- Why I’m Quitting After Only Two Weeks of a New School Year - August 31, 2016
- The Grieving Year: A Major Professional Error - July 20, 2016
- Travel for the Teacher: Better than Professional Development - July 5, 2016
- Dewey in 2016: Still Relevant? - June 20, 2016
- Should You Adjunct Teach? A Checklist for Potential Part-time Professors - June 14, 2016
- Transition Time: Finding the Right School Fit Over Summer - June 3, 2016
- Graduations, Endorphins, and Persistence - May 31, 2016
Let’s not kid ourselves: The college classroom is a very different world than secondary teaching, as it should be. The material taught there is more rigorous, the students are more independent, and there is far less supervision of teaching practice, among other contrasts. The assumption at good colleges is this: If you’re proficient enough to get hired, you’re proficient enough to do the job we’ve asked of you. To some, this sounds like a dream job – perfect autonomy, the chance to teach engaging and higher-level material, and of course, the intellectually stimulating environment provided at quality college campuses. If you have an advanced degree and a healthy amount of desire, what’s not to like?
Before we sing the praises of adjunct life too loudly, we must consider some of the downsides, as well. If you’ve kept up with social media discussions about adjunct teaching or if you’ve read journal articles from the higher ed community, you know that adjuncts are presently fighting for better pay, better benefits, and better treatment by their employers. This fight is one worth having. The sub-standard pay at many state colleges here in Florida is a slap in the face of professionals. If you have a terminal degree that does not include the word “doctor,” don’t expect to be paid for it. Add to that the length of most college classes (16 weeks), time spent away from home and family mostly at night, the extra workload beyond your beans-and-jeans job, and the sometimes-open disrespect of adjuncts by full-time professors, and you have a formula for professional misery.