Diary of a Forty-Something First Year Teacher

Kimberly N. Parker’s Literacy is Liberation rests on the denim-clad legs of a Birkenstock-wearing white woman. A senior dog, likely a Boxer, photo-bombs the awkward image.


Yesterday, I tendered my resignation at the state university I’ve worked at for 10+ years, most recently as a NTT English Lecturer. The lecturer gig pays $35,000 to teach a 5-5 load. Since beginning the position two-years ago, I’ve taught five sections of freshman composition a semester. It’s a standardized course that requires instructors to teach the same assignments and general concepts. We also use the same required textbook.

It’s boring, tedious, unsatisfying labor. A better writer would have let you infer all that, but I don’t trust readers to get it. After all, full-time faculty positions, even NTT ones, are coveted these days.

I, however, can’t do it anymore. The boredom and the bad pay became unbearable. I also lost hope.

Adjuncts remain adjuncts for years that become decades because of hope.

We’ve always been told we’re smart, because we are smart. However, smart people can believe in stupid things. Like meritocracy. We can believe that stellar teaching evaluations, impressive publications, and selfless service will amount to something more tangible than a pat on the back. But that’s the most likely prize, and we need to face it.

It took me many years, but I finally faced it.

There were many “push” factors. In the coming months, I’ll continue to reflect on my all to common experiences in academia. Much like my reviews of socially relevant children’s and young adult literature, I consider this a public-facing intellectual project.

To be continued…

If you would like to support me on my journey, please considering purchasing from my classroom wish list: https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/3FE2BF2DDZXCH?ref_=wl_share.

Categories: Scholarship

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