Celebrating Part-Time Retirements

Dec 20th, 2014 | By | Category: Interest Groups, PTE-IG
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Tiffany Ingle

Tiffany Ingle


—I recently had a pie party at my home for some students, during which we ate far too much pie and the students got far too honest. Because it’s registration time, students began discussing which classes to take with which professors—a conversation I chose to eavesdrop on rather than participate in myself. They were describing many of the usual things: “So and so is too strict.” “Oh, this one is too easy, so you don’t learn anything.” “Oh, that class is closed already because the professor is so nice, but you learn a lot. …” “Don’t take this one! He’ll ruin your GPA.”

Then came a turn in the conversation that I wasn’t ready for. “If so and so’s class is closed, who should I take?” one student asked. The student who seemed to have the most clout in the room responded, “Take a part-time professor. They have more time for you.” Several other students heartily agreed. This interaction shocked me because at that school, part-time professors get paid for only six office hours per semester.

Fast-forward two weeks, and I discovered that a dear part-time professor with whom I used to share office hours in the adjunct lounge was retiring. When I found out at an end-of-the-semester gathering, I felt ashamed. I hadn’t gotten a card or a gift for her. I hadn’t even heard about her plans to retire—no one else seemed to know either. All I could think of was what my student said at the party: “Take a part-time professor. They have more time for you.”

So this article is to celebrate you—all of you, and to challenge full-timers, younger part-timers, and deans alike to take notice and celebrate the life work of part-timers who have taught and served alongside you. Let’s honor those who are retiring part- and full-time as they deserve to be honored.

But most of all, I want to thank you part-timers. I see what you’re doing in the adjunct lounge serving your students. I see your concern and your unpaid hours. You have worked hard and you have served your students faithfully. The work you do is valuable. The work you do is seen. The work you do is appreciated.

Past CATESOL Secretary (2013-2014) Tiffany Ingle submitted this appreciation on behalf of the Part-Time Educators Interest Group.

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