Evanthia O. Rosati was in the English-teaching racket longer than I was, and she has heard it all.
Whenever I am at a party or first introduced to anyone, I pray no one will mention my line of work. The party could be at full swing, music loud and the bass shaking the walls. I might be enjoying myself. Then someone says I teach English. All speaking stops as partiers adjust their vocabulary to English teacher level. The gentleman with the chip dip hanging off his cheek is now saying, “From whence I came….” . . . . Playful people become anxious adults once they become aware of the dreaded English teacher in their midst. In desperation, I yell out, “I don’t have a shrine to Shakespeare in my backyard.” (It’s in the side yard; why give away all my secrets?) It’s no use. The area clears anyway.
So true. These days I say I am a freelance book editor, which is at least partly true, and most people have no preconception about what I do.