Saturday, September 5, 2009

Mindsets

The first week of the tenure track is now behind me.

My college does not assign advising or committee responsibilities to first-year tenure-track profs. I appreciate this policy on a number of levels, but in the last week I have found myself actually wishing I had more responsibilities. All I really have to do right now is teach my classes, and that's not so different from my last few years as a contract lecturer.

As a contract lecturer, I showed up, I taught my classes, I attended the occasional campus social event, and I spent the rest of my time in my office. Sometimes preparing classes and meeting with students, but sometimes working on my job applications, writing, or just killing time. It was easy to focus on my students and otherwise float through my days.

That mindset, of not being fully connected to the college community, is one I need to avoid slipping into. That's why it would be nice to have additional responsibilities, as a reminder that my position on campus needs to be somewhat different. I've tried to decide for myself that, in addition to teaching, my job consists of figuring SLAC out: getting to know people, figuring out how things work, getting a sense of the overall community.

1 comment:

Ink said...

I really needed that break because of the increase in teaching load (to 4/4). But it's most excellent that you're not having that kind of scramble!

If you have a Faculty Senate, you might consider asking to rep your department (that's a fab way to learn a lot very quickly, plus it's not like people usually knock each other over to volunteer).

Or just enjoy the time and write or read or ease in. In any case, congrats on completing your first tt week! Huzzah!