The Waiting Room

This could take a while...

Thursday, August 02, 2007

I'm Good Enough, I'm Smart Enough...

Posted by Seeking Solace |

Yesterday, I attended my first faculty meeting at my new college. The idea was to have a working session for my department coupled with a get together between old and new faculty. It was nice to meet my new colleagues and pick their brains about the course that I will be teaching. Everyone seems very friendly, although I can already tell a couple that will get on my nerves very soon.

We had a discussion about a new assessment tool for the Critical Thinking course and a corresponding rubric. The chair of the department presented his proposal and asked for our input and suggestions. He stressed that nothing is carved in stone and welcomed our comments.

All I kept thing was "Wow!" "You mean you actually CARE what I think?"

That would NEVER happen at my old college. At my old college the rule was "Here is the new assessment and rubric." "Just shut up and do it because nobody cares what you think and if you like getting paid, you will do what we say!"

At my old college, I was in the minority when it came to having a doctoral degree. ( Juris Doctor is considered a doctorate degree). Many of my colleagues had Master's degrees, but had no desire to pursue thier PhD's. The administration did not encourage one to move up the credential ladder, unless you did not have a Master's degree, which you had a set time period to earn it or you could be fired. That being said, I never thought that I was "better" or more qualified than my colleagues. At the same time, I did not feel like I had to push myself intellectually or professionally.

For the first time in my life, I actually felt intimidated by my new surroundings. I am surrounded by my intellectual and academic equal or better. I am listening to my new colleagues and I am thinking "Sweet merciful crap, I gotta step up my game or I am going to look like a total ass." I feel like I am on the low end of the intellectual food chain.

I know it should not matter. At a rationale level, I know that I have what it takes to teach at this school.

But, I can't help this nagging insecurity.

And, I keep repeating the Stuart Smalley mantra.


Inside the Philosophy Factory said...

I think you are in exactly the right place for you. Your colleagues should challenge you --

What is kind of odd is that at BNCC the number of faculty with PhDs varies by discipline. In philosophy, there are two of us without PhDs, and I'm working on mine... across 8 full and part-time faculty. Another discipline in our department has only 1 PhD out of about 20 full and part-time.

Anonymous said...

you ARE good enough! and i agree with the above comment, you seem to be in a great place now. it's nice to have your opinions cared about!

Prisca said...

Yep. Sounds like it will keep you on your toes in a very good way. I'll bet it also helps you sort out where (if anywhere) you want to go from here. I'm also happy they care what you think! Knock 'em dead. :)