Teaching isn’t so bad

When I was a graduate student, one thing I heard a lot of was how much the professors didn’t want to teach; preferring to spend their time on research. And that they would do whatever it took (buying out, complaining a whole lot, etc) to ensure most of their effort was spent on research. So I naturally assumed that teaching was the worst and that I should avoid it at all costs. My first year here I negotiating a zero teaching load for, with only one class/semester until after tenure review. But I came to realize that not only am I great at teaching, but I do enjoy it. I wrote into my grants a buy out, but I think I’ll miss teaching if I exercise this option. I like grading papers, I love the feeling I get when a student grasps a topic they didn’t before, and I love re-learning some of the basics I sometimes forget. It’s all great! Now, it is a time-sink, but I think some people aren’t as busy as they say if I can fit this in with minimal complaining.

What is weird about my past profs complaining is that they were all different ages. It’s not like just the new ones or just the old ones were complaining about teaching; they all were! Except for the occasional older professor who’s research program has widdled down a bunch and teaching is the majority of their work. They love teaching. So why is it so bad? I understand if you have a heavy load and you have research obligations, but most of the complainers only have one class/semester… Am I too stupid to realize that teaching sucks?!


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