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.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Just Say No

By nature, I try to be a mellow individual. I like to help people if I can. The problem is, sometimes people take advantage and sometimes they do it without even realizing. Sometimes, when you agree to help someone, it can also mean a hardship for you, the individual.

As I have indicated in the past, there was a time I had hoped to teach fulltime. I would still love the opportunity but I no longer expect it. Perhaps tied in to this, perhaps not, there was a time that, if someone asked me to do something for the college, I automatically said yes. That is still my nature and my gut feeling. As a result, I am always proud of myself when I tell the college, “No”.

The college where I teach has a number of campus centers in surrounding counties. It is an attempt to get higher enrollment by letting individuals know they do not have to go all the way to the main campus, they can stay closer to where they live. Certainly, among other reasons, with gas prices the way they are, this can be an incentive. Those same incentives are not necessarily there for the teachers.

I commute 40 miles each way when I teach. I recently received a phone call from the dean of another campus center who wanted me to teach a class at his center. It would be another 20 miles (in each direction). There was a time I would have said, “Yes”. I still wanted to. I would like to teach at different locations, expand my contacts and see if it can lead to a fulltime job.

That would be nice but it is not realistic. In addition to a number of other factors, the campus centers do not have any fulltime teachers, only fulltime administrators. If I were to get a fulltime position, it would have to be through the main campus.

The extra time, the extra gas mileage, the extra pressure of teaching in a new facility would all weigh on me over the course of the semester. If I did it, I know I would pay the price. I was proud of myself, I said, “No”.