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Posts tagged with: adjunct teaching

Holy Crap – ANOTHER Raise!?!?!

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Guys. I can’t even. Pinch me, because I don’t even believe it.

I got another raise!!!!

Well…..kinda.

You know how I work 2 jobs (a full-time one + a part-time one)? Well, I just got my contract in from my part-time job and something that has literally NEVER happened before occurred. Without even being notified/informed/asked, one of my classes was large enough that apparently they opened a second section. To be fair, this has happened once before, but I was asked about it ahead of time. I think this time it just slipped past because my boss is on maternity leave so either she approved it knowing I would say yes or someone else may have dropped the ball in asking (at this institution I teach the same 2 classes every semester and they are considered to be “mine” in ownership of intellectual property, materials, etc. So if a class is full, they ask me if they can add students. If there’s enough demand, they ask if I’d be willing to teach another section, etc.). Here’s the thing – I totally wasn’t even expecting it! I was caught completely off guard!

I immediately logged into my instructor dashboard to check the enrollment status and verify whether this could possibly be true. Yep. Section #1 is maxed out (30 students) and Section #2 currently has 20 students (max is 30, but 20 is still in the “safe” range. I only worry about sections being cancelled due to low enrollment if we’re down in the 10 or less number of students).

So here’s the good and the bad.

The good is that even though this is just a second section of one of my existing courses (meaning no additional prep and the courses are merged in the LMS so it’s really, truly like teaching one big class), I get paid like it’s an entirely new course!!! Yep! I was only getting paid for 2 classes previously and now I’m getting paid for 3!! AHHHH!!!

The bad news is that the class is writing intensive. So although there’s no additional prep-work and it’s easy in terms of the day-to-day stuff (e.g., emails, announcements, etc.), it’s going to be SIGNIFICANTLY more time invested in grading. Gah! What am I going to do?! I’m strapped as it is!

Thankfully, at my full-time job I’m only teaching 1 new class this semester (I teach 3 classes total, but 2 of the 3 are repeat courses, which are always easier than teaching a class for the first time). Hopefully given the 2 repeats, it won’t be too much work to keep up with.

So now I’m teaching 3 classes at my full-time + 3 classes at my part-time. 6 classes total in one semester. I know adjuncts who have had to teach more as a way to make ends meet, but for those not familiar with academia, that’s a boat load of classes in a single semester! Thankfully, 5 of the 6 are online classes. Another big sigh of relief, because there wouldn’t physically be enough hours in the day if I were needing to teach in-person, hold in-person office hours, etc.

But this is good news! I now have my contracts for BOTH of my jobs for the 2016-2017 academic year (at least kinda….my part-time job is semester-by-semester but I have a lengthy employment history with them at this point). PLUS, both of my contracts reflect a pay raise!!!

Time to get on with the house hunt! AHHHHH SO EXCITED!!!!!!!


What’s Next to Come

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I’ve had an allergy/sinus-related borderline migraine for the past couple days so bear with me today. This post is a bit stream-of-consciousness…. (side note: I googled whether the expression is “bear with me” or “bare with me” and its definitely “bear.” Apparently “bare with me” would literally be an invitation to undress with someone. lol!)

Anywho….

Two big things going on right now that I’d like to talk about and discuss amongst ourselves. Perhaps would be better to split into two separate posts but you get stream-of-consciousness Ashley today, lucky you!

1. Preschools. For new readers, my twin almost-three-year-old daughters are in preschool Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. We pay an exorbitant amount of money for this part-time care to the tune of over $1,000 per month (see last budget post here). For long-time readers, you may recall that deciding on this specific preschool was a decision that we emotionally wrestled with for months. We first tried two separate options (an in-home daycare and a different preschool) before settling on our current place. We pay through the nose for this care, but it is HIGH QUALITY care. This is very important to me, so I was willing to pay this price (and drive quite a distance – a solid 30-45 minute drive each way x 2 for morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up). BUT – a lot more options open up for three-year-olds. We were a bit more limited with options for 2 year olds, but I’ve already started touring some new places nearby. Let’s be honest – our current place is INCREDIBLE. Really, truly incredible. They don’t have official NAEYC accreditation (the “gold standard” for measuring quality child care), but they meet all the top 10 program standards set forth by NAEYC (see here for more info). Meeting all 10 of those standards is TOUGH! I’ve got 4 new preschools on my list to see and so far I’ve checked out 2. One is definitely out. The other one I really liked! It doesn’t have standard #8 (i.e., there’s no community involvement/outreach), but it meets all the other standards and the curriculum is specifically designed to be NAEYC-compliant. Plus its much closer (about 15 minutes versus 30) and costs less. For 3 days a week, the cost would be $640/month (for both girls!), so significantly cheaper! For 5 days a week the cost is still less than our current preschool, costing $880/month (for both girls). I do have one concern – the main teacher is only in the room until noon; at that point the aids take over for the rest of the afternoon. That’s not ideal for a few reasons (higher turnover of aids disrupts relationships, not as high education/training, etc.), but it’s not a deal-breaker. Overall, I’m hopeful that come August (when the new school year starts), our preschool costs will be decreasing! Fingers crossed!

2. Job Stuff. Blah! Now that I’m writing this I feel like it really deserves its own post, but here goes…  I’ve recently determined that I’m going to spend more time doing research (which is completely unpaid but can help me get a full-time academic position). BUT, I’m really starting to feel the pain of losing my part-time research job at University B (got my last paycheck back in December), so I was thinking about trying to pick up more work. I starting poking around at online teaching jobs (for new universities) and it is so incredibly depressing. Do you know that online college teaching – for people with masters and doctorates – pays an average of $1500-$2500 per class? What the heck? That is insane!! For a 3-credit hour class, the general rule of thumb is that you spend 10 hours per week on the class. If the class is 15 weeks long, that averages out to only like $10-15 bucks an hour! Sure, there are shorter classes (condensed into an 8 or even 5 week course), but then you spend more hours per week on it! We’re talking – adjuncts are getting paid peanuts! You get paid more flipping burgers at some places! Wow! I have never revealed exactly how much I make teaching online (I’ve just said I get paid very well considering its part-time work). Let’s just say…I make substantially more than that. Like…by a lot. So now I’m so torn! I want to make up my lost income, but I have begged and pleaded to teach more classes at my current online teaching place and they just simply don’t have the demand for more classes right now (I’ve been granted an extra class 2 separate times, only to have it canceled due to low enrollment). I do teach 2 classes per semester – thank goodness! – but I would LOVE a third! BUT, it turns out that if I want to branch out to teaching at other places, I would essentially have to teach THREE classes just to equal the amount I get paid for ONE class at my current job. Makes it feel not even worth it! You guys – help! Would you try looking for additional teaching work? At $10 or $15 bucks an hour, is it even worth it? Or should I be focusing my attention more on the research (even though its completely unpaid…though has the potential for a bigger reward in the end if it lands me a job)??? I’m thinking I may hold out on looking for additional revenue streams while I’m trying to bolster my research career, but wanted to know what you think.

And one final question – can you OD on tylenol? I mean, I’m sure you can….but how much does it take, exactly? Liiiike, I’ve taken 4 and my head is still throbbing. Maybe time just to lay down for a bit??? We only have tylenol at home right now, but does a different medicine (motrin?) work better for sinus-related headaches???

I hope no one else is experiencing the allergy hell I’m in right now! Be well, everyone!