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    Jun 18 2013: One thing you'll find in the American education system is that college instructors are often woefully undertrained on how to teach. If someone has a Master's degree or Ph.D. they are considered qualified to teach. First, an advanced degree is no guarantee someone understands their field. It's only a guarantee they've jumped through the necessary educational hoops to have earned the diploma. Second, even if one is highly skilled in their field that doesn't mean they know how to teach. Teaching is something that tons of people do, but only a few are really good at it. It's a specialized art that requires thousands of hours to master.

    I learned most of what I know just on-the-job and by talking to students. I was thrown into classes and basically just given a syllabus, textbook and wished the best of luck. Some of the classes I shouldn't have been teaching. But, according to my degree I was qualified and the school I was working for at the time kept faculty to a minimum and almost everyone was part-time.

    Part-time! Now, there's something to consider. Each 10-week terms I was teaching five or six four-hour classes. So, I was spending 20-24 hours on average in the classroom. That didn't include prep time, grading time and time for administrative tasks. The school was running five 10-week terms a year. So, I was a full-time instructor on part-time pay with no benefits. I was also working another teaching job generally teaching three online classes each term--again, part-time with no benefits. I never had time to evaluate what I did. I just frantically moved from one class the next. It's no wonder teachers get burnt out and leave!

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