Sunday, May 12, 2019

Ten Year Work Anniversary

As my winter classes closed last Monday, I have completed ten years of writing instruction as an adjunct professor at West Shore Community College. I feel privileged to have worked here and hope to continue.

Education has changed since I was in college, and I'm glad to have been re-introduced to the process. I must also admit I learned through the process, too. Even the terminology for classes has changed. I started by teaching in the classroom now known as face-to-face. With the introduction of online classroom programs, as long as a working computer is nearby, I or my students can see the day's lesson. (However, when electricity or technology is down, it creates a teaching disaster.) With this ability, I have transitioned to teaching both online and hybrid classes. Hybrid is one face-to-face class and one online class each week. Some experts in education say online will be the most important means of education in the near future. Others say hybrid. I like both methods.

I have taken online classes. I found them interesting and participated in a rather obsessive-compulsive manner. They were master's level classes in writing, so I signed up to learn about personal essays and to participate in a novel workshop. This experience showed me how to construct meaningful online classes and also introduced me to the creative personal essay. I've since recognized I've written them before but now have a continuing interest. The advantages of online classes are that I don't have to travel to class. To West Shore that is a round trip of eighty-six miles, so teaching online saves time and gasoline. The classes I took were more than 500 miles away at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri. Never could have made that drive once or twice a week. More importantly, as a student in an online class, I learned I could not sit at the back of the classroom and never answer any instructor's questions. Online forces students to participate. One drawback of online classes is never meeting the person in real-time, hearing their voice or seeing their expression in order to make a more personal connection. Other drawbacks as the instructor include extensive work to establish the education material, and not knowing if the person making responses is actually the named student.

I feel extraordinarily lucky to have been hired, even only part-time. It is a wonderful job.


  1. I particularly like the environmental aspect of online classes. Also, anyone anywhere in the world can participate. Is there any reason a youngster in, say, Africa or Bangladesh cannot be your student?

  2. None at all, except they would have to know English and be enrolled through the school.