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Words from an adjunct: “Why I don’t teach anymore”

papersI came across the post “Why I don’t teach anymore” on the important topic of adjuncts teaching composition from blogger Bryn Greenwood. And, as an adjunct faculty member at a community college teaching basic writing, I felt compelled to share and comment.

Basic writing adjunct instructors often lack professional development opportunities, administrative support, and physical campus space to conference with students. They rarely have a voice in institutional governance, and recognition opportunities are scarce. The list of disparities could go on. Honestly, most of us don’t even have our own mailbox.

All of these issues cause us to feel extremely disconnected from our institutions, fostering an “I come. I teach. I leave.” approach. What we have now is basic writing instruction by the under-privileged to the under-privileged.

The gap between the opportunities for tenured—or even full-time, non-tenured—faculty and those for adjuncts cannot be closed without a fundamental shift in institutional ideology.

This is not about whining over low pay or a lack of benefits. This is about ensuring that, as colleges and universities rely more heavily on adjuncts, they’re no longer the “faculty of convenience”, but instead become fully-integrated members of departments and programs.

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