- It’s clear to me, whether or not it’s clear to my students or to the faculty who have evaluated me, that I cannot offer to my students the kinds of attention that are required to conduct a good class where students have great learning experiences. I think I do really well in designing and setting up the course material (I have just been teaching fully online), and am able to follow-up with necessary lecture videos on topics that arise. Where I am not happy is in my response time to student writing, which is really the foundation of a writing course and where some of the real teaching occurs in one-on-one interaction. Once you get behind in responding, everything suffers–at least from my perspective and my idea of what makes a good teaching-learning relationship.
- Finally, I am tired in the evenings and would like time to read and relax, and on weekends, I go home and would like to spend time with my husband and dog without homework.
Those are the two big reasons, and I feel bad about not teaching, but don’t see how these reasons can be overcome. I have tried to find full-time teaching positions, but am perhaps beyond hiring age (yes, that kind of discrimination happens) or am seen as having been away too long from faculty life, even though my daily work has been centered around faculty teaching support. For whatever reasons, here I am.
It’s not all gloom nor unfettered freedom, though. My evenings are being taken up by an editing project that is energizing and like that proverbial breath of fresh air–makes me feel connected to scholarly work again, whether the project turns out to be of historical interest or merely personal. I’m editing and preserving a large collection of letters, and you can follow the project here, if interested: http://pittmanlettersproject.wordpress.com/
I had thought that continuing to teach gave me credibility with faculty as an instructional technology consultant, but maybe not. It’s hard to tell. Anyway, all my anecdotes about teaching will be from past experiences, now, and I am okay with that.