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« The study of non-TT faculty teaching effectiveness at Northwestern | Main | I could write a long blog post about this article in the CoHE--or I could just leave this quotation here »

September 13, 2013

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Flavia

The other thing that often gets masked by discussions about "teaching load" is teaching beyond the advertised courseload: those with a 2/2 load are often advising or sitting on multiple diss committees, orals committees, independent studies, and so forth, which can take up at least as much time as an extra class. Course size matters, too: not all lecture courses at all R1s come with teaching/grading assistants; some profs with an 80-person lecture do all that grading themselves.

Obviously, these hidden teaching hours can exist at teaching schools, too--and service expectations are always a wild card. But it's vexing how often a 3/3 is simply assumed to involve 50% more teaching labor than a 2/2, and a 4/4 to be double the labor. The math isn't nearly as simple as all that.

Miriam

True about the large class sizes--some of the people I know who were/are at the big SUNYs (Buffalo et al.) have or had a 2-2, true, but did not necessarily have the TAs to go with the much bigger courses.

Janice

These are all great points - I'd probably generalize the supportive family/spouse/SO to a manageable domestic environment. If you're living in a house that requires hours of labour every weekend or driving from very far away to campus three or four days a week? That eats up time and energy you might use for work OR enjoying life.

My personal lesson is that, even when you've been derailed (the years I spent dealing with Youngest's autism diagnosis), it's sometimes easier to pick back up your research agenda at a teaching-intensive school if you get at least minimal support for being an active scholar. The general air of celebration (we announce each publication or presentation at our department meeting to universal applause) and the support given to even low-stakes output really help.

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