Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Prep School Blues

The impression I get from these Faculty Development Week's is that the school would really like us to take seriously the mission of preparing our students for the 'real world.' The idea is that we should be grooming them, mentoring them, in the more subtle aspects of workplace success. It is true that most of our students are not well schooled in presentation, conversation, convention, etc.. So, I can really see a value to having this service available to the part of society excluded through perhaps unintentional racism and classism (although probably not so unintentional). I also thing services that provide experience in interviewing, help with resumes, and counseling for minorities entering the white male kingdom of the middleclass work place.
But.... am I the right person to be giving this education? I mean, I don't mind reviewing someone's resume, or giving them some of my homespun wisdom. But, I got out of the workplace as soon as I could, so I could get into academia.
1. I am not an expert on job counseling.
2. I do not want to be a job counselor.
3. I am something of an expert in philosophy.
4. I want to teach philosophy.
I imagine that many of my colleagues are in the same boat as me. If I am to be hired to be a philosophy professor, perhaps I would best serve the institution focusing my efforts on teaching on philosophy as best I could.
I do think the school or some other institution should have programs for placement and for teaching minority students how to operate in the real world. And I don't mind the extra work that teaching at this school requires.. the mentoring approach... I can understand the need and the value of that. But I do think the school may be trying to do much, or ask too much. I am not sure.


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