Let me briefly introduce myself: I’m a military retiree who has, for the past 10 years, been teaching part-time at a local community college to augment my service pension. I’m giving it up at the end of this semester and will be full time on-the-dole.
I despise the noun “worker” because of it’s Communist aftertaste. I’ve never considered myself a “worker”; a serviceman, even an employee is OK, but never a “worker”. Sure, what I do is work, that’s why I’m paid to do it, but I don’t consider myself a “worker”. ‘Nuff said.
So, why my decision to retire-retire? Getting too old? Partly. Tired of the routine? Partly. Gas too expensive for the 70 mile commute? Partly. Student’s entry-level knowledge and motivation circling the drain? Partly.
But the real reason is growth of the Beast. Yes, the little community college has expanded enormously during my tenure. Many more students, many more courses, many more buildings, teachers, stuff.
When I began teaching, my boss was called a Division Chair, in charge of full & part time instructors covering several disciplines. Over time, the Division Chair became an Associate Dean, then a (full) Dean. Same job description, better title, more teachers to hire, schedule & supervise, more salary. All well and good.
In reality, the secretary has always handled the class scheduling, the bulk of the job. Hiring & supervision boils down to observing each teacher’s class every couple years, and occasionally interviewing those who expressed interest in teaching. That, and mediating student complaints, which happens a few times per decade.
As the job-title escalated, more effort seemed to go into researching the whichness-of-what, how-high-is-up kind of thing, trying to measure the unmeasurable, how well students are actually learning. That and ever more mindless paperwork. And meetings. Self-assessments. Reflections (WTF?). Sharing. ARRGHH!
Here’s what drove my decision to leave: when they started hiring Division Chairs and Associate Deans to work for the Dean, who used to be a Division Chair or Associate Dean. More layers of middle management. Your education dollars at work; let’s send more Federal money to those wonderful community colleges!
Don’t get me wrong; back in the day I was what you call a Business Major. I understand things about span of control. Additionally, I made it to middle management myself in the USAF. I know how it works.
But I’ve had about 40 years to observe and participate in organizational expansion. What happens when government grows middle-management is that the new middle-managers, being sharp, intelligent folks, have to find a way to justify their (large) salaries, while building their resumes. Remember, the basic duties haven’t really changed or increased all that much, if you actually WORK at it 40 hours a week. So the new guys devote an inordinate amount of time and energy coming up with shiny new rules, guidelines, checklists, requirements, processes, templates and methods, none of which actually improve what we’re here for: student learning.
They also tend to schedule and attend a lot of meetings. A lot. And talk. And write memos. And emails. Endlessly.
Since I originally hired in to teach people how to do things they could use to earn money, I’m unimpressed with the newly created administrative overhead. It saps my time and energy, which is supposed to be student-focused. I guess I’m just too old-school, literally.
I, and a couple of colleagues, have done the math and determined we’re earning, given all the hours devoted to our classes and other stuff, about $4.00/hour. Seriously. So, taking all of the above into consideration, I quit. Life’s too short. More Precinct Committeeman and motorcycling time for me!
BTW,Â part-time instructors actually have a teacher’s union here, which I never joined, seeings the dues go to support demon-Democrats. But I was still able to reap the terrific benefits they fought for and won, like a paid sick-day per semester. Which I’ve used maybe 4 of over the last 10 years. Yep, I truly regret not having paid all those union dues (/sarc).
Rant over. Y’all have a great day! And cheers!