Five things you must know before joining as Assistant Professor

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Five things you must know before joining as Assistant Professor
Five things you must know before joining as Assistant Professor

Dehradun : Joining a college as an assistant professor?  Here are 5 things you should know before you take the plunge.

The job is not for everyone.

They say that those who can’t do, teach. I say those who can, should. Teaching is more than that 9 to 5 job it is made to show. It is a job that often goes beyond that.  You as a professor are exposed to 40- 50 different energies in class, dealing at the same time. Often the day goes by preparing for next day’s class.  During the exam time, a college professor will be busier than the average receptionist. “Ma’am, when is the assignment date?” Ma’am, I was absent for 100 days. Can I submit my medical leave?” Ma’am, where do I submit the article? “Ma’am, please recommend my name for the class representative” and the list goes on… Suddenly you realize that more than teaching a class, you have to be best diplomat ever possible.

You have to have a thick skin.

The students will make fun of you. Period. Nothing to get angry about. We all have been guilty about it. Students are always fascinated by their teachers. They notice everything and keep a tab too. From the kurta you have worn to the shirts the faculty have repeated, to the marital status to the outside life they possess, they have an innate curiosity about their faculty. So don’t be surprised if you have overhear some kids say something about nasty or even mean about you, however untrue. Ignore, unless they have to say that to your face. Remember they are kids, they might not know better.

Controlling the class is more difficult than teaching a class.

The easiest part of being a college professor? Being an invigilator. (Ok I take that back. The endless staring at the students can get a bit…. boring). The toughest? Controlling a class! It takes a mere few seconds for civil war to break out. From students fighting in class to the gaggle of girls distracted on their snapchats, commanding the attention of a class of restless teens can be tough task. You as a faculty will have to develop your own methods of grabbing their attention. Some faculties are known to joke in class, while some command the room by their heavy and loud voice. The few ‘dracula ones’ can just freeze anyone with their icy stares… while some just throw the confiscated cellphones outside the window (this is a true story!). There are many ways. Don’t stop experimenting.

Patience is the key.

It might look like an easy job, but the profession has its share of tremendous workloads and frustrations. From delayed promotions to stalled PhD’s, a professor’s life can quite take a rusty and potholed path.  Not just professionally, but personally it can take a mental toll on a person, if he/she does not feel appreciated by their students and peers. Students can be a bully, harassing and visibly under appreciating their faculty. Also politics (like any other profession though), is rampant in the academic world. It might seem lame and silly, but many professors try to show off their clout among students. They take that as an ego booster. So yes, patience is the key to survival in this world.

You really control their future.

It may sound overblown, but teachers do have some form of control over their students’ lives. From assignment marks to contacts in the industry, to giving a free attendance to recommendations for top college positions, positive rapport with teachers can have a difference in the student’s lives. And no matter how much we try, every teacher will have their favourites. And some students do end up getting a fair chance, because of this rapport. So being a college professor puts oneself on a pedestal of responsibility. A serious responsibility that could make or break a student’s future. So tread carefully.