Wednesday, May 02, 2007

That sound? That's the last three years of my life going down the cosmic toilet.

On Monday I got a phone call from a local technical college that sounded promising for about two minutes: "I see you applied for a part-time or adjunct teaching position back in December. We have an opening for a full-time English instructor now, and I don't know if you're interested or even qualified, but you should take a look at the job posting on our website." Well, yeah, I'm interested. I'm not entirely sure I want to saddle myself with a full-time teaching position (which at a technical college might mean five or six classes a semester) when I'm hoping to devote more time to writing, but of course I want to apply.

Except. I'm not qualified.

And this is a new thing. Because once upon a time, having a Master's degree in something--being a master of a subject--and having some experience teaching it, was qualification enough to teach it again. But my state's college and university system has put in place a new kick in the ass for all of us foolish enough to get Master's degrees. (My favorite Simpsons quote: "Bart, don't make fun of grad students. They just made a terrible life choice.") It's called a "Teaching and Learning Competency Requirement." To be qualified to teach at the college level, I have to have either a degree in (K-12) education, or at least three years of full-time teaching experience, or pay to complete four courses in teaching.

This is insulting and ridiculous. A professor once told me that it's sometimes considered detrimental for post-secondary instructors to have teaching degrees, and that makes sense. Because teaching strategies will be different for high school and college students, even if there's only one degree of separation between them. And students will notice the difference and call you on it in a nanosecond if you don't adjust your tactics once they hit college. Besides that, having an education degree or even a few years of experience doesn't automatically make you a more competent teacher. Some people teach for thirty years and are still pretty incompetent. I've been in their classes.

I suspect the colleges participating in this are already feeling the effects. I mean, they called me to tell me about the job. Under normal circumstances, people would be attacking that job like piranhas. And the website says the posting is actually a "re-posting." The original resume review began a couple of weeks ago. That makes me think they're having trouble finding suitable candidates. And why wouldn't they? I know a couple of people with education degrees and Master's degrees in English, but only a couple. And they either are teaching at K-12 schools, or they intend to. These colleges have winnowed their applicant pools down so far, they're missing out on some seriously good teachers. Like me.

Because I'm not exactly in a position to say "screw 'em," and I think they may be just desperate enough to jump on someone who's almost-but-not-quite "qualified," I think I'm going to resubmit my resume anyway.

If this goes anywhere, I'll post a giant "na-na na-na boo-boo" here.

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Blogger Froyd said...


Of course, this explains why I haven't been called about any of my apps.

5/02/2007 2:33 PM  
Blogger Loralee Choate said...

That is beyond ridiculous.

5/02/2007 3:11 PM  
Blogger Teriiza said...

that sucks I really hope you get the job you really deserve it.

5/06/2007 12:51 AM  

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