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.

Thursday, August 16, 2007


As I have stated in previous posts, I am a member of Toastmasters, a public speaking organization. Yesterday, my role was to run the meeting. This actually starts a week in advance as you confirm roles. I had everything set and then the day of the meeting, it seemed to come apart.

I had two people, one of whom was scheduled to speak and the other to evaluate, call me and tell me they could not fulfill the role. This did not give me much time to find replacements, although eventually I did (at the expense of my work).

Both people who backed out did so because of health issues, and if they were telling me the truth, these were certainly legitimate issues. The problem is this type of thing is happening more and more frequently at our meetings. We are a professional club, made up of professionals, yet sometimes the behavior is far from professional.

I get frustrated when my students back out of speaking roles in class. If they have a legitimate reason, they can make up the speech, but it does set me back. I get frustrated, but I am beginning to understand. We, as adults, as professionals, are not being good role models. Children and students learn by example. They will do what they see others do. When professionals cannot be trusted to follow through, to show they have a strong level of commitment, to show that they understand what has to be done, then it really is no surprise that college students do not understand the importance of follow through and of delivering on their commitments.

Hopefully things will change at my Toastmasters meeting. Hopefully things will be different in the classroom this year. Time will tell!