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Transition to Teaching
Old 09-04-2006, 09:03 AM   #1
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Transition to Teaching

Would love to transition from high stress corporate finance position to teaching position in local college. Have no idea how to begin. Would appreciate any advice. Thanks
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Re: Transition to Teaching
Old 09-04-2006, 10:35 AM   #2
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Re: Transition to Teaching

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arc
Would love to transition from high stress corporate finance position to teaching position in local college. Have no idea how to begin. Would appreciate any advice. Thanks
First, have you done any sort of teaching or training or at least given lengthy presentations in your career? You need to know if you're comfortable standing in front of an audience pontificating and keeping your head while answering sometimes difficult questions. At the college level, there should be no problems keeping order in the classroom, fortunately.

As for landing the job, just like with other positions, it's best to have your resume submitted by someone at the organization or well connected to it who will sing your praises or at least get you an interview.

My husband is in his fifth year of teaching after leaving the software biz. His resume was ignored when he submitted it directly, so I gave it to my father's cousin who had been president (many years ago) of the school where he wanted to teach. The dept chair called right away Then my husband had to sell himself in a meeting with the chair and another professor. He had to demonstrate his level of conceptual knowledge (that's part of what separates academics from workers in a field) and essentially give a lecture in one of his areas of expertise. Even so, they hired him only as an adjunct for one semester, teaching 100-level courses (for non-majors). He would've retired by now if he hadn't been promoted to staff instructor and given opportunities to teach higher-level classes for majors and develop a few new classes of his own.

Good luck!

EDIT Forgot to note that you most likely need a master's degree, though I'm not sure about business departments or 2-year colleges. I'd look into the backgrounds of instructors at the colleges you're interested in.
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Re: Transition to Teaching
Old 09-04-2006, 10:40 AM   #3
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Re: Transition to Teaching

My DD's BIL made that transition. Be prepared to attain at least a Master's Degree in the near term. If you have the Master's then a PhD will be on the department chair's short list.
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Re: Transition to Teaching
Old 09-04-2006, 08:50 PM   #4
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Re: Transition to Teaching

A good resource is

http://chronicle.com/jobs/

Mike
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Re: Transition to Teaching
Old 09-04-2006, 09:41 PM   #5
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Re: Transition to Teaching

Another comment: some schools like to have practioners as adjunct professors. That could be an opening to making it to full time.
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Re: Transition to Teaching
Old 09-05-2006, 07:38 AM   #6
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Re: Transition to Teaching

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikew
A good resource is
http://chronicle.com/jobs/
Great resource - thanks.

Question:* *looks like a lot of the college level teaching requires PhD - correct ?* *

Maybe community colleges will consider a Masers ?
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Re: Transition to Teaching
Old 09-05-2006, 07:51 AM   #7
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Re: Transition to Teaching

Masters + job experience in the field is good enough for community college . . . not sure about university.
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Re: Transition to Teaching
Old 09-05-2006, 08:05 AM   #8
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Re: Transition to Teaching

Adjunct professors make about $3K per course around here. Teaching four classes per semester, fall and winter, would get you $24K for a tough, time consuming job. Yet, there are long lists of folks applying for few openings so it must have some appeal.
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Re: Transition to Teaching
Old 09-05-2006, 08:19 AM   #9
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Re: Transition to Teaching

Quote:
Originally Posted by Delawaredave
looks like a lot of the college level teaching requires PhD - correct ?
Maybe community colleges will consider a Masers ?
Typically, a PhD is required for tenure-track postions at 4-yr colleges and universities (tenure-track = Assistant Professor through full Professor, and normally eligible for tenure after 6 years), but not necessarily Adjunct Instructors--who are at-will employees with semester-long contracts and typically few if any benefits--or Staff Instructors-- who have multi-year contracts with higher pay and benefits.

My husband--with a masters and 30 years of engineering experience--started as an Adjunct at $11k for the semester and no benefits (taught 4 classes) at a state college. When he insisted upon health insurance as a condition for staying (that was when I went part-time and gave up my benefits), they made him a Visiting Professor for the next 3 semesters (taught 4 classes for 2 semesters, but 3 for one semester to provide time to develop a new class) which provided full benefits and pay increasing from $14k first semster to $35k for the following year. Then was offereed Staff Instructor at $55k with a 5-year contract. This is South Carolina--pay is probably better elsewhere, but maybe not where the supply of qualified people is high.
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Re: Transition to Teaching
Old 09-05-2006, 12:42 PM   #10
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Re: Transition to Teaching

Here are some general and specific insights:

First, unless you have done this before, you may hold naïve views about the joys and satisfactions of teaching. Put away your “Goodbye Mr. Chips” video – the ivory-tower picture of teaching is far from today’s reality of the university as a corporate machine. My comments on this point may sound bitter, but trust me, they are feelings that we have all had to struggle with in order to stick with this career.

As mentioned above, a relevant Ph.D. is generally the minimum requirement to become a professor. In community colleges, an M.S. may do, but only if the pool of applicants lacks Ph.D.’s. In more competitive environments, such as research Universities, not only is a Ph.D. the minimum requirement, but a recent one is often valued much more than one from 20 years in the past, at least unless you have maintained an academic-like profile of frequent publications, etc. Ph.D.’s from top schools in your field are valued most, and schools prefer to hire “above themselves” – so a B-list school will try their best to hire only Ph.D.’s from A-list Universities. The market conditions of over-supply of Ph.D.’s eager to stay in the Academy generally make this trivially easy.

