A Delay to Professorhood

When I took my first steps on the path to becoming a teacher, I needed to round out my undergraduate load with a handful of classes. I wound up taking several online and others at nearby Housatonic Community College. It was my first exposure to adjunct professors, the underpaid, overworked people who grabbed as many classes to teach as was practical so the sum total of their income proved viable. Some became road warriors, shuttling from one school to another, praying traffic behaved so their packed schedules could be managed.

A close friend is a university professor and has for years lamented the over-reliance on adjuncts as a cost savings measure for the school but a headache for the full-timers involved in their hiring and assessment. She pitied the adjuncts who never knew from one semester to the next what they would teach, how often, and when.

Knowing all that, I still applied to the various local community colleges and was happy to find a slot at Anne Arundel Community College. Since I was assigned to teach my only section at a satellite campus closer to home, I decided to attend this semester’s convocation to begin meeting fellow faculty and staff, to begin feeling like a member of the academic community. I met with my supervisor who was pleased that, with a week to go, I had nine students enrolled and likely more to come making the section viable. We spent considerable time discussing where to place emphasis on the course work and other mechanical aspects of teaching.

As I drove home, I stopped by the other campus to catch a glimpse of my classroom so I could keep the logistics in mind for lesson planning.

Apparently, during all of this time, the department chair had been looking at enrollment and had to shut down a section which was under-enrolled. The section was to be taught by one of the fulltime faculty so he needed a replacement and after examining the schedule, it was decided mine was to be reassigned.

Today I should have begun a new chapter in my teaching life but that has now been postponed until the fall. I’m deeply disappointed, as you might imagine, but not entirely surprised having heard all the stories from others.

At least I am still subbing, fairly regularly, and am loading up my schedule as best I can. Still, it would have been nice to actually get up and engage a class in discussion.

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