Tuesday will mark my “one-month anniversary” as a professor, which—I suppose—is not much of a milestone, but it will do. Overall, I think things are going well and I’m starting to settle in, and everyone has been quite supportive thus far. There are a couple of outstanding concerns, however:
- Is my teaching good enough? The “being thrown to the wolves” approach to teacher training that I experienced may have its virtues, but it wasn’t much preparation for the different sort of instruction that’s expected at a liberal arts college (the group dynamics of 15 relatively bright students aren’t close to those of 100 with wide variance), so I feel like I’m basically “muddling through” with a combination of lecturing and my vague recollection of graduate seminars.
- Should I put some more focus on my research? The oblique advice I’ve gotten from my committee is that most potential employers want publications, even from newly-minted Ph.D.s; on the other hand, it appears that the administration here would rather I focus on teaching and departmental service, and I’d rather stay here than go elsewhere, ceteris paribus (of course, part of that isn’t really up to me). I suppose the correct answer here is “both.”
Anyway, we’ll see how things are going again next month.