I am an assistant professor at St. John's University in Queens, New York. I have been working here or almost five full years.
The primary responsibility of my job is to educate students and prepare them for the rest of their lives. Though there is also a research and writing component of my job, I consider my students the main priority of my job and would push all my other work to the side in order to help them out.
I would honestly rate my satisfaction with my job with a 10 on a scale from 1-10. I have a passion for teaching and have never had any problems with any of my coworkers or the university's administration. Everyone that I've had the fortune of meeting along the way has been incredibly helpful to me.
I feel like teaching is my calling in life. I try to not only make sure my students understand the specific lessons of my classes, but that they also take away something bigger pertaining to life as a whole. It warms my heart whenever any of my former students who have graduated come back to visit years later and share with me their stories of success.
What my students or people who have recently met me may not realize is that I was never a particularly good student in high school. I was always in trouble and did not take my work seriously at all. Once I got into college and under the guidance of a bunch of teachers that I was truly blessed to have, I learned how important it was to get my life together and work hard. I'm very grateful for the teachers I met in college that taught me the importance of hard work because I was at risk of wasting the gifts that I had been given.
I knew very early in my college early that I wanted to become a teacher. Because of the great teachers that I had that were responsible for changing my life, I wanted to do the same for other students in the future who may end up in the same situation as me. Although I do wish that I had been a better student when I was younger, I am so happy with where I am right now that I cannot say that I would change anything at all.
I learned the hard way as a graduate student that the older you get, the harder it is to get away with procrastination. After one time having to stay up for 48 hours straight just to finish a paper on time, I nearly threw up in class and decided to manage my time more efficiently from that point on.
Although I have never been a morning person per se, I truly look forward to the experiences and people I will encounter each and every day. I love my students and look forward to sharing my wisdom with them every day. One of my proudest moments in this profession was when a student asked me to proofread their personal statement for a graduate school application. About halfway through the essay, I noticed that the student dedicated a paragraph to explaining how I had changed their life. That really warmed my heart.
One of the biggest challenges that I try to take on at my job is making sure every student is engaged. I understand that they have tons of other classes and responsibilities outside of my class, so I try not to overburden them with work so long as they are engaged in the material and showing a legitimate effort.
It sometimes gets stressful when I have a student who doesn't show any effort. If it appears to me that a student is neglecting their responsibilities, I request a conference with them to get to the bottom of things and to see if there is anything I can do to help them.
I make a little bit less than $70,000 a year. Though a lot of my friends are making more than me, I do not know too many people who are satisfied with their career as I am. No amount of money in the world can buy that.
Like the students, I get off a couple of weeks between each semester, although at times I am required to attend meetings.
In order to become an Assistant Professor, you will need a doctorate degree in your field. Persistence, time-management, and research skills are vital.
I talk to my friends all the time about my job. The great part about my job is that while it is my job to teach students, there are also little thing that I can learn from them as well.
In five years, I would like to have an opportunity for a tenure-track job, although I am perfectly content with where I am at this stage in my life. Maybe I will have had a book published by then or maybe things will come full circle and a student that I taught a few years back will become a coworker of mine.
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