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March 2012

the exploitation of composition teachers

What the public doesn't often know is that many composition teachers teach for substandard wages, while putting in extra hours of work, carefully responding to  numerous student essays.    Many composition teachers suffer from these conditions -- the low pay and long hours.   What goes unreported is that many composition teachers are adjuncts or T.A.'s, and those statuses are used by administrators to justify low wages.  Meanwhile, these adjuncts and T.A.'s are oftentimes the most dedicated teachers that your students could have, spending extra hours in office hours with students and tediously responding to student essays. Many adjuncts and T.A.'s in composition studies are, in fact, more dedicated, caring teachers than the full-time professors who teach upper level courses.  This is not always true, but it is often the case.  People think that when they hear "adjunct" or "TA" that that is a teacher who is not as well-trained as a full-time professor but nothing could be further from the case because in many universities there is extensive training for adjuncts and TA's, and because of this, they are actually better teachers than the full-time professors who scoff at teaching lower division courses.  So, there is so much that the public doesn't know and realize about the exploitation of composition-teaching adjuncts and T.A.'s.