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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

School Daze...

Tonight I completed my final class for the Spring semester as an Adjunct Instructor for a local community College. I have also completed an eleven year stint as one. I will not return in the Fall.

Why? There are many cumulative things adding up to reach this decision:

The "real job" is requiring some mobility now. I could not do that teaching 2 -3 nights a week.

I have "burned out" in this environment. If I don't want to be there it is a disservice to the students.

The School let the Security coordinators that managed security for Campuses go at the first of the year. They were all employees of the College (most retired LEO) and managed the off duty LEO officers that actually ran security. Security was farmed out to a third party private firm. I have not observed an armed guard this year. I cannot carry there. Incidents of violence are now on the increase at all Campuses. Go figure. I routinely observed at least two armed LEO officers before this, and they wanted to know you and where you were! I do not feel safe if someone in a smokey bear hat yet unarmed that dresses out at 275 is responsible for my safety and this is the norm now!

There was a reorg eliminating local campus department chairs in favor of all of it reverting to central campus. My department chair has served 47 YEARS here. He was informed of the reorg the same as I. An e-mail. I have worked for him for 10+ years at this campus. He is now an "Instructor". He has such a passion for the job and he was my superior and is my friend. He should have at least gotten a phone call before the e-mail came out.

There used to be a premium pay grade for IT instructors. That went away this year as well. Not really a big deal, but as I say, part of the cumulative effect.

This became a zero-sum game to me. To go there within the past 5 years or so and look back, spend the time, energy, and expense to be an Instructor really came home. As I viewed students on Federal or State assistance (I don't count Veterans in this) it became clear that I was paying for them to be there. Most wanted to know how many days they could miss and what had to be done to get a minimum passing grade. Paperwork increased exponentially for these students. They only way to win this game is not to play.  I was paying for people to give me grief!

Sorry. I will get off the soap box. This has been a long time coming. On the plus side I learned a lot about the art and science of teaching. I met some really incredible students that kept me sharp. I have been able to play with software and hardware I could break without consequence. I took all of my classroom management skills and ported them to a different class room with a different subject. This is my greatest gift from this experience. 

So for now, I hang up the IT instructor hat. Perhaps again later.



  1. Hey, no need to cast your pearls before that particular herd of swine. Life's to short to be unhappy. Great post.

  2. You're not the first, trust me... Sorry that it ends in this fashion, but it's better to leave healthy and at least semi-happy. And just think of all the extra time you have to go to the range :-)

  3. After writing software for 25 years I started teaching it as well as continuing to write, but all in private industry. I'm one of those who do the 3-4 day product-centric, intense and very expensive "seminars". I've always wanted to teach semester-long courses at the under- and post-graduate levels but the pay was, well, silly. I couldn't reconcile the hours for the pay. So I stayed in private industry and told myself, "maybe when I retire ..." But that is looking less and less likely and, with the student interest you describe, that'd kill it for sure.
    You have my heartfelt sympathy. Truly sad.

  4. Keads: You said "sorry". I think there are others that should be sorry. The administration comes to mind.

  5. Good luck and have fun in your new endeavors! And have a GREAT summer!

  6. I hope things go better for you from this point!

  7. The school lost a good instructor!

    I know you are looking forward to putting in more time with your other teaching passion!

  8. Matt- thanks for the words!

    NFO- LOL! I am glad I left on my own terms as you say. More time at the range is always a good thing!

    North- That is what you get with central planning, no idea what is going on with the boots on the ground!

    Christina- Thanks! I wish I could have had ore students like you!

    Brooke- They are! I am working right now on "De-sighing". The brown truck of happiness just left! More to follow!

    Supi- Ding, ding, ding! We have a winner! Thanks for the kind words!

  9. I wish you only Happiness in your future endevors.

  10. Ed- Perhaps it would be better at a four year institution, I think not. And as you say the pay is, well, silly.


  11. That's really unfortunate Keads. The sorrow with which you write is palpable.
    Consider yourself fortunate that you have other employment. Imagine being stuck in those circumstances.

  12. kx59- I am sorrowful for what I perceive is a lack of motivation in students and administration. I truly enjoyed teaching to students that wanted to learn.

    Simply being a gatekeeper for cattle herded through the system I could not bear. This is what it became.

    I cannot paint with such a broad brush. There were many students that really were motivated, but when that becomes less than 10 percent of you class that is demoralizing and disheartening.

    I do consider myself lucky. Instead of teaching at the College tomorrow I will be at the range performing RSO tasks for armed security guard re-certifications! Motivated people to be sure!

    Thanks for the kind words.

  13. Keads: That is excellent. It was suggested to me a couple of weeks ago that I should consider teaching some gun-related classes at a range. You are motivating me to consider that.

  14. @ North- For me having students for both "Basic Pistol" (think new shooters) and "Concealed Carry Handgun" (as it is called here) has been fantastic! I HAVE motivated students. They spent the money and time to hear what I have to say. The import of how I carry myself and what I tell them is several orders of magnitude higher than any class at the College. No one will suffer serious consequences if they design a bad Web site!

    This subject matter is a bit different. I am on point and responsible for their personal safety at all times. I truly enjoy it!

    I strongly suggest you do so!

  15. I would put that in Borepatch's shooty goodness category. Hang tight Amigo.

  16. I don't know how you did it as long as you did. Then again, I do have that whole Steve doesn't suffer fools gladly thing going on.

  17. Steve- So why is it you still suffer me, LOL! I know you have little patience with fools!