I'm in a strange job right now. I'm term to term this year in a teaching position at a state liberal arts college (that's not that liberal arts-y). The had a failed search last year (and did the search for the geology position (in a bio dept/really a science dept) with one of the geographers on leave). They thought they would do a search for a geologist this year again, but given the financial state of the state didn't get permission for a permanent line. They did get permission for an academic staff year-long convertable to tenure track line (
that's me next year). More than one of the faculty members has told me that next year is basically a year-long interview and implied that the position is all but mine if/when it converts. I'm not sure if there's an interview process or if they just convert my position. In any event, obviously a little but stressful because I could do a crap load of teaching prep / dept. outreach/ etc. and not get the tenure track line.
BUT even with misgivings about the job and department, I think I do want to try for that end result and would like to negotiate a bit of a job for my spouse as his current situation is looking really crappy soon and we like our geographic location pretty well. So.....
How do I let the department know I'm actively doing outreach? Meaning I have lined up three classroom visits to the local middle school, kaybee and I taught about volcanoes in kindergarten with our dc's class, I'm headed down to the local community college run by the Native American tribe to visit and chat with students, etc. These are all things folks talk about doing in the faculty meetings (to which I am invited) but no one actually does (because it requires moving outside of their comfort zones). I want folks to know I'm going, but no one even knows if I'm in my closet of an office so it's not like I'll be missed if I'm not here.
Before hiring the geologist they plan on revamping the Earth Science curriculum. Stupid, I know. BUT I also get a shoot at designing the curriculum to best-match my expertise. (I just wrote a syllabus for a course proposal on Earth's climate, which I'm slated to teach next year in my one-year long teaching interview). They've asked me design a similar course encorporating the "four spheres" that science teachers need to address to pass the secondary education praxis exam: biosphere, lithosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere. Question: Do the scientists here think it's a bit much to have all that in a 100 level course as the only course teachers will take?
I'd like to argue that I could do three and students could take a biology course of their choice to fill the fourth. My concern is that I want preservice teachers to be able to identify simple rocks and minerals as well as look at simple weather patterns, volcanoes, earthquakes, glaciers,surface water and groundwater. Any thoughts? I don't want to make a huge fit with the faculty and p.o. someone, on the other hand I don't want to be struggling to fit it all in and discuss at a meaningful level.