Mrs. Chili got dressed up today (in a skirt, even; it was 7° outside with a howling wind, and I had to get gas before I left! Brrrrr!!!) and met with the director of a private school (let’s call her Dr. Wong) in the middle of the state.
The visit was both heartening and terrifying all at the same time.
I’m heartened because I think I did very well in the meeting; Dr. Wong and I hit it off reasonably well, and I didn’t trip all over myself trying to get words out. I wonder; does anyone else come off like a complete, drooling idiot in interviews – or even in meetings with peers – despite being confident and energized in front of a room full of students? I mean it; the other day, I was in front of a group of about 50 – FIFTY! – new yoga students at Local U, and I was comfortable and articulate and even a little funny and self-effacing. This morning, while I didn’t completely blow it, I did not at ALL feel like the same women who lead those kids the other day….
I’m terrified because I left the meeting feeling like there’s a distinct possibility that I might actually be offered a job with this school. Dr. Wong was excited about the skills that I brought to the table, she seemed impressed by some of the things I said (even some of the things I said that, as I was saying them, I wasn’t sure I should be saying…), and assured me that she’d be in touch to talk further. She invited me to attend some classes at the school to observe how the days are structured and the ways in which teachers and students interact. She even introduced me to another teacher in a way that, to an outside observer, would give the impression that my hiring was a foregone conclusion.
I mean, I’m certainly not closing any doors, but I’m not 100% sure that this school would be a good fit for me. For starters, it’s an hour’s drive in each direction. While that’s not a deal-breaker – the girls are older and much more self-sufficient now, and Mr. Chili is still 7 minutes away at Local U. and has a ton of flexibility should something happen that needs adult attention – but I’m not wild about the idea of spending 14 hours a week in my car (especially in the winter).
Another thing that has me nervous is that the school focuses on a classical liberal arts education. I mean REALLY classical; like, the first years read Homer, and the most modern authors Dr. Wong mentioned in our meeting were Thomas Paine and Mary Wolstoncraft. *I* haven’t read Homer in YEARS, and I don’t feel like I have any kind of working relationship with any of the books that I imagine are on the reading list for the school.
Dr. Wong has a specific kind of teaching style that she expects her instructors to employ, and I don’t know, exactly, what that is. I’m less anxious about that, though, as she said that she’s working on this school as sort of a pilot program and intends to mentor new teachers in the pedagogy, so I won’t be left on my own in that. Still…
Finally, the school is very formal. The teachers are called “Professor” or “Doctor” according to their credentials, and the students are referred to (and refer to one another) using Mr. and Ms. While part of me thinks that’s great – I think that kids need to have a strong grounding in social contracts and instruction in etiquette – I wonder how long it will be before I get in trouble for calling a student “Sweetie,” as is my wont.
I left the meeting with the promise of further contact and an invitation to come back to the school whenever I like to spend the day in classes observing and talking to students and staff. Dr. Wong has my resume and a couple of letters of recommendation, and I’m expecting to hear from her soon, maybe even early next week.
We’re heading into new, exciting, and frightening territory here, my friends! I’ll keep you posted as events unfold.