I've been teaching college for fourteen years, twelve of those at my
current institution. Same classes: Composition 1 or 2. I've seen
brilliant classes, and I've seen horrid classes. Mostly, I've seen
preparation dropping incrementally--not necessarily being prepared for
the level of writing, but preparation for life in general, and due dates
in specific. I've enjoyed helping those that need the extra help find
it, or figure things out. I will miss that.
I'll miss the classroom. I'll miss interacting with students, and watching them learn things. I'll miss challenging assumptions, and having mine challenged intelligently. I'll miss reading their ideas.
I won't miss grading. I won't miss the idea that there are certain things that Shall Not Be Said, certain ideas that Shall Not Be Challenged. I won't miss knowing that some demographics must be handed a grade, and a good one, that they didn't work for. I won't miss the idiots who don't want to be there, refuse to engage, and sometimes won't do even the minimum to pass.
I won't miss the department. It is not what it once was.
I won't miss how awful I felt after teaching only two classes.
I won't miss being unable to take care of my home and family.
Yesterday was my last day. Tomorrow is the last day I spend grading things turned in on time. Monday and Tuesday, I grade last-chance work and revisions, and I turn in final grades. Monday and Tuesday, I fill out the Research Paper rubric for the department for my two classes. And Tuesday, I turn my gradebooks and the rubrics in to the department via email.
After that, it's just waiting for December's paycheck to come in on the last working day on campus, and I'm finished with academia.
38 minutes ago