Why you (and I) should never stop learning

Continued learning:

 Just as I want my students to be life-long learners, I also make sure that I am continually learning.  I took a Blackboard training course this summer.  This fall I completed the adjunct certification course at Lone Star: Kingwood.  I am presenting at several conferences in the spring and am looking forward to learning from the other presenters at those conferences.  And I have been doing focused reading on multimodal classes and the newest research in medieval literature, focusing on Judith.  In addition, I am writing a paper for publication on Gulliver’s Travels and am learning quite a bit through that as well.

Learning is a responsibility, a privilege, and a great deal of fun.  I want my students to realize that and have experienced it in my classroom.  

Adjunct Certification

CC1 is offering an adjunct certification program again. (I had signed up for it this summer, but since I wasn’t in school it completely slipped my mind.) I am going to take it, but the option has made me think.

Why do I need to be certified?

I am an adjunct at my college, but I have a PhD and multiple years of teaching experience. Very few full-time faculty in my department have their terminal degrees. In fact, the college brags that “most of the faculty have their master’s and a bit more.”

My CC1 does not intend to hire me. I applied last year and they chose someone else. Another adjunct has been applying for the last twelve years and has not been hired. So why do they want me to be certified?

Why does anyone (who is an adjunct) have to be certified?

I am guessing the idea is to “beef up” the looks of their adjunct pool. There are over 300 adjuncts and 108 full-time faculty at my college. It’s a 75% adjunct teaching rate. I am assuming they are thinking it will be great to be able to say “Our adjuncts have all been certified.” Maybe they will eventually use it for beginning adjuncts.

All the adjuncts have to have the same minimums that the full-time faculty has, though, so I don’t know why the adjuncts have to be certified and the full-timers don’t.

Why am I going to be certified?

I am going to be certified because I like to learn and this will offer me an opportunity to do that. I need to be a bit more careful about my back-patting. I often feel that I have more experience than everyone else and while the breadth of my experience may be wider (Who do you know who has taught in a one room schoolhouse?), my years of experience are often similar to others.

I am also going to be certified because it is continuing education that I can point to and say, “See, I do still care.”

And just in case they change their mind and decide to hire me, I want to be available, as a graduate, to teach the course later.

What does it mean to be certified?

It means I will have four classes, two hours each, and show up. (Yes, I know I didn’t do that part last time.)

It means I will read all the online assignments and respond to them. These are supposed to be 24 hours worth of work. (They turned out not to be anywhere near that amount, but I spent time researching the topics more online.)

It means I will create a reflective journal. (Can I blog and print that?)

And it means I will have to do a project after the class is finished.

But I still don’t get it.

Why do they think I particularly (as opposed to full-time faculty) need to be certified?

I’m not going to ask anyone. I don’t want to make waves.

But I would like to know.