I have changed my online routine for teaching.
I am a planner and I am also a planner who likes to do things early, allowing me time to mull over what I have done and to recheck so that I don’t make countless silly errors.
It is me. I have spent a career doing things this way and this practice has served me well.
I have realized, however, that there are things that one cannot take for granted.
I am an Adjunct Professor and I am subject to the rules and regulations that affect Adjuncts and Full Professors. If, for example, the Full Professor does not have enough classes, he/she has the right to take my class. I get that. I respect that. Do I think that there are many things within that system that could be more equitable? Yes. However, this is the current law.
I can go through the full time before the class from saying I want to teach the class, jumping through all of forms and academic hoops that that entails, and reach the point of being several days before the new semester and lose my class. It has happened more than once. I get that, but I don’t understand how the online website I have prepared for my class is the only one and thus is ‘given to the full professor.’ My assumption was that the full professor was getting a new ‘shell,’ as they call it. That assumption is wrong as I found out several years ago. Last spring, I was informed that I had lost my class on the Thursday before the Monday class was to start. The minute I got off the phone, as I was removing (although no one ever told me that I needed to) my materials, I was shut out of the website. I needed much more time.
I was frantic.
I made phone calls and managed to take care of the situation.
After talking to the President of the Adjunct Faculty Union, I found out that she had no idea that full Professors were just taking the shell that was already prepared (if the Adjunct was as crazy as I am about being prepared).
I seriously wonder who many Adjuncts have lost professional materials and resources through this illogical process.
So this time I did all of my prep and although I am unfamiliar with the new version of the online D2L website that is my platform, I am waiting until the last minute because I don’t want to risk my materials being viewed and used by my colleagues. I need to mention here that ‘sharing,’ as I was used to as a commonality in the high school, is a touchy subject and not regular practice.
My department chair has shared with me when I was originally setting up and I got great ideas from a wonderful online Spanish Adjunct. That is what sharing is on the college level.
It occurred to me that if somehow we could get more collegiality and sharing, we could resist ‘reinventing the wheel’ and we would also avoid the issue that I have had with holding back my preparation.
So, although it is hard for me to not set up, I am not happy as to what the effect is on my potential students. I am instead waiting.
I have contacted my students and been in touch with prospective students, sharing my syllabus and information, but I haven’t told them that I may lose the class. This is the first time that I have had a ‘heads up’ that my colleague’s enrollment is low and that my class may be snatched up
It is Wednesday and class is to begin next Monday. I have six students. Ten is a full class but I more often than not teach with even one student. Pay is adjusted for the fewer students.I am not optimistic. We shall see.
Who wins in this situation? It is neither the students (who should always be the benefactors) nor the Adjuncts.