Teaching as a Profession is one of only three forums classified as “HEP,” or Higher Education and the Profession. The focus of our forum is on the intersection of criticality and classroom practice as it informs pedagogy across fields and approaches. We invite diverse voices to engage in these conversations, both during our convention panels and here on the Commons. The work that this forum does to examine, address, and engage with the issues that educators face today is essential to both the MLA and the scholarly community at large.

Teaching at a 4-4 institution

1 reply, 2 voices Last updated by Christopher M. Kuipers 9 years, 10 months ago
Viewing 2 posts - 1 through 2 (of 2 total)
  • Author
  • #1565

    Paula M. Krebs

    What can we do to help grad programs make clear to new PhDs what is involved in a 4-4 teaching job? Many candidates are scared off by the number of courses and don’t stop to look at the size of those classes, support for faculty development, interdisciplinary opportunities, and other things that might come with the 4-4. Ideas?


    Christopher M. Kuipers

    One thing to remember is the number of preparations that go with the 4-4 load.  If it’s only one or two new courses a semester, a 4-4 load can be very manageable–the additional sections simply require additional grading, not new assignments and lesson plans.  And spread over a four- or five-day workweek, the situation can even be pleasant, assuming enrollment caps are reasonable.

    I work at an institution with a 4-4 load, but am part of a graduate faculty that teaches 3-3 in exchange for teaching a graduate course in the summer.  Because this means often three preparations each semester plus the summer course plus graduate advising and exam and dissertation chairing, we have had some faculty step away from the 3-3 (and added summer pay) because they felt the 4-4 was less stressful.  I fantasize about it myself from time to time.

    Another note of interest:  those who teach multiple sections of the same course in the same term will often notice that, despite identical planning, there is still great variety in what happens from section to section–it’s not piecework.  Usually at least one of the sections will seem completely foreign to the others:  livelier, deader, you name it.  Giving the same material to these different sections can really force you to refine it, and you have the time and motivation to do so with fewer preps.

Viewing 2 posts - 1 through 2 (of 2 total)
  • Only members can participate in this group's discussions.