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).