Feeding the Teaching Habit

Recovering Adjunct

I have an article up this week at Vitae, the new career site sponsored by The Chronicle of Higher Education. In the piece, I take a look at my four years as an adjunct professor and all of the sacrifices I have made to continue working as a teacher.

In order to feed my “teaching habit”, I’ve done everything from donating plasma to selling all my furniture. This behavior has forced me to come to terms with the fact that my pursuit of the teaching profession against all odds is a kind of addiction. As with any addiction, the addict sacrifices everything to continue feeding his habit, as I have done for four years.

The piece, entitled Adjuncts are Addicts, examines the blind dedication that many non-tenure-track faculty members have to their profession, suggesting that this kind of destructive monomania can be remedied by admitting to ourselves that we do, in fact, have a problem. I therefore suggest that adjuncts can and should re-evaluate their working situations and determine for themselves if they are putting their intelligence and their skills to the best possible use.

By the way, if you haven’t yet signed up for Vitae, you should. Build a professional profile and network in higher education, and get news and advice from top higher ed writers.