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Saying Goodbye to the Classroom

  • For the first time in about 10 years I will not be in the classroom when the semester starts. I want to quickly reflect on what I’ll miss and what I won’t.

    What I’ll miss:

    1. Students. I’ll really miss getting to know them and I’ll miss interacting with them and learning about their lives.
    2. Teaching. I will miss talking about the subjects I teach and sharing ideas and concepts, asking questions, and enlightening my students and myself.
    3. The ego boost. I get a charge out of being in the classroom.

    What I won’t miss:

    1. Departmental colleagues. It's sad to say, but as an adjunct, I haven’t really had much to do with them for years, except when they decide they need something from me, most likely at the last minute. Then, and seemingly only then, do they remember that I even exist. They talk about collegiality and how important it is, and I agree, but they don't seem to know what the word really means. (There are a few who really are exceptions to this rule...but only a few.)
    2. Paying for parking. As an adjunct, my school doesn’t reimburse me for parking at our downtown campus.
    3. Grading. Generally not my favorite part of the job.
    4. The pay...or lack thereof.

    I don’t know when, or even if, I’ll be back to teaching. I truly loved my time in the classroom, but ultimately, my situation was not sustainable, financially and otherwise.

    What would you miss? What would you be happy to leave behind?

Comments

5 comments
  • Profology likes this
  • Bob Ertischek
    Bob Ertischek Barbara, I will never say never. I'd love to be in the classroom right this minute, but not as an adjunct. The precarious nature of the job, the emotional toll and lack of respect from full-time faculty, and of course, the miniscule pay is just not worth it.
    August 29, 2014 - 2 like this
  • Vanessa Vaile
    Vanessa Vaile continuing with the network keeps you "passing it forward" and, in a way, still teaching, just in a different mode and to different learners -- a different. Try not to think too long on doctors making the worst patients...
    August 30, 2014
  • Rich Olexa
    Rich Olexa I really hope to see a paradigm shift in how adjunct faculty members are treated at institutions of higher learning, and am really saddened to hear that a clearly passionate person is moving on. That being said, I totally understand why. Recently, I was i...  more
    August 31, 2014
  • Robert  Ostrow
    Robert Ostrow This is Bob. I miss being in the classroom and enjoying the student interaction and contributions on term papers. Students, when given the chance, relate experiences that make sociology a better and more richer field. I had to step aside for awhile. becau...  more
    January 20, 2015

Comments