I've been wanting to write more about transitioning from contingent faculty to tenure-track faculty. The thing I'm most conscious of, though, is that it's difficult to bring up details about my transition without telling so much that I'm easily identifiable. I already think that a determined reader could figure out who and where I am, and I'm not sure how faculty and administrators at my college would perceive my blog.
So I keep finding that there are things I don't want to talk about: I don't want to vent my occasional frustrations with students; I don't want to talk an ongoing administrative decision; I don't want to talk about some quirks that make my college distinctive.
What, then, can I say about this transition?
On the one hand, it hasn't been that difficult. Having several years of contingent teaching experience is an advantage in planning and preparing courses. I have materials I can use; I have syllabi and lesson plans I can adapt for this new setting. I know what kind of assignments I like to give and how I like to grade them. All of that experience serves me well.
On the other hand, I worry more about how I fit in. As a lecturer, I didn't stress much about such things. Now I worry about things like: is my grading too lenient? am I going to get a reputation as an "easy" or "soft" professor? Should I socialize more with other faculty? How important is it that I attend talks, performances, and other events on campus?
I still struggle, too, with the issues of mindset that I mentioned here. I still need to remind myself, periodically, that administrative issues being discussed really are pertinent to me. As a lecturer, I often thought to myself, "The outcome of that decision won't affect me, and no one here cares what I think anyway." But here, I am new, but not irrelevant. If I comment on an issue, it is likely that the comments will be taken as seriously as anyone else's.
So those are my current thoughts, midway through the fall. I have also actually been thinking about writing, but that's for another post.