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Professor mamas 2011 - Page 9

post #161 of 196
Serial posting to add: personally, I'm not sure that I want to be part-time in order to focus on research, but it is what I'm doing. I'd rather have more income and more classes (i.e., be more part-time like I was before the nonsense in my department ) but I'm also struggling with the scheduling of teaching part-time at a few different colleges, what that means for getting the kids from place to place, etc. So mostly I just want to sell this as a good career move.
post #162 of 196

Dmitrizmom: field? Bio?   How do you view student learning?  And do you want to suck up to current thinking on student learning in your field or are the places you are applying less interested in being modern as much as you having a well-defined philosophy of how you teach?  Kaybee teaches with a friend of mine that is very traditional in his methods in the classroom. Thing is, he's just good at it -- direct instruction that is. You listen to him lecture and wish more people were like him. He isn't super up to the latest and greatest in what he does in the classroom, but he's still a good teacher. Recently I had lunch with him and he needed to provide a philosophy of teaching for something we were working on and we struggled with whether he should just be honest or he should use buzz words like "active learning".  For this question, in our instance, he should use buzz words.

 

Coming from the field of cc adjunct teaching to full time t-t teaching at a state school, I needed to be sure to address upper level students and deepening their knowledge/experience. That's a whole different ball game than teaching Intro to Env. Science to folks getting their associate's degree in construction or landscape design.

 

 

 

 

 

Lisa: I think it depends on who you talk to / what your ultimate goals are. more later. must finish "work". prompt me (you know where to find me) if I don't come back.

post #163 of 196

Field: primarily biology (human bio, anatomy, physiology, microbiology) and environmental science.  I've taught remedial and lower level math.

 

I'll cut and paste what I have for my philosophy statement in a bit (on the flash drive upstairs).  I do really well with traditional methods, but do try to mix things up to help students who don't do well with that format.

 

I've got great recommendation letters. I can provide the feedback "SPOT" forms for several semesters. 

post #164 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by kerc View Post

I think it depends on who you talk to / what your ultimate goals are.

Yes, although in this case I generally have my pat answers down: what/who MSCD is because no one has heard of it, what courses I've taught, the official story about why my class load was dropped, why I'm not interested in a FT job there (open-enrollment campus, lots of non-traditional students, very teaching-heavy and not a fit with my career interests), what I'm doing research-wise. I just wasn't expecting someone to ask, essentially, what my career plans were going to be given that I'm only teaching one class a semester. (Yeah, I know. I'm working on an average of 4 to 4.5 hours of sleep a night for the last two weeks so the brain isn't at top functioning.)

Maybe something along the lines of "I'm taking advantage of the light teaching load to write some articles and do some research that was on the back burner" would do for those who aren't in a hiring capacity (or at least not one I'm interested in). I can add something about looking for an extra class or two where advisable. Reasonable?

Hmmm, maybe I should be prepared with a follow-up if people want to know why I don't want FT work. That's where I struggle, because "husband with a tenured position so it has to be in Colorado (and I've applied for the only open position I've seen)" and/or "two small kids" sounds lame.

Long-term goals: I have no idea. I want to write and publish. I think I'd enjoy an editing job though I don't know that there's much to be had in my field in Colorado. It also seems like a number of those jobs are more about connections than anything else, and I'm lacking those currently (hoping to ask a former advisor about that at the regional conference in a couple of weeks). Mostly I like teaching too (much more at the beginning or end of the semester than a week before spring break...) so an academic job would be a good fit--if it was in the area. Ideally, it would be at a private school, or at least one with a decent admissions policy. I can think of a couple that would fit--though both of those are currently employing Harvard grads. Then again, neither of the Harvard grads specialize in East Asian music, so I'll hang onto my niche. It would, in theory, be easy enough to come in as a musicologist (as opposed to an ethnomusicologist who typically is hired to run a performing ensemble in a chosen area and teach classes) and be able to more fluidly between world music-type classes and the more Western-oriented art music ones. I would like that mix; it's one of the main reasons I was so excited about the TT position in Fort Collins. (No, I've heard nothing about my application. DH tells me that it means they haven't rejected me outright and that they're holding onto applications in case their first round of interviews and all doesn't work out. In this job market, I'd guess a "thanks but sorry" letter is just a matter of time.)

