I am a professor at Seneca College
Why do you love your job?
It is important for students to have great role models. When I was a student myself, it was thanks to one of my teachers that I decided to one day teach at the college level.
What would job security and better working conditions mean to you?
Job security would mean that I would have continuity in a program. Many times when I started a class, I would have to redevelop the entire course, because I would not be given any material. Better working conditions would also mean that I would not have to work at different colleges, and spend valuable time travelling, and could spend more time focusing on the students and the courses.
Professors, like myself, have to take on part-time hours at many different colleges just to be able to support our families. We love the work at the colleges. I think that many of us are blinded by the hope that one day we will get a full-time job with the college, and that all the efforts will pay off. I've been doing this for the last 4 years, and I know that professors like me are disposable, and that there are a lot of other people lining up for these contracts. It is easy for colleges to act in this particular way, when there are no restrictions on what they can do.
In the end, the quality of services we provide is affected and, any additional time we spend (where we are not paid) is automatically a loss in your hourly rate. If I counted the extra work that I've done without getting paid, my per hour rate would go as low as minimum wage.
Tell us about your proudest moment.
I am proud when students reach out to me after a few months of taking my classes, and tell me that not only they are working in the field of study, but that they also use much of the learning from my courses on a daily basis. It's not the "A's" they got that make me proud, but the fact they find employment and follow their dreams that makes me a proud teacher.
What are the challenges you face in your work?
One of the challenges is that I was working insane hours. I would take teaching assignments wherever I was offered these precarious contracts. One term I was teaching 7 different classes (21 teaching hours per week), running from college to college all around the GTA, with a partial load contract, online classes and face to face classes.