are told that you’ll get the next English position and you trust them, then bide your time. But you’ll have to assess the possibility of moving to another subject. If it’s a state school in a district with multiple schools, then it’s usually pretty easy to transfer within district…usually.

    Even if it’s an independent private school, spending a year proving yourself to be a reliable and resourceful teacher could help you find a job in another school.

    Keeping that stuff in mind, use your best judgement on the school.

  3. I’ve got exactly two seconds to comment here, so I’ll just say it: Take the job if they offer it. The experience will more than make up for whatever negatives there might be.

    And believe it or not, the activity you posted is not that far removed from the kind of thing we do at our school. PVPA is also famous for the “interpretive dance”.

    Example: Create an interpretive dance to show that you understand the role of Joan of Arc in the Hundred Years War.

    Or: Create an interpretive dance to explain how you get lead from uranium.

    If you can do learning via interpretive dance, you can do it via games. It’s loads of fun!

    Take the job, unless you get BIG vibes that you shouldn’t. I’m telling you, you won’t regret it.

  4. claudia

    Couldn’t resist responding to this one! Since I believe that the Universe responds to what we ask for,but it is because our requests are either unclear or that we send mixed messages via unclear intentions(such as thoughts like “I don’t really need the job”),I’d pretty much say this offer fits.
    I took another look at the “5 THINGS” list that was posted on your personal site and-
    thinner thighs
    good teaching job
    inner balance
    write and teach well
    patience with growing girls
    apparently equals a teaching job in PE!

  5. mccgood

    I thought you were getting a full time job at the high school you worked at now? What did I miss? How about I pay you to teach me how to write?

    • WHAT are the chances?! I was JUST looking this post yesterday – I wonder how it is that you would leave a comment on it today. You want to know the wonder of it all? The school that offered me the PE job? It’s the same one I’m working for now.

      You don’t need to pay me to teach you to write; I’ll happily work with you for free…

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