At some point I'd like to be able to resume shamisen lessons with a local sensei (we may not have a publishing scene, but we have a surprising number of Japanese musicians) and eventually land some sort of grant to research shamisen music in Japan (specifically, women's roles in shamisen, preferably in the tsuguru style). That also requires learning to speak some passable Japanese. A lot of researchers use a translator which I'd imagine I'd still need to do, but I need to learn more than the few phrases I know. That also means the kids need to be older. Any attempts I've made to learn a language with small children about has been an abject failure (see: classes in basic Spanish while pregnant with R; home practice through workbooks and podcasts in Japanese after J was born, which failed to net me so much as a single new Japanese word). I'm fine with that being a long-term goal though, as I really need J to be in school so I can take lessons, I'll need a flexible enough work schedule that I can make the drive to the sensei's house for lessons during the day, and no matter how that works out, I'd want the girls to be a bit older for that kind of travel experience anyhow.

Regardless, my plan is to continue presenting and publishing, largely because it sets me apart from my colleagues. One, who landed an adjunct teaching position that didn't have a posted opening in the fall (I was looking myself at the time and decided not to send my resume just for kicks...and now am kicking myself...), is heavy on style but short on substance, or at least on publications. The ones she has are dictionary entries that I'm sure she did because someone recommended her for them, and there are only two. The other colleague is awesome but overworked (she does have a FT adjunct job at our institution, which means she teaches 5 classes or does the equivalent in advising each semester, plus committees, faculty meetings, etc). She's doing some presentations and such, but mostly her time is just eaten up.

OK, enough rambling. I'm thinking out loud, perhaps a little too much.
post #165 of 196
Thread Starter 

Hi all,

 

I have been laergey absent but need a place to ask a ?/vent.

 

Scheduling is happening.  Does anyone else work at a small school with high teaching load?  It's nuts here.  I have these awful teaching schedules, essential bowlings splits both MWF and TR (so teaching 8-9, 2:30-4:30 MWF and 9:30-11, 2-3:30 TR I think).  I can only help DH with 2/10 drop-off, pick-ups.  When i was going to be able to pick up on a couple days, DH and I were arranging an elaborate plan to take over the after-school care for my son.  Not only would this save us tons of money ($450/mo), but also it would save us having to find a new child care provider for after school care as well as saving extra drop-offs and pick ups (daycare choices are limited so drop-off pick-up at school is actually much easier than the possible long drive to another center with an after school offering). Not to mention after school care is really hard to find because they all service the city and not our school.

 

So there are about 10% of faculty with this issues.  I feel like a big arse for complaining abotu my schedule.  All I want is TR afternoon clear and it would bring such high job satisfaction to my job.  But what real rationale do I have for objecting?  I have asked politely and the answer is NO.

 

Am I being difficult?  Is there any reason they should consider honoring a family-related request?

post #166 of 196

I've had these issues Carita. I get more miles from things like -- it is better for the students for my class to be at ____ time because (I teach a 3 lecture, 2 lab hour class. I scheduled it T/Th this semster because it frees up m, w, f for students to work.

 

I've also made the argument with my chair that I do a better job teaching in the morning (this is true) than I do late in the day because I am a morning person. I have more energy and less lethargy.

 

From here your schedule doesn't give you a single large block of time to work on research. Can you get anywhere with that?

 

Have you considered hiring a nanny? 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carita View Post

Hi all,

 

I have been laergey absent but need a place to ask a ?/vent.

 

Scheduling is happening.  Does anyone else work at a small school with high teaching load?  It's nuts here.  I have these awful teaching schedules, essential bowlings splits both MWF and TR (so teaching 8-9, 2:30-4:30 MWF and 9:30-11, 2-3:30 TR I think).  I can only help DH with 2/10 drop-off, pick-ups.  When i was going to be able to pick up on a couple days, DH and I were arranging an elaborate plan to take over the after-school care for my son.  Not only would this save us tons of money ($450/mo), but also it would save us having to find a new child care provider for after school care as well as saving extra drop-offs and pick ups (daycare choices are limited so drop-off pick-up at school is actually much easier than the possible long drive to another center with an after school offering). Not to mention after school care is really hard to find because they all service the city and not our school.

 

So there are about 10% of faculty with this issues.  I feel like a big arse for complaining abotu my schedule.  All I want is TR afternoon clear and it would bring such high job satisfaction to my job.  But what real rationale do I have for objecting?  I have asked politely and the answer is NO.

 

Am I being difficult?  Is there any reason they should consider honoring a family-related request?



 

post #167 of 196
I don't think it's unreasonable, though scheduling can get ugly with heavy teaching loads. My institution is similar, though most of the faculty manage to not be on campus every single day, or if they are, they have a morning or afternoon free on one of those days. The TT people teaching 4 courses a semester; the FT adjuncts teach 5, fwiw.

