Saturday, June 18, 2011

Being a Professor

"Being a professor is a profession that has been shown to have the longest work hours, heaviest work demands, highest psychological stress, and lowest occupational energy expenditure compared to other professional occupations," Megan A. Kirk and Ryan E. Rhodes, in an article called "Performance Pressure" that I read about on the Tenured Radical blog (to which I was pointed by a tweet).

Yup, I knew that. Too bad almost no one believes it. I think a majority of people think that professors walk into a room, talk extemporaneously for an hour, and then their day is done. Easiest job ever. Not so. I won't go into grading, class prep, office hours, building syllabi and keeping reading up to date, coming up with assignments, trying to do research, writing it up, presenting it at conferences, and service, which includes various committees (student theses, college/university panels, etc.). Did I mention grading? I did? Well I should mention it like three times since I hate it, and I don't know anyone who likes it. (No, we don't make tests and assignments so that they are easy to grade, we make them so students have the best opportunities to show us what they know -- not that we make them easy, we just have to put students in a positive situation where they can work well.)

"Longest work hours, heaviest work demands, highest psychological stress..."