Yin and Yang

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.



Filed under concerns, job hunting, The Job, winging it, Yikes!

6 responses to “Yin and Yang

  1. Heavens, I can’t get students to call me “Mrs.” or “Ms.” despite reminding them that I prefer either title to “Miss.” Although since I told them that “Empress” was also OK, I may have muddied the waters a bit…

    Anyway, I would probably want to do some more observing, were I in your shoes. Since Dr. Wong offered, you should go observe another day if you have any idea that you *might* accept a job there. I can tell you that I’ve had very few prospective employees (I come from outside education where such things are more normal) take up similar offers. If even one other person in contention takes the good doctor up on her offer, then you’ve lost your opportunity no matter how great you are. Well, as long as that other person isn’t completely horrible. But you can’t count on that.

    Good luck!

  2. This sounds exciting and VERY different. If you decide it’s what you want, I hope it works out for you!

  3. nhfalcon

    So, it sounds like you could be teaching at Hogwarts? 🙂

    Also, when I started reading this I saw Mr. Chili, not Mrs., and getting dressed in a skirt and thought to myself, ‘Now where the hell is *this* going..?’ 🙂

  4. oh my I read Mr Chili as well! The school sounds interesting. I agree go observe and see. You always are very good at reading your gut better than I am so trust yourself. I love that quality about you.

  5. Sometimes I refer to myself in the third person. The Royal We, and all that. Sorry for the confusion.

  6. Rho

    I know how you feel: I am a veteran teacher, yet hate to stand up and give presentations to other teachers. Love to work with them or show them things in small groups. I am NOT a lecturer type of person and get tongue-tied and nervous. Never that way in front of my students, totally relaxed and easy. Must be some psychology going on there?
    Definitely go observe and ask questions. Don’tbe afraid of Homer-even my country kids love the Odyssey-after they find out they can read it and understand it.

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