Jennifer (smileypv) wrote in adjunctlife,
Jennifer
smileypv
adjunctlife

Teaching full time?

Apparently a local community college is hiring two new full-time English instructor positions. I have been teaching as an adjunct for six years now and have been applying for every full-time position I could during that time. However, I now have a seven-month-old son and will probably want to have a second child in about 2.5-3 years. I'm sure it's a 4/4 load, but I would have to check.

I'm 31 so I don't want to put off children any longer; 35 is my maximum age for having a second (and last) one. I was planning on teaching one or two classes a term part-time until I had my second when I was going to take time off. But I am pretty sure that I have a good shot at one of these full-time positions. I have interviewed with this college previously and made the cut (from 100 applicants to 25) that landed me the interview. Can you guys share any experiences you have had teaching while parenting a small child or planning a family? Anything I should keep in mind while making this decision?

EDIT: Minimum salary is $38K so I could afford to put him in daycare and was eventually going to have to for the socialization aspect, but it may have to be 5 days-a-week rather than the 3 I was hoping for.
Tags: teaching
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I have children ages 6 and 2, I've been teaching full time as an adjunct for the last four years, while attending grad school at night. You can do it... it just takes an insane amount of organization, and you'll need to be willing to shift the nature of your teaching/grading/prepping to be more efficient (I like the word "streamlined").

I've found adjuncting to be a far more forgiving profession than most when it comes to raising a family at the same time. I can teach classes while my kids are in school (the younger is in preschool), and I can be done teaching early in the afternoon in time to pick them up and spend the afternoon with them. It means that I'm doing most of my grading and prepping at night once they're in bed, but it's a sacrifice I'm willing to make to have more playtime during the day.

As an aside, you might consider posting this question at women_academics as well.
I'm not a parent, but I've been watching the struggles of a couple of my colleagues who are. One has five children (the youngest a year old, the eldest a teenager), and she homeschools. I believe she and her husband have juggled their schedules so that one parent is home with the children at all times. They do not, to my knowledge, utilize outside child care. She isn't a very active member of our department as a result, since her schedule is so crowded.

My other colleague has two children, one a year old and another four years old. Her husband, I gather, isn't particularly involved in parenting, at least not to the degree she is. They are both academics so are able to schedule teaching loads so as to maximize time with their children. She is forced to, however, place her oldest in the on-campus daycare at least two or three days a week. She does this in part so she can get her work done and in part so he has a chance to play with other children. I think she has an in-home sitter for the youngest one, still. She has expressed dismay over the high cost of quality childcare and says that sometimes (especially in the summers) she's not sure why she's working since so much of her income goes to child care. She has wondered aloud if it just wouldn't be more prudent to remain home with her children.

She has also withdrawn herself in recent years from the campus community. Choices must be made, clearly, between family and her profession, and she had decided to offer the best parts of herself to her children, I think, and is just treading water at work. Unfortunately, this leaves her students in a bind sometimes, but having a single income, I understand, is not an option for her family right now. I believe that if her husband were more involved in family and less involved with his own career, she would have a much easier time of it. I feel for her moreso than my other colleague who does appear to have more support from her spouse.

I wish you well as you move forward in planning for family and building your career. I can see that it isn't a piece of cake, that's for sure.