I think I work best, and this is going to sound weird, I think I work best when I am left alone by employers nearly completely AND when I don't feel as if each moment IS. AT. STAKE. If I feel like it's not a big deal, my every move that is, I can click right along, no problem.
But, as an adjunct, every single day has become THE DAY I COULD MAKE A MISTAKE THAT COULD COST ME MY JOB. I mean, it's ridiculous. You know what I'm saying? As a human, you have to be allowed to make a minor mistake or two (nothing major, 'natch), and as a teacher, you have to always have room to revise your teaching policies, etc.
But, as an adjunct, and I've said this before, every single person with tenure is my boss.
Think back to all your tenured professors in school. Just think back. Imagine if they all were your boss at the same time. It's insane.
I have three primary bosses, wait no, five primary bosses right now. FIVE. And that doesn't include the administration who like to wade in for things. One boss leaves me alone.
The others? NOT SO MUCH. All of them have different ideas of what it means to be a good teacher. I'm terrified I'm going to screw up constantly, which, by the way, is more likely to lead to screwing things up.
I'm a good teacher, but I'm beginning to feel like I can't take the pressure anymore. I need a full-time job with some authority. I need to feel appreciated. And I don't just mean an email that is addressed to me, and all the other adjuncts, from the administration with the word "colleague" in it. I'm not your colleague. How can I be your colleague when I am only really employed four months at a time? How can I be your colleague when I can be fired at a moment's notice, and I make way less than the full time people doing the same job, a lot less. Like, they are making $56-75 for full time with three classes and some meetings, and I'm making 38-45, 000 with eight classes a semester, and the administration beginning to make noise that I should attend meetings. Without pay.
And they aren't working at other campuses, too, desperately trying to make ends meet.
I need to not care about all of this, so that I can do a good job.
Anyway, I am beginning to think I can't do this anymore. But, if I don't do this, what do I do? I'm a great teacher, but if I don't teach, how can I make this something different?
Ugh. I don't know. But, the pressure is finally at a place where I really have to evaluate things. How much do I want to be at the mercy of someone else's bad day? How much?