Update on my application: heard back from the university today and they concluded the search without hiring anyone. If I had to guess, it might be related to the fact that said university has had a hiring freeze for non-critical positions since 2008 and exemptions require a vice president's approval. Maybe they didn't get it? I don't know if one of their faculty was leaving or if they were trying to do something about the fact that they're relying on a couple of adjuncts for music appreciation and similar courses right now. One of the adjuncts in question is ABD and I'd found it interesting that the posting specifically said "no ABD candidates", but maybe they're stuck for now?

I'm hoping to find out more at this weekend's regional conference. The adjunct in question is presenting a paper (as am I), so perhaps I'll have a chance to meet her through a colleague. Then again, I'm pretty sure all three of us applied for the position (my colleague did), so maybe not.
post #168 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by Realrellim View Post

I don't think it's unreasonable, though scheduling can get ugly with heavy teaching loads. My institution is similar, though most of the faculty manage to not be on campus every single day, or if they are, they have a morning or afternoon free on one of those days. The TT people teaching 4 courses a semester; the FT adjuncts teach 5, fwiw.
Update on my application: heard back from the university today and they concluded the search without hiring anyone. If I had to guess, it might be related to the fact that said university has had a hiring freeze for non-critical positions since 2008 and exemptions require a vice president's approval. Maybe they didn't get it? I don't know if one of their faculty was leaving or if they were trying to do something about the fact that they're relying on a couple of adjuncts for music appreciation and similar courses right now. One of the adjuncts in question is ABD and I'd found it interesting that the posting specifically said "no ABD candidates", but maybe they're stuck for now?
I'm hoping to find out more at this weekend's regional conference. The adjunct in question is presenting a paper (as am I), so perhaps I'll have a chance to meet her through a colleague. Then again, I'm pretty sure all three of us applied for the position (my colleague did), so maybe not.

hmm. I'd been wondering (and hoping that you hadn't heard anything NOT because they hired someone else).  I guess it is good that if they didn't hire you that there's still a continued need for adjuncts locally.
 

 

post #169 of 196

Hello, I am in the process of completing my PhD (writing the dissertation) and have been offered a tenure track position at a University College. I have two little ones (a 1 year old and a 3 year old). Until now, my partner and I have traded back and forth with childcare, but my partner just got a full-time job. We are now in the process of trying to find full-time childcare. The teaching load (2+3) plus completing my dissertation and maintaining a publishing/research agenda all feels a bit daunting right now, especially in trying to be present to my little ones.

 

I would appreciate any thoughts, advice, warnings, encouragements, etc about entering this next phase of life.

 

Thank you!!

post #170 of 196

Hi! First, congratulations on your offer!

 

Actually, I am not a professor mama. I am working as a postdoc right now and contemplating whether I will try to obtain a TT position. I have kids that are 18 months and 4 years old, so similar to your kids' ages. I feel very torn between what the expectations are of such positions and what I want to be as a mom. Have you looked at the book PhD Mama at all? I read excerpts online and read the reviews. It is actually quite depressing, but gives several viewpoints about how things have worked out for people. Then, there is the book Professor Mommy, which is apparently a response to PhD Mama in an attempt to be more upbeat about how balance is indeed possible. I have not read it in its entirety either! But, I am checking that one out from the local library, so I'll let you know once I've read it!

 

Good luck! Feel free to PM me if you want to bounce some ideas or vent!

 

post #171 of 196

Welcome jkaye and congrats on the offer!  It can be done - good childcare is essential.

 

I started my TT job with a 1 year old and a 5 year old.  My DH is also a professor.  The thing I've tried to remind myself of is that even though there is a huge amount of work to be done, at least I do have a fairly flexible schedule.  Some terms more so than others.  (Some terms, when my DH is travelling a lot I simply tell the kids that nobody is allowed to get sick when Daddy isn't home.  I wish it actually worked.)

 

I think a lot of your experience depends on how your colleagues handle a young mom.  Most of my colleagues have kids - most of them are older than I am and know what I'm going through.  Overall, they are fairly supportive.  Carita mentioned scheduling issues - I think my colleagues are sensitive to that.  When I said I couldn't take the 8am class because it's too hard to get kids out the door (esp. when dh has to teach at 8am, too), they moved my class time back.  When I've had to leave faculty meetings early to do a sick kid swap before my dh's class, they didn't shun me, but instead asked the next day how my ds was doing.  

 

I better go finish my lecture.  I hadn't checked this thread in awhile.  Apparently, we are still in 2011... should we jump to 2013 yet? 

post #172 of 196

haha...let's stick to 2012 for now. Thanks for your reply. I decided to accept the offer, especially since they have agreed to defer until January for my start date. This will give me time to complete a draft of my dissertation beforehand. Can you describe what good childcare means to you? We've been looking at daycares, etc. and while I know how to look for all the basics, like how well they interact with the kids, etc. I'm not sure what else I should be looking for. Would appreciate your thoughts.

post #173 of 196

What is good childcare?

