I just found out that my latest application for full-time teaching ended up where most of them have--in the trash can. This one hurts a little more because I really thought I had a chance. I have been teaching at this particular community college for the last 5 years and have a pretty impressive resume of teaching experience both online and in person. I have a phd, have one publication (which matters not to community colleges, to be fair), and have had very good teaching evaluations from students over the years. When I applied last year to a different community college, I had to pull those evaluations together and was rather surprised at how the vast majority of them were positive.
Not that any of this matters. I sit here watching Phd after Phd come out of the same school and land jobs. Some of them are in places I would never want to live, to be fair, but many of them have landed in very good positions. I have no idea how to make sense of any of this. As I have written before, those inside academia often act rather cultish about it, and look at those of us who teach the majority of the courses in about the same way that suburban dwellers look at the migrant workers roofing their house.
I kind of get that. If you get inside, you have to believe it is on your merit, and not just the luck of the draw of being in the right place at the right time. Either that or the people who get hired are just better than me. That is a possibility. A frustrating one, but one nonetheless. I am told over and over that I am an excellent teacher, though most of those who tell me that have never actually seen me teach. I am told that I am good with people (not that my blog readers can tell) and that I would make an excellent colleague. I am told that I am very good in interviews. Last year's community college told me that I had put together an excellent presentation and he had absolutely no suggestions for improving it.
But they weren't going to hire me. With this one, even more frustration as they didn't even bother to interview me. This from a department who has hired several people with only master's degrees and with very questionable people skills.
I apologize for the whining. I know there are people here in Oklahoma who are homeless after major storms. I know there are people suffering with serious health issues and family loss and tragedy. In that context, my life still looks pretty good.
But this one hurts. I have been studying history at a serious level since 1990. I have been teaching and honing my craft since 1997 (off and on). When I put together my vita this last time I had to re-categorize all my teaching experience because listing the individual classes would take too much space. All for nothing. Well, not nothing. Those classes and those students still matter. But I have had a dream for a long time of being able to teach fulltime at a place where I could do more than teach the intro course.
But some dreams are not meant to be. Clearly.