Friday, August 15, 2008

Jewish Holidays And Teaching

I am currently in the process of devising my course syllabus for the upcoming semester. While I am only an adjunct, and I am only teaching on Tuesday/Thursday classes this year, the Jewish Holidays certainly pose a challenge. For the first time since I have been teaching, I am actually going to need to take off one day for each holiday. Usually because Yom Kippur is 10 days after Rosh Hashanah, (unlike the other holidays which are weeks apart, so they fall on the same day of the week), I don’t need four days. In fact, due to holidays on the weekends, there have been times I have been able to avoid taking days off.

I used to feel uncomfortable, bad, maybe even slightly guilty when I had to take classes off. I understand that class needs to be in session for a certain number of hours each semester and I felt I had an obligation. In addition, being an adjunct, it is not as easy as one might think to find someone to cover your classes.

I no longer feel guilty. The fact is, when the College wants something out of me, they do not hesitate to ask and I try to accommodate them. Still, and yes I am going back a couple of years, when I applied for a full-time teaching position at the College, I was not even brought in for an interview. So, they are willing to use me for what suits there needs but I am not good enough to even be considered for something full-time.

My feeling now is, I do what I need to. I make the necessary arrangements. Either I will send in a video tape, give them an in-class writing assignment or give them out of class time to research their speech. This will fulfill the needs of the college, and allow me to do what I need to do.

Still, with four days off over a month period, it does make it difficult to get into a routine. I’m sure, however, I will manage.

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