Teaching Gigs

Posted: January 10, 2011 in Uncategorized

When thinking about – and applying for – part-time teaching positions (adjunct positions, for those of you who haven’t heard that term before), I realized that I tend to call them “gigs.”  So I had to wonder why I called them that.  Yes, I know that I over-think just about everything in my life.  Blame it on my urge to deconstruct literature and rhetoric.  But this is really something I think is fairly significant.

It’s a gig for two reasons.

First, there’s a creative basis to it.  Just like every writer, musician, or artist, every teacher has a style.  There’s a definite “art” to teaching.

The second, and probably more important aspect, is that it’s all about public performance.  It’s entertainment.  And I don’t mean to denigrate it by saying that.  I’m not saying it in a negative way.  It’s just that – and I admit this is often more true for composition classes – students don’t want to be there.  Really, they don’t.  They’re there because they have to be there.  It’s a requirement.  And maybe, in their past, they’ve been taught that English is hard.  Or that they’re no good at it.  Whatever the reason, it makes teaching comp classes a double whammy – lots of information to get through and resistant students.

I don’t just teach.  I entertain.  I try to convince my students that they do want to be there.  That they <gasp> *like* English.  And it doesn’t always work.  But sometimes…well, most of the time…it does.

So, for anyone who was interested enough to follow this, while I still haven’t heard about any full-time jobs, I do have a few adjunct gigs lined up that will keep me busy and rolling in the dough (ha!  Well, ha! to the money…but I’m definitely going to be busy).

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