It's a new year, and with a new year often come "resolutions," or goals we would like to accomplish for the coming year. This concept of goal-setting or creating new habits can apply to teaching as well.
Research shows that while adjunct teachers are concerned about issues such as pay, benefits, and job security, most teach with determination and enthusiasm because they enjoy the profession, the students, and/or the subject they teach ("American academic," 2010; Caruth & Caruth, 2013).
On the other hand, because of the lack of training and development, adjuncts often rely on traditional pedagogical methods of teaching and rarely incorporate new teaching methods (Caruth & Caruth, 2013).
Teaching for the love and passion of it is important, of course, but so is continually growing in our teaching methods and practices. For the New Year, consider how you can grow as an adjunct instructor. Here are some ideas:
- Subscribe to a journal in your field or commit to reading at least an article a month on field-related or teaching-related issues.
- Participate in professional development.
- Write an article for publication.
- Work on conducting research to publish in your field.
- Consider how you can better serve your students (through tone, response time, feedback, etc…).
- Attend a conference.
- Meet with peers or mentors and discuss teaching practices/ideas.
- Consider how to revise your curriculum to include active-student learning methods and/or Classroom Assessment Techniques (CATs).
- Seek out ways to get involved in curriculum development, mentoring, etc…
"A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops." ~Henry Adams
Happy New Year!
American academic: A national survey of part-time/adjunct faculty. (2010). American Federation of Teachers, 2, 1-18.
Caruth, G. D. & Caruth, D. L. (2013). Adjunct faculty: Who are these unsung heroes of American academe? Current Issues in Education, 16(3), 1-10.