This week I was asked if I would be available to teach some sections of World Lit or Rhetoric and Composition. It wasn’t an offer of a job, but could my name be put in a hat with others when the work becomes a reality (funding approved).
I have a full-time job so I would be doing this in an adjunct capacity. I’ve done it before and I really love it. I love it for reasons that are good and bad. The good is, I think I’m qualified, and I do an above average job. I usually get back solid evaluations and some students remember the class as having been beneficial (or so they tell me).I haven’t employed more scientific methods of measuring my success so it is possible that I suck. The less noble or bad reason I teach is that it is kind of an ego trip. I like standing in front of a room and running my mouth. I try to make sure that the lesson is at the forefront and the student comes away having been given a quality product in the academy. I am careful to be sure that I’m not simply hosting the _The J. Show_ but I would not be honest if I denied the ego massaging portion of it all. Maybe someday I will out grow that part.
But I’m not putting my name in the hat. While my family could use the extra income, the hours one must put in teaching even three credit hours are substantial. Preparing lectures, assignments, reading papers, responding to students fairly and wisely, coaching and grading, all the things that teachers do take a lot of time to do it right let alone doing it well.
Time. As I mature (okay, get older) the scarcity of time is an ever more obvious theme. My day job demands my full attention, my home has a wife and children that need me to participate and contribute. To be present and effective in those endeavors takes time.
If I add the teaching component I end up too divided and not contributing fully and robustely to any of my commitments. The students in my class are cheated by half-assed instruction, my boss gets half-assed management of his staff and projects, my wife suffers a half-assed husband-partner, and my children endure half-assed parenting.
All of which is uncool.
The right thing to do is easy to see, but hard to do.