The coordinator of adjunct instuctors with whom I interviewed on Wednesday hired me on the spot after a two hour interview/discussion. Much to my surprise, I was hired to teach the credit course "Critical Reading and Writing" and not the basic English composition course I was expecting to be hired for. This is going to be a challenge in many ways for me but one that I am sure I can handle. I'm very excited by the prospect of teaching this class and actually getting paid better money than I thought!
I have applied for teaching positions at colleges all over the place and the one hang up was not my only having a B.A. (two, actually) rather than a M.A. but not having experience teaching a credit course in a college. I have finally overcome that obstacle. I'm so excited my freckles are actually leaping on and off my skin. No wonder people are staring at me.
This all starts next Saturday. A three hour class. Weeee!
During the course of all these interviews and networking strategies, I was asked how I was as a teacher and someone to work for. I gave them names of people they could ask and the answer would be fairly uniform: I am demanding but not a jerk about it. Not usually. There are times I've been a jerk about getting something done if I thought feet were dragging on the project; there is a way to make your point without being ignorant. I am an outspoken person; being outspoken is not equal to being an asshole. It serves no purpose (and does not inspire) to insult people you want to light a fire under. If the individual is clearly not motivated, fire her. Save you the insult energy for something more productive such as working with someone who is on the same page you are. I do believe in maintaining a professional demeanor and being an asshole does not fall into that category.
I have worked for difficult, demanding people and got along with them fairly well. This is not because I can be walked over - far from the case - but because I understand the drive to get something done and have it done right especially if your name is attached to the project. But I have no tolerance for bullies or anyone who thinks they can take an expression of displeasure to another level - rude, crude behavior. There have been several occasions when those who thought (and enjoyed the notion) they were big and bad found out I can be a lot bigger and badder in a heartbeat. Of course, that usually gets me labeled as a "bitch" or, even better, a "dyke" but when such a remark coming from someone I believe to be a whack job doesn't phase me. The anger comes from not liking to taste one's own nasty medicine.
I told my employers that as a teacher I expected assignments to be turned in on time and for students to participate in the class. If I have to hold a mirror under a student's nose to look for signs of life, that student's lack of interest and participation in the class will be remembered come the end of period when final grades are calculated. I'm a demanding teacher but fair. I don't talk down to people.
None of these revelations scared away my prospective employers and as I write this, more opportunities for teaching other classes are opening up for the next semesters.