What is it like to be a professor? ever considered to become one ?
Once I asked my professor “What is it like being a professor” since, I always tried to imagine how would it be wearing the shoes of a professor and to face a class of 50-60 odd students daily, lecturing the most important concepts of my subject repeatedly over the period of time. and this idea popped up in my mind with curiosity about “How different that experience would be?”
Teaching is considered as one of the most noble profession. For they make the engineers, doctors and politicians of tomorrow.
Its not very simple as it may seems like, but there are a lot of responsibilities beyond simply doing research and teaching. Lets have a look at the three main aspects about what is it like to be a professor?
You will do a lot of things that you were not trained to do.
A University Professor needs to become a jack-of-all-trades, becoming skilled in filling out expense reports, hiring summer assistants, learning how to write multiple-choice exams, writing grants, etc. A lot of different skills are required, and since you won’t receive training in most of these: you have be versatile, creative, and willing to learn on the fly.
You might be not researching all the while
This is quite dependent on the field of study, and on personality, but it becomes difficult finding time to “do” research when you are busy teaching, supervising students and managing projects. The switch from active data collector, to advisor, editor, or ‘signer of expense reports’ means that less time is spent actively engaged in the research process. Yes, you will still be able to do research (and read the literature, occasionally), but it just won’t be the same as when you were doing your PhD and/or post-doc.
Warning! You will not hold regular work hours
This is just opposite to what many believe that professors get to have a lot of spare time when they are not teaching. The responsibilities handed over by a professor may include. This is not really a concern, because a person passionate about teaching may not look ino his activities as job and it feels to be an amazing experience to learn new things and share the knowledge with fellow students. However, the hours are highly irregular. The hours are also unusual on a daily basis
Teaching is definitely fun but this line of profession is only for the very individual who believe in learning by sharing model.
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So… all you Academics out there.. do you agree? What are the three things you can share with others who are keen on becoming Professors? Please share your comments!