Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Back in December, I left teaching. If you've read this blog for a significant portion of the 3+ years I've had it, you'll know that I've done so before. My motivation each time was slightly different, but I will say this: the outcome has been the same. I've come back to teaching. Again.

I gave the job hunt a good 10 months or so. I had few promising leads in that time, a few interviews, and a couple jobs that I would have been really excited to do. Alas, none of them panned out. As it became more and more apparent that the dream job I applied to and interviewed for probably wasn't going to hire me, I intensified my search and began to reconsider teaching. If I didn't have a job by year's end, I finally decided, I'd go back to teaching. Within about a week of getting the rejection from would-be dream job, I sent an e-mail to my department chair and told her I'd be up for teaching in the spring. That afternoon, I got a call--turns out there was a second-eight-week composition class. So here I am. Less than a month from now, I will be back to a familiar grind.

It's a good time to be back too. Enrollment is way the hell up at the community college and sister campuses, so while campus services are being strained to meet the demand, it also means there are lots of classes--and more classes than instructors to fill them. As anyone who's ever adjuncted knows, that's a situation far more rare and favorable than the reverse though not likely to change for a while if the economy doesn't pick up.

I still have mixed feelings about the whole deal, but the mix is... unexpectedly weighted with optimism. While I feel a twinge of regret that I didn't come around to this decision in time to have a full fall course load, I also know that I needed to come around it in my own time. Some people can be told the burner is hot; I've always had to burn myself to figure that out.

The last month or so has been a time of reconsideration on multiple fronts. I have changed my mind on a few important things, but those changes only came about after carefully weighing the risks, the benefits, my options, and the situation at hand. The balance of the scales happened to come up a little differently in the reassessment. So be it. I've learned a few things about myself from the experience, and for that at least, I am grateful.

So here's to a new beginning... and maybe even more blog fodder in the forseeable future!

Now playing: Lucero - On The Way Back Home
via FoxyTunes


Wozza said...

Hi - by a random fluke I read your blog and kept reading - pretty good on my part (and yours) - I usually flick to the next blog after the first sentence. I've gotta say you sound older than your years. If you are 20 s/thing how can you have left teaching a few times. I didn't start my teaching career in New Zealand until I'd finished a degree and trained. But neverthemind - I just wanted to leave you a comment (I know the feeling) and say I enjoyed your style. Good luck with the teaching too.

Overeducated Twit said...

Thanks for stopping by and commenting :).

As to being a young instructor, well, I started college early and plowed straight through undergrad and a master's. The first time I vowed to leave teaching was after my master's, but classes sorta fell in my lap. I "quit" again at the end of that semester but went back the following fall, and most recently, quit last December to search for a job and then came back to it and picked up a class that starts in a few weeks. Part of what makes this possible is that I'm an adjunct instructor, so I'm not salaried; I get paid only for the classes I teach, should they be available.

wozza said...

Thanks for the reply. A different system in NZ for me - I did a masters in English, trained for a year and started teaching in 1983 when I was in my mid twenties (mm - sounds a long time ago I know but really it's a blink). I taught (yes past tense) continuously until last year when I was also Principal of my school. I left to bcome an educational consultant in the Middle east (which I love too). I mostly loved teaching (in NZ and for three years in the UK). My wife and I love to still experience new adventures in far flung lands. Hope you don't mind if I stop off at your blog from time to time and maybe leave a comment. If you'd like to visit mine please feel welcome.