teaching is women’s work

Today in my business writing classes I had students group up and review a sample résumé, brainstorming what the document was doing well and how the author could improve the résumé.

What I didn’t tell them was that this was my résumé from 2003 when I was applying for middle or high school English teaching jobs. In one class, I heard each group refer to the author as a “she.” I did tell them that this was my résumé as we moved into whole class discussion of it (and I also told them I had thick skin and could take a lot of criticism1 — and the students did a great job of offering ways to improve the document). While we had a great conversation about the résumé, I was really struck by how gendered teaching is, something I already knew, but was still surprised by.

1 There was a lot of criticism. When I sent this out in 2003, I thought it was a great résumé. I didn’t realize at the time how many problems it had — including too much information in some areas, too small of a font, not enough attention to some key words, and some poorly constructed phrases that didn’t really mean much.

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