Competing for jobs w/o solo teaching experience?




In our newest “how can we help you?” thread, JT asks:

Can my publication record and overall fit for the job outweigh a lack of solo teaching experience? I have plenty of teaching assistant experience, but have no solo experience yet. I’m nearing the end of my PhD program and have found a job to apply for that’s perfect for me.

This is a good question. Another reader submitted the following reply:

I would imagine that this very much depends on the kind of job you’re applying to. Postdoc? Yes, your publication record and fit can probably outweigh your lack of teaching experience. TT position at an R1? Possibly. TT position in a teaching-focused institution? Almost certainly not.

This reply seems broadly right to me, though perhaps a bit overstated. Insofar as R1 departments care most about research, I have to imagine that a stellar researcher who’s a good fit for a position would be very competitive. As for jobs at teaching-focused schools, lack of solo teaching experience is definitely a negative. Hiring committees not only want to know whether you can teach well on your own. They also want to know whether you can do so with a full course load, as it’s one thing to teach one course well at a time, another thing entirely to teach 3 or 4 courses well at the same time (as in a job with a 3/3 or 4/4 teaching load). Insofar as you’ll be going up against other job candidates who do have solo teaching experience (and a strong record of solo teaching), being competitive for a job at a teaching school is likely to be an uphill battle. Still, it’s not impossible, and if you are a stellar candidate who knocks the committee’s socks off in various ways, then you very well might be competitive–at least to get an interview, and if the interview goes well, an on-campus, etc. Anything, as they say, is possible. So why not apply?

But these are just my thoughts. What are yours? It would be good to hear from search committee members, as well as from current or previous job candidates who went on the market without solo teaching experience!

Originally appeared on The Philosophers’ Cocoon Read More



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