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Author Topic: Backing out of Course for Fall but Not Burning Bridges  (Read 7742 times)
gaucho25
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« on: April 10, 2012, 4:40:22 PM »

I am currently adjuncting one course at a small four year college.  However, it takes up alot of my time and my dissertation advisors are suggesting that I stop teaching at least for the fall to focus on the dissertation and apply for postdocs and full time jobs.  I had already verbally agreed to teaching again in the fall, but declined when the chair wanted me to teach two more courses.  My husband does not need me financially to teach in the fall either and is fine with me focusing on the dissertation, going to conferences, applying for postdocs, etc.  However, this is a college that I would consider teaching at one day if anything every opened up.  The chair also volunteered to write letters of reference for teaching if I ever need it.  Does it look really bad to back out now for the fall?  Or is there a way to maintain these bridges (I might consider the spring for example).
Thanks!
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polly_mer
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Have you worked on that project today?


« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2012, 4:52:43 PM »

As long as you give adequate notice, then you shouldn't be burning a bridge.  For example, giving notice in April that you can't teach in August after all should be plenty of time to find someone to teach that one course.  These things happen as plans change and few people would hold it against you in future interactions unless you do this three years in a row.

Saying 19 August that you cannot teach the course that starts 20 August because you have decided to go on the road to follow a rock band would be risking burning a bridge (late notice and a frivolous reason).  Saying with months of notice, sorry, I need to spend the fall focused on my dissertation and the job search is entirely reasonable.
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larryc
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« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2012, 5:15:43 PM »

What bridge? Once the diss is done you will be conducting a national search, correct?

In any case, telling them now leaves them with tons of time to find your replacement and should not ruffle any feathers. Is there someone else in your grad school cohort who would appreciate the opportunity?
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anthroid
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« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2012, 10:14:49 PM »

What bridge? Once the diss is done you will be conducting a national search, correct?

In any case, telling them now leaves them with tons of time to find your replacement and should not ruffle any feathers. Is there someone else in your grad school cohort who would appreciate the opportunity?

Yes, Larry is right here (as he is so often anyway).  As a former chair and, now, a dean, letting me know now is a great thing and will only cause me to be more sympathetic to your eventual application should I have a position open.  I WANT my contingent faculty to finish their terminal degrees and I want to support them in whatever way I can.  I really do.  If I can find ways to provide financing as well as reference and other kinds of support, I am going to dig deeply.  I want people teaching in my programs who really get what we're about, and, often, adjuncts working on terminal degrees really do get that.  Letting your chair and dean know earlier, rather than later, and why, is a very good thing.  This is not a burning bridges situation--it's a building bridges one.

Good luck!
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gaucho25
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« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2012, 11:38:36 PM »

thanks for the advice! I am writing a two hour plane flight away from my grad program and therefore, there is no other grad student I know who would want the opportunity.  But, at least I know focusing on my diss sounds reasonable even after verbally agreeing to teach.
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