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Teaching at community college, opinions?

  1. Sep 8, 2008 #1
    I am planning on finishing my Ph.D. in physics in 2009 and am thinking of going directly to teaching which means probably I will end up teaching at a 'community college'. I am interested in people that have done this or are doing it, the good and the bad sides of the job. Please send me PM if you wan't to share.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 8, 2008 #2


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    I've never taught at a community college, but from some discussion with a few who have, I get the impression that the experience varies greatly with the courses you're teaching. If you're teaching one of the more advanced (for community college) classes, you may get more serious students, plus you might get students in summer courses from other universities who just want to get a leg up on their coursework. On the other hand, some of the more introductory courses get students with a similar mentality as high school students, and can be very frustrating.

    I'm curious, if you're willing to share, why are you considering going directly into teaching instead of doing a post-doc first?
  4. Sep 8, 2008 #3
    Teaching at a CC only requires a M.S as well.
    Having taken a few courses at CC while in high school Moon is right.
    You will have the people in HS 2.0 that don't care and you have the people that attend CC for financial reasons work their *** off to transfer.
  5. Sep 9, 2008 #4
    Thanks for the input. It's consistent with what I gathered so far. I do research currenly and I decided that either I am Einstein and sacrifice my personal life doing hard core research or I will do something else compatible with physics PhD like teaching at college or finances or patents and live happily ever after. The middle option, being a mediocre researcher, which most of my professors are, competing for grants and measuring the value of my research with how many crappy papers I've published this year, is not my choice - such system would make me lose the joy or research.

    I've heard getting a postdoc gets you to teach to better colleges? I somehow want to avoid that cause I feel quite ready to teach more advanced courses for undergrads. Can somebody tell me how exactly I figure out which college is more of introductory type and which one is for more serious students? What are the signs? I really wouldn't be happy teaching non-motivated students or subjects that are too watered down.
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