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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

What Is It Like to Be a Professor?

Some grow up delve into books, read, explore their environment and want to spend their lives in intellectual pursuits. They look with wonder at all the great philosophers, scientists, and intellectuals of the world and believe they can be one of them. Beyond obtaining the degree many don't know what its actually like to be a professor and the joys and pitfalls of engaging in this occupation. For sure there are rewards and also risks as one seeks to create greater knowledge in society.

The first thing that future professors should understand is that you are doing this for the "meaningfulness" of it all. Money is not going to be your primary concern. That meaning is subjective based on how you view your role as a professor. Some want to discover new things while others desire to give back to the community. It is a personal motivation often guided by the social expectations of your college and upbringing.

You will spend a lot....a lot.....a lot of time grading papers and giving feedback. Papers and subject counselings is a primary role and is fundamental to the role. The better you get at grading papers, providing feedback, and helping students improve their skills the more your students grow. It can sometimes be tedious but it is one of the best methods of transferring knowledge.

Part of the job will include creation of content. How does one develop greater knowledge without reviewing and creating content that students use to learn. This could range from putting together a presentation, reviewing materials, writing lectures, or reviewing curriculum. The process of sharing and integrating knowledge into the course is inherent.

There will be some administrative duties that include keeping track of your class, grades, decision-making, keeping paperwork and passing paperwork.. If you don't keep up to date on your administrative duties you will soon find that they will pile up. In some cases these duties become extremely important to your job.

Some of your time will be spend in research, writing and reading. This is personal development and intellectual stimulation. While this seems like a professors main job, it is only part of the wider responsibilities of guiding minds to greater thinking. The goal is to contribute to a body of knowledge through discussion and publishing.

You will have greater responsibilities to society, America, and the world to enact change by using your knowledge, writing, and intellectual authority. There will be powers and voices that seek to silence your freedoms in an effort to keep things the same. Being a social advocate for change can range from developing new ideas that propose a better way of doing things to protesting abuses of power, corruption, unfairness and violations of the Constitution.

Being a professor has many rewards and some risks, but it is ultimately a lifestyle choice. You won't get rich, and can make more money in industry, but it takes on personal meaning. You will have to deal with everything from the overly demanding student to budget cuts and administrative changes. Yet...for some...it is a passion as they find meaning in offering back to the people and the world. Helping people come to greater awareness through knowledge and insight is a noble pursuit.

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