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.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007


I had the opportunity to talk to a friend the other day, who is currently looking to teach a class as an adjunct professor. This would be his first opportunity and it appears as though he is close to landing one, in not both of them. To hear the excitement and eagerness in his voice is wonderful and brings back many of those feelings I had when I was in the interviewing process.

One thing I found surprising, however, was one of the community colleges where he interviewed, pointed out a telephone, a hotline, in effect. He was told that if a student ever got out of hand, he should pick up that phone and someone from public safety would come right over.

I have had students get out of hand, sometimes. They try to talk over me, they do not pay attention, sometimes they even show little regard for other students. That last one is really the only one of which I will not tolerate and it will result in a lowering of the guilty party’s grade. Still, this does not happen often.

I have never been in a position, felt the need, or even thought there was a real chance, of needing to call public safety. I guess, in one sense, it is like an emergency exit on a plane, something that will probably never be used but can leave people feeling much better because it is there. In addition, I guess when we see the craziness of some students, at the high school level with some of the random shooting, at the college level, think about the situation in Virginia last year, these things do happen.

Still, they are the rare events and as I said before, I am pleased that I have never even felt threatened or uncomfortable in the slightest. I am guessing this is true of most professors.