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I have seen a few posts on how your first TT job is way harder than grad school. Well, I think this really depends on how you did grad school. I went from grad school to a 3/3 teaching load school and grad school was harder. In grad school, at one point, I taught a 4/4 at two different institutions and was finishing a dissertation, on the market etc. A tt job is a relief. Just putting that out there. I don't think I am the only one with this experience, but I do know it is completely different from those who have deals at Harvard or NYU.

Marcus Arvan

Hi Amanda: That's super-interesting! I'd like to run a post on it. My understanding is that some (many?) grad programs actively deter their students from doing what you did. I'd be curious to hear more about why you had such a heavy teaching load in grad school and whether you think that helped on the job-market.

Anyway, I'll run a post on your comment soon. I think it's a great issue to discuss.


Okay sounds good Marcus. I had a heavy teaching load because I wanted to get experience teaching my own classes, and I needed money for the summer. I had to teach one class to earn my tuition at my grad program, and then the others I did for money/ teaching experience. Funny by the time I graduated, my program had a much better summer deal for grad students, but when I entered and the first 4 years I was there, you had no summer funding. (My school is Leiter mid-ranked) My first year I worked a minimum wage job over the summer. After that I tried to save money through adjuncting. Year 4 was my worst grad school year. I was so busy teaching and hardly got any research done. Luckily, I did earn a research fellowship, so ended up with a semester of no teaching for my last year (I adjunct the first semester of the fellowship).

I have no doubt that having a lot of solo teaching experience helped me get interviews at teaching schools. I think I could have done less, and that might have been a better balance. But teaching a few different adjunct courses is immensely helpful for teaching jobs. I am less sure on this, but I think it might have helped to some degree with research schools too (I had about 2/3 teaching school interviews and 1/3 research school). I suspect some committees were impressed that I published while teaching so much. However, I also think I would have been better off, overall, with the research schools if I traded some of those teaching schools for elite publications.


traded teaching *years* , not schools.

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