It has been an interesting two weeks here at the community college where I teach. There have been a lot of major changes that have impacted the school on a global level and then there have been smaller changes that have only impacted me. Having recently moved from an adjunct faculty member to a full time faculty member, I’ve had to readjust a little bit and some of those adjustments have caused me to discover new things, while others have reaffirmed things I already knew.
DISCLAIMER: I would just like to say that in the next part of this post I am in no way shape or form slamming adjuncts. I was an adjunct/Teaching fellow for 3 1/2 years, so I understand and sympathize with the hardships that come along with that kind of work.
I’m often frustrated by the lack of extra time that adjuncts are willing to spend with students. I know that they are only part time faculty, I know that they are more often than not under appreciated and under paid, and I know that many of them have second and even third jobs that they must have to make ends meet. That being said, it is their decision to teach and that is a decision that should be taken seriously. This little rant was prompted by a former student of mine who emailed me for help concerning her English class this semester. She was having a hard time thinking of a topic for her essay and wanted to run a few ideas by me. I told her I’d be happy to help but that she should ask her new instructor for help first. Well, I know her instructor and I know she’s an adjunct, so unfortunately it came as no surprise when she told me she had asked and the instructor had said “I’ll help you after you have a first draft.” Well, obviously, this isn’t going to help much in the area of topic generation. While it is a students responsibility to come up with their own topic, more often than not they just need to bounce some ideas of someone in order to get on the right track (which is exactly what happened with my student). We talked for twenty minutes, and she left here feeling more confident about her essay. All it took was twenty minutes. Sigh.