The most gentle introduction would be to act as an Adjunct Professor, which you can do part time while working elsewhere. You would teach some mutually agreed-upon number of classes a year (which could be as little as one) but would have few other responsibilities or privileges. In my location, payment would be roughly $5,000 per class, with no further benefits. Unless a much more privileged position (e.g., tenure-track or tenured) is made available to you, I would strongly recommend teaching as an adjunct for a brief stint to see if you think it’s something you will enjoy and obtain satisfaction from.

Next, if you are anywhere near “early retirement” age, you should understand that the attitudes and mores of current students are quite different than when you and I were in college (at least according to the rose-colored memories of my generation). The exception might be at the most competitive institutions where only model students can gain admission. The worst of your students will, at times, act like juvenile lawyers, filled with indignant entitlement and scorn and itching for a fight. They will cheat frequently and openly. They will disrupt the classroom in ways that are intended to undermine your authority. They will try to game the system endlessly and boldly. They will not study and will do poorly, at times making you wonder if it’s even worth trying. They will obtain revenge on you by giving you F’s on their evaluations of your teaching. After all that, they will beg you for (or demand!) an A anyway, thusly: “yo prof cn u get 4 me an A i wanna get a A.”

Unless you already have extensive experience, it may take you several years to learn how to be fully effective in a classroom. Thankfully, in the end, you will feel rewarded and gratified by those students who genuinely wish to learn, work hard and excel.

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Re: Transition to Teaching
Old 09-05-2006, 12:46 PM   #11
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Re: Transition to Teaching

Philip Greenspun has spent a large percentage of his life hanging around MIT professors, and now I guess he is one (part time).

He has a very dim view of the occupation. This article focuses on the fact that women are generally smarter than men, but ignore the gender debate while you're looking at the professorial lifestyle & earnings...

http://philip.greenspun.com/careers/women-in-science
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Re: Transition to Teaching
Old 09-05-2006, 01:56 PM   #12
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Re: Transition to Teaching

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
Philip Greenspun has spent a large percentage of his life hanging around MIT professors, and now I guess he is one (part time).

He has a very dim view of the occupation. This article focuses on the fact that women are generally smarter than men, but ignore the gender debate while you're looking at the professorial lifestyle & earnings...

http://philip.greenspun.com/careers/women-in-science
That is a good article. I never read the guy before. Good stuff, with just the right amount of 'tude.
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Re: Transition to Teaching
Old 09-05-2006, 04:42 PM   #13
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Re: Transition to Teaching

Here's an article with a more positive 'tude:
http://tinyurl.com/plale
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Re: Transition to Teaching
Old 09-05-2006, 06:10 PM   #14
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Re: Transition to Teaching

Here are some interesting articles from the site about I posted yesterday about teaching in a community college. Mike

http://chronicle.com/jobs/news/2004/...c/careers.html

http://chronicle.com/jobs/news/2006/...c/careers.html

http://chronicle.com/jobs/news/2003/...c/careers.html

http://chronicle.com/jobs/news/2003/...c/careers.html

http://chronicle.com/jobs/news/2003/...c/careers.html
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Re: Transition to Teaching
Old 09-05-2006, 11:50 PM   #15
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Re: Transition to Teaching

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
Philip Greenspun has spent a large percentage of his life hanging around MIT professors, and now I guess he is one (part time).

He has a very dim view of the occupation.* This article focuses on the fact that women are generally smarter than men, but ignore the gender debate while you're looking at the professorial lifestyle & earnings...

http://philip.greenspun.com/careers/women-in-science
Greenspun's Bill wasn't as smart as he thought.* Architect's and Construction Managers take many of the same classes, both are subject to the same economic cycles.* Architects have professional liability but not Construction Managers.* Construction Managers earn 2+X as much. Often it's not your intellect, but what you learn and how you use it.

Otherwise, I think Greenspun's analysis is on target.
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Re: Transition to Teaching
Old 09-06-2006, 09:32 AM   #16
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Re: Transition to Teaching

I wonder why people think teaching at the community college is not high stress.* I taught at one for two years, part time. You've got under prepared students who don't do the work and don't participate in class discussions then drop out half way through. The ones left try hard, some are great, but reading their essays is to put it mildly, painful.* If you have a low boredom threshold, spending any length of time doing this work is a different kind of stress.

But if you want to do it here's a hint:* The most enjoyable classes to teach are the ones at night. Older and smarter students with motivation.

See this article for a realistic view of underprepared students who have a sense of entitlement to higher ed.
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/02/ed...acc&ei=5087%0A
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Re: Transition to Teaching
Old 09-06-2006, 12:23 PM   #17
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Re: Transition to Teaching

I recently became an adjunct professor at a college here in Minnesota (my oldest decided Law School was important, and my youngest wants to be a doctor - hence the moonlighting from teaching Junior High - actually, not much different...). The way I got my job was I TOOK CLASSES AT THE COLLEGE and got to know all the professors in my department. Then, when they were looking for someone, they asked me if I was interested. You bet!!! Don't know if it will work for you, but you might want to try taking a class at whatever college you are interested in working for and talking to the other professors/department heads. Networking works in academia too!!!!
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