Teaching as an adjunct can be a lot of fun. It is also challenging. As I have encountered a number of situations, I realize such a blog can be helpful, both to me and to others.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Family Time

As the summer continues to roll along, I am glad I did not end up teaching a summer course. While the extra money would be nice, it would take away time I have to spend with my family. It is so easy for teaching to consume so much of your time. I realize that full-timers also put a lot of work in from home but somehow it just seems to me that adjuncts actually put in more time.

While Full-Time teachers, of course, are given more responsibilities than adjuncts, one of those is usually holding more office hours than adjuncts. Often times this is due to the fact that adjuncts are running from one job, the main job, to the teaching position. As a result, they have less time to spend in the office. In addition, when a professor has a block of time between classes, it can be used in the office.

Of course office hours are for the students, but based on my experience as a students as well as a teacher, a good portion of the time when a teacher holds office hours is actually spent with no one else in the office. This time then enables teachers to grade assignments, to prepare lesson plans and to do other functions. Most of the time when I prepare my lesson plans, when I critique speeches or grade assignments, I need to do so at home, after hours. This takes time away from my family.

I do realize that full time teachers also have to put time in beyond what is spent on campus. I understand that full time teachers are usually required to serve on committees and have to do things that consume a lot more of their time than what I need to do as an adjunct. I still think they get more time to complete some of that work while they are on campus, but it is not fair to suggest all of it can be done while in the office.

The fact is, in either event, this takes time away from our family. It is important that while we make sure that we complete the necessary work, we also make sure we have the necessary time to spend with our family because that is really, or should be, the top priority.