I am a PhD candidate for clinical psychology with an emphasis on neuropsychology. I have been an adjunct for 5 years. I never had a fellowship so I have always been in the last group of adjuncts to be assigned, and as such, am never assured that I will be able to teach a class that fits in with my schedule, much less one that I have experience teaching.
Over the course of 12 semesters I have taught 5 different classes, 4 of which I had to develop the curriculum for — often with only weeks to find a suitable textbook and write my curriculum. This leaves me feeling unprepared for my lectures and without mastery over the material I am presenting. Further, this type of job insecurity makes it difficult to plan all of the work I need to do to complete my degree. The lack of security puts added financial stress on me as well.
I’m fortunate that my spouse earns enough to support our two children and me, but we count on my small stipend to fill in the gaps. My alternative plans have always been to find one course that fits into my schedule, even if it means spending 12 hours a week prepping my lectures.