Many articles online are geared towards depressing you, or talking you out of becoming an adjunct. Being an adjunct is worth it, with the condition that you have a full time job which complements your income in what I call “diversifying your career portfolio”. There’s adjuncts out there who make a living teaching at numerous universities part time, and write about their experiences. My hats go off to them, because they are following their passion and they are making a living out of being an adjunct.
Here are my reasons for being adjunct:
1. Being an adjunct helps with your presentation skills. Before I became an adjunct, I was not afraid of public speaking, but I was not particularly fond of it either. As I started teaching, I found those small negative feelings of speaking in front of people completely wiped out of my mind, because of the practice I gained. Now I welcome and enjoy speaking opportunities.
2. You learn how to pick up new subjects quickly. Before I started teaching, reading about things in my field were a challenge. As I started getting more courses to teach, I found that not only did I have to master the subject, but also learn how to teach and present it students. This has helped tremendously in my career when I put together power point presentations. As years went on, I have learned how to skim through a chapter and understand what I have to teach, it eventually became second nature. An example of this was teaching C++, although I don’t use it at my full time job, I had to learn some concepts I hadn’t touched since college. Not much preparation on some chapters, because all I did was relearn it in about 1 hour or 2 before class.
3.Helps to get you out of the 9-5. Teaching has been therapeutic for me. It clears my head and I get to teach the young minds of tomorrow, changing my routine of 9-5. I have a lot of fun in the classroom, and I love making students enjoy my class, which I try to make more as an experience.
4.Meet diverse students. I once had a student who was taking the course for fun, and had graduated from Yale University. I could tell he was very bright, and I later found out he was a Portfolio Director at a Hedge Fund. He was taking the course just so he understood what it took to write code, with relation to the financial models programmers were building for him at work.
5. Satisfaction that you’re making a difference. You may not know it in the beginning, but you are actually making a difference. You are helping minds evolve and learn new things with you as their tour guide. You have the privilege of helping students accomplish their career goals, and there’s nothing more satisfying than running into a student years later, and he or she tells you how successful they are now, and how your class was one that they never forgot.