I Am Officially a Lecturer

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After leaving engineering to go to graduate school in 2018, I had my sights set on a teaching job in academia. As of Fall 2023, it looks like that dream has finally come true. I am officially a lecturer!

Table of Contents

Reflecting on the Last Year

The last year has been one of the more transformative years of my life. In fact, so much has happened, it’s somewhat difficult to summarize. Rather than give it a shot, I’ll just share the highlights:

Looking forward, there’s even more changes happening in the future, some of which I’m going to hold off from sharing for now. That said, the topic of today’s article is a change that has been manifesting since early this year: I am officially a lecturer!

I’m Still a PhD Student

Getting this news in the middle of a “journey to a PhD” series might seem odd. Perhaps you might be thinking I already received my PhD. Unfortunately, you’d be wrong.

As it turns out, I’m still working toward that PhD. As of right now, I have completed data collection for my dissertation, and I’m working on the analysis and writeup. At the moment, the plan is to defend the dissertation sometime in the spring. Until then, I have a lot to work on.

If you’re curious what the future holds for someone who is finished collecting their data, it’s a long period of iteration. Basically, I do some writing, then I pass the writing over to my committee folks for review. That process basically continues indefinitely until the committee thinks I’m ready for the defense.

Currently, I am hoping to have the entire dissertation drafted by the end of fall. It’s a lofty goal, but I don’t want to be balancing it with my new lecturer responsibilities for too long.

The Interview Process

Speaking of being a lecturer, you’re probably wondering how I got that job anyway! Well, I tend to be an opportunist. So when someone in the department told me they were looking to hire some lecturers, I jumped at the opportunity.

The interview process was fairly formal. I had assumed that since I was already teaching in the department that most of the work would be a formality, but I realized quickly that I was going to have to go through the same processes as everyone else.

To start, that meant I had to fill out a proper application which included a teaching statement, a resume, and other key teaching information like my teaching history. In addition, they asked for three references, all of which were expected to fill out some review of me.

Later, I was invited for a panel interview. The panel was nice enough to supply me with the questions ahead of time, so I could think about my responses.

The interview itself was broken up into two parts. The first part was the actual panel interview. That was where they asked me questions about my teaching style and approaches around topics like academic integrity. Then, there was a short 30-minute break before the second interview, which involved a collection of active students.

Overall, I don’t remember a ton about these interviews, but I remember them being relatively positive. There was really only one instance during the interview process that I did not enjoy, but it was otherwise great! Of course, the interviews must have went well because a few weeks later I received the offer.

The Lecturer Job

As of now, I’m about two weeks out from starting the new job. My current workload will include three 4-credit classes a semester. Because of my summer training, I know that some of those classes will be software 2, but I may also have a section of software 1 (i.e., the course I’ve taught for the past few years).

As a lecturer, I have a few new responsibilities. For example, I will have to write my own exams. As someone who dislikes exams in general, I will have to contend with the fact that I can no longer blame others for frustrations associated with the exams. With writing my own exams, I’ll also have to print my own exams.

In addition, I also have increased responsibilities related to teaching assistants. Specifically, I will be personally approving their hours. Overall, this seems like a relatively painless task, but I may have the additional responsibility of reminding my graders to enter their hours.

Outside of those two new responsibilities, I imagine that I’ll also have to handle new meetings among other faculty responsibilities. I don’t fully know what to expect, but I think life will be a little busier in the fall than usual. Though, I suppose we’ll see!

With all that said, I ought to get back to preparing for the new semester! With a new class to teach and an additional section, I’m certain that there’s a lot of work ahead of me.

As always, if you want to continue following me on this journey, check out some of these related posts:

Otherwise, take care!

Journey to a PhD (49 Articles)—Series Navigation

As my current career trajectory shifts away from engineering, I find myself in a peculiar position as a PhD student. As I explore the latest concepts in Computer Science, you can find that journey documented here in my series titled Journey to a PhD.

Jeremy Grifski

Jeremy grew up in a small town where he enjoyed playing soccer and video games, practicing taekwondo, and trading Pokémon cards. Once out of the nest, he pursued a Bachelors in Computer Engineering with a minor in Game Design. After college, he spent about two years writing software for a major engineering company. Then, he earned a master's in Computer Science and Engineering. Today, he pursues a PhD in Engineering Education in order to ultimately land a teaching gig. In his spare time, Jeremy enjoys spending time with his wife, playing Overwatch and Phantasy Star Online 2, practicing trombone, watching Penguins hockey, and traveling the world.

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