I don't know, people. I just don't know.
I am ... feeling some pressures I don't like here. I am not used to being constantly evaluated and monitored in my teaching like I am here, true, but I also feel I am getting a lot of pressures to have happy passing students, in a way that I think is affecting the actual rigor of these as college classes. And I don't like it.
Sure, Postdoc U went way too far over into the not-supporting-students side, and didn't do it well. But after painstakingly simplifying and clarifying and breaking everything down into steps last year, I still got a fair amount of pushback into the direction of actually dumbing things down. And after being observed in the new simplified, cut back version, the response was that this was too hard for the students and I should be dumbing it down even further. Ehhhh. No. I don't like that. And I am already on the fence about whether the students I *have* passed could actually hack it in a four-year college classroom at our state systems. If they can't do it without me basically doing it all for them, how will they hack it when they get to upper-division courses in their four-year majors?
I get to teach a developmental writing class next semester and fellow instructors have helpfully let me look at their books. Some of them are ok and I think I am deciding between a couple. One is this massive brick of a workbook that just made me want to cry when I flipped through it. It does and has absolutely everything the learning support people claim helps students succeed, but there is almost no writing and no variety in vocabulary. In bullet points, it tells the reader that this is a book, and what a page is. It breaks concepts down to a point that just makes me want to cry. No wonder people from that dev class can't pass my freshman comp class on the first try. They don't read anything longer than a paragraph and they fill in bubbles and blank spots for verbs.
And in response to student complaints they switched around my classes, took the special thing off my hands for this year (which, right now while buried in grading, I appreciate) and made me go through the mentoring process a second year. Theoretically I like that. Practically, I have a mentor whose teaching style is so different from mine that the advice I get doesn't really seem to help. And since the only tips the mentor has to offer are from this very different toolbox, I keep getting the same suggestions, diametrically opposed to my style, and constant nudges and questions about how have I changed up my syllabus and classroom teaching practices to use this totally different system yet. I'm also really inflexible in my scheduling, and work out the whole syllabus and schedule and even the assignment sheets and handouts all in a big blast before the semester starts so that I can focus on classroom management and grading, which alone is eating me alive this semester. I don't want to scrap and re-do stuff in the middle of the semester. My back is up, my heels are digging in.
I am not only tired, and grumpy, and taking it out on my students, and confused, but I feel like I am compromising my integrity.
So I don't like it. I don't want to do it. But I opened up the job lists and started looking.