 

For me, it meant someone I felt totally comfortable leaving my children with.  Someone who genuinely cares about my kids.  In terms of the things you might be able to see on a visit... somewhere clean (not necessarily tidy constantly, but clean), someone flexible and willing to work with me on things like nursing/feeding/diapering/etc., somewhere I just felt comfortable (vague, but true).  See how the providers handle kids in situations where multiple ones need attention at once.  Are you comfortable with that?  Do you feel like this is someone who cares about each child?  

 

We've always used home daycares, but they can be hit or miss.  If you sense "red flags" when you go to visit, move on to someone else.  I really love our current provider.  My kids have grown up with her kids - they are like siblings now.  She is genuinely sad at the thought of my youngest leaving next year when he goes to kindergarten.  He's been there since he was 6 weeks old.  My oldest begs to go there during school holidays because his best friend is there. It is so much easier to deal with "mommy guilt" when you know your kids are loved and well-cared for and enjoy where they are. 

 

Good luck finding the perfect match!

post #174 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkaye View Post

 Can you describe what good childcare means to you? We've been looking at daycares, etc. and while I know how to look for all the basics, like how well they interact with the kids, etc. I'm not sure what else I should be looking for. Would appreciate your thoughts.


Gut instinct.

When you walk in the door does the person greet you and the child (or even show interest in the child)? We've interviewed dcp before that didn't even say hi to my kids when they walked in the door.

 

Is the place SUPER clean (like he/she doesn't watch the kids, just cleans all day) or is the place dirty?  (both would be out for me).

 

When you're there and there are other kids there (common to interview someone during the day when they are working) -- how does the dcp keep the kids occupied? Are you ok with how that happens?  Does the dcp interrupt talking to you, an adult, to address the kids?  ( I would want that)

 

 

 

post #175 of 196
Ditto what the others said, plus I'd look for something fairly small to help with the germ factor. More kids = more germs = your kids getting sick more often = you or your DH staying home or finding a substitute DCP who is ok hanging with sick kids. Mostly though, you should feel good about where they're going, and then have back-up child care lined up too in case your DCP is sick or the center gets closed because the flu is running through the child population or whatever.
post #176 of 196

As a professor mama with a 7 month old.  We got an au pair through au pair in america.  She lives with us and so far this has been awesome since I went back to work with a 3 month old.  I love that we can change her hours to work with the academic schedule and allow me to work from home while breastfeeding and actually get work done. 

 

Obviously you need to be ok with having someone live with you and to interview and get the right person but I must say that this has been awesome for us.

 

Beth

post #177 of 196
Thread Starter 

how odd that no one got the position when possibley qualified people were abound, but i bet its about budgets.

 

I ended up just straight up telling my boss that I was not trying to be diffficult, it just was a financial incentive driving me.  She doesn't have kids, and I don't think she realized that it might be important not just in terms of being with your kid after school, but also because it is freaking $$$ to have daycare essentially every year even after they are in public school.  Funny how these non-tenure track jobs you choose to be more family friendly, and it ends up being just as hard a balance.  Anyway, she did some massaging and worked it out for me.  Honestly paid off - I hope!

post #178 of 196
So, the position has opened up again. This time, they've got two positions open, both in music history. Basically everything is the same, but there's a new twist: they're doing preliminary interviews at the national AMS conference this November. I'd been hoping to go but didn't get any papers accepted and it's so ridiculously expensive. The rate for the hotel is $196 plus tax, and then there's the cost of a plane ticket (~$350 currently). Taking a shuttle from the airport is another $40 (round-trip), and the conference fee is $130. So, if I stayed two nights, it would be nearly $900 without meals. That seems like an awful lot to pay for a 15-minute interview. Because I'm an adjunct, my current institution is hardly going to foot the bill for me to go, and because I'm only teaching one class which will pay me $6k for the semester, I don't see spending two month's net income on a 15-minute interview. (Yes, there would be fabulous networking opportunities, and yes I really wanted to go, but at the same time, I'm only interested in positions in Colorado and I'm small potatoes, and for that matter,

They're only doing 36 interviews at the conference, and there's only 3 open spots left. The positions were just announced this week.

Does it make sense to apply again, or am I wasting my time?
post #179 of 196

Jumping in here, but it seems to me that if this is the ONLY job that you could get and you would like, you should definitely apply. $900 is worth it for the possibility of getting your dream job!! But, if you wouldn't really want the job anyway, then of course it would be a waste of time. Only you can know what you truly feel in your heart!!
 

post #180 of 196

apply again.

but I wouldn't spend the $$ either.

 

I forget why its there? Failed search? Lost funding?
 

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