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Marian Finch

If anecdote is any evidence, I have a friend who finished her PhD in summer 2020, took a job teaching high school for 2020-21, and just landed a great research post-doc for 2022. So it happens. With what frequency I can't say.

Sam Duncan

I would honestly think that this sort of experience would make one more competitive for community college jobs. Community colleges do a lot of dual enrollment classes with high school and even middle school students and experience teaching those students would be looked on very favorably by them. In fact, I think any experience teaching "non-traditional" students helps with CCs. For what it's worth, I've known people who went from stints teaching math and English at the K-12 level to faculty positions at CCs. Their impression was the experience helped in getting the job. I wouldn't think that philosophy hiring would be too different. Though these people did have experience teaching at the college level as well. I'd think that college level adjuncting (especially CC adjuncting) plus high school teaching would be a very powerful combination for applying to CC jobs. I'm less sure about high school teaching experience in and of itself. I wonder if there isn't a way to sell this sort of experience as a plus at a lot teaching focused 4 years as well, though I'm less confident saying anything definite there.


Publishing 1-2 articles a year isn't a minor feat. I think most people splitting their time 50/50 between research and a (light) university teaching load hope to hit that number. I just can't envision any situation in which someone has the time to work a full-time job at a secondary school, adjunct at a university on the side, and publish 1-2 paper a year, all while having a family. That sounds like a path to quick burn out, or will lead to doing none of those things particularly well.


I might be wrong about this, but I believe
Wittgenstein taught at a primary school for a short
while. Not sure about how much scholarship he
completed during this time, but I believe he got
into trouble because (out of frustration) he hit
and injured one of his young students.
As long as you don't go that route, you will
probably be OK!

Sam Duncan

Wittgenstein did teach primary school. And he horribly abused a lot of the children under his care. What got him into trouble finally was beating one student, Josef Haidbauer so badly that the boy fell unconscious (likely due to a concussion that Wittgenstein gave him). He actually faced criminal charges for assaulting Haidbauer, but nothing came of the charges. Haidbauer died shortly after the incident from unrelated medical issues, which no doubt played a role in the criminal proceedings disappearing, but in his biography of the Wittgenstein family Alexander Waugh presents decent evidence that the family used their wealth and connections to make the problem go away. At any rate this wasn't an isolated incident. Wittgenstein routinely pulled the hair of his students, smacked, and even punched them when he felt frustrated. I don't want to threadjack here, but it is important I think to be clear on what a completely horrid human being Ludwig Wittgenstein was and not to minimize his many misdeeds as mere charming eccentricities. I get rather tired of the genius trope with Wittgenstein and trotting the man out as some sort of romantic ideal for our profession. So yeah don't emulate Wittgenstein as a teacher, but more importantly don't emulate him as a person at all!

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