Friday, October 15, 2010

From graduate student to faculty member

Browsing the Chronicle of Higher Ed website, I was excited to see a piece on making the transition from graduate student to faculty member. I got my first small taste of this exciting -- and terrifying -- experience when, as a fellow at Penn Law, I taught courses to students who just a few years prior would have been my colleagues. Over the past few months, I've also watched friends make the leap to tenure-track positions. They send harrowing reports from the front, some predictable (staying up late to write lectures, navigating departmental politics) and others not (learning to write lectures in the presence of gigantic spiders). With hard work and a sense of humor, they all seem to be managing, but I think they could still use some friendly advice. Readers, do you have any tips for surviving this big transition?

Image credit: President Obama as a young professor at the University of Chicago Law School.

1 comment:

Kelly Kennington said...

As a first-year faculty member, I think one of the biggest issues for me is time management. I find it is helpful to keep a running to-do list at all times, and it is very satisfying to check items off of this list. Another important element is learning all you can from the more experienced faculty members in your department. Whether it is through a formal mentoring program, or through conversations over lunch/coffee, I find it immensely helpful to hear how others manage the demands of teaching, research, and service. Great piece in the Chronicle; thanks for bringing up this important issue!