It’s syllabus time. School starts Monday, so I’m working on crafting the perfect balance of readings and assignments, with time for grading in between.
Of course I’m lamenting that break is almost over while assuring myself that Break. Is. Not. Over.
But I’m also experiencing the little inner delight I get over designing a new syllabus and anticipating the cool things I’ll get to read and talk about with students this semester. I’m enjoying the industrious feeling of sending and receiving emails, writing and crossing off items on the to-do list, working on a couple of new manuscripts, and cleaning up the holiday mess.
In other words, I’m looking forward to the new semester. Perhaps this is because my job is THE BEST!
In a recent Forbes Magazine study of BEST JOBS FOR WOMEN IN 2012, my job was rated #1. Here’s what it says:
At No. 1, post-secondary teachers top the list. Not only do women report very high satisfaction rates in the job, median annual earnings range from $59,000 (for foreign language and literature teachers) to $94,000 (for law teachers), well above the average household income in the U.S. Furthermore, the field is expected to grow by 15% and features an average of 55,000 openings each year.
Shatkin believes women likely value post-secondary teaching for its high earnings, prestige and stimulating environments. The National Survey of College Graduates found that women appreciate a job’s location and environment more than men, and Shatkin points out that college students are generally excited to learn, colleagues are of high caliber and college campuses provide comfortable amenities. At the same time, post-secondary teachers have a high degree of independence and autonomy, which Shatkin says almost all workers prize.
I have to agree. My students ARE generally excited to learn. My colleagues ARE of high caliber (not just in academics, but in food, fashion, music, and fun). And the amenities are comfortable indeed. I like my office with its window view of rooftops and treetops. I love working at a place with a library overlooking the campus on one side and a river on the other – and with more books I can order from other campuses. And did I mention: I got to take students to Prague and Berlin this summer!
Sometimes, when I’m drowning in the middle of a semester, I think that I would quit teaching if I could, and just write. But I’d drown in different ways without the semester’s structure or the students’ energy.
Yes, I get annoyed when our budget well runs dry or when the bureaucracy runs thick, but, in the spirit of living lovely, I thought I should take a moment to appreciate where I am and what I’ve got. Here’s to a new semester.