I’m back from Montreal with an overwhelming to-do list. Regular ALPS readers may have noticed that in recent years I haven’t been writing here as much; that’s partially due to free-riding on Simon and Chad, who do an excellent job; part because I don’t teach undergraduate students anymore; and part because I’m busier than I’ve ever been. I’ve promised Simon that I’ll start posting more, and so here’s an initial effort: unpacking the excellent roundtable discussion on early career instructors at ISA 2023: why we are remiss as a profession in providing support, and some tools and considerations for changing that.
I co-chaired the roundtable with Michael Murphy of Queens University–and if you aren’t reading his work, you should. He is the one who coined the ‘early career instructor’ moniker, an important way of considering the needs of those who are first starting out teaching. As a profession, we generally do a terrible job of preparing our ECIs for the classroom. With some exceptions, graduate students are rarely actively encouraged and supported in pursuing opportunities related to teaching: in general, such opportunities impose some kind of cost to pursue, in time, money, or reputation. Many have shared that they are either actively discouraged from spending any time on learning to teach, and that they are told their career will suffer if they are perceived as caring too much about teaching.
Let’s talk about the problems with this practice.Continue reading “Early Career Instructors: Supporting ISA’s next generation of teachers”