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teaching - Invisus Manus
September 5th, 2010
05:55 pm


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I started a part-time teaching position at Lone Star-Cyfair last Monday to teach one section of intro biology and one of nutrition. So technically I'm now underemployed rather than unemployed. The way that the university teaching career track works is rather odd so I'll enlighten you about it. Typically teaching without experience means needing to start teaching at a community college. To prevent paying benefits, colleges only allow you to teach two courses (full load = four) as an adjunct professor. This means that you have to teach for at least two different college systems. So even though Houston has more than ten community colleges, they only have three systems. By the time I started searching most had hired their previous adjuncts to fill their needs, so I'm unlikely to be full-time this semester. Apparently this multiple adjuncting resulted from a rule by the Department of Labor that backfired. The goal was to ensure benefits to professors working full-time, but now colleges just don't hire full-time. So young professors still don't have benefits and are spending more time driving on highways to work in different locations. The branch I'm working at has 17,500 enrolled students so it actually feels like a small college compared to the other locations. I've been told that there is much more support in this college system than HCC. Apparently if you get sick and need a substitute teacher, you have to hire and pay them yourself versus at Lone Star where they set up a substitute for you. As an adjunct you can only miss two classes due to illness without losing pay and you only can take off for major holidays and breaks between semesters. Also, teaching community college they don't withhold social security, they contribute to the teacher's retirement fund. We'll see what other shortcomings are associated with the teaching track.

I'm a little bummed that the students are calling me "Mr" rather than "Dr". So few people actually call me by my title that I was hoping to hear it from my students at least.

I'm hopeful that I may find a postdoc position from among the three individuals considering me. If not, then I'll either apply for full-time teaching next semester or consider biotech, study management, or scientific editing positions.

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[User Picture]
Date:September 6th, 2010 02:58 pm (UTC)
Did you introduce yourself to the class as Doctor? You can remind them if it's important to you.
Date:January 30th, 2011 02:32 pm (UTC)


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