I am considering more seriously the work of community college teaching on a full-time basis. While there is some limitation in the class options for teaching, there is also more emphasis on teaching, which is what I love.
While I’ve been reading I’ve found a couple of things that I want to remember and share.
Many community colleges will also be looking for candidates whose experience is not limited to academe. A CV that features a broad range of experience — be it paid or volunteer — will indicate to an institution that a candidate will be able to relate to the diverse backgrounds of its students and understand their goals. We know of one English Ph.D. from a well-known research university who was actively involved in volunteer outreach to drug users and was able to easily transition into a teaching position at a community college. The volunteer work she had done was a clear indication of her ability to relate to people whose backgrounds were radically different from her own.
I had not thought of this. I have spent the last two summers as a volunteer teacher/tutor in an inner-city reading program. It’s not included anywhere on my CV.
Community colleges want to hire faculty members who can relate to students facing challenges that go beyond the classroom.
I think that my time as a voluntary adjunct helps with this. I’ve done something else “all day” and then come to teaching.