Thoughts for Thursday - A request for help and a poem

Hi, everyone! I am here to ask for help: I have decided to make a transition from the corporate world to teaching. I know a lot of you out there are teachers, and I thought you might have some advice, sources or other sagacious insights to impart.

Here's my situation: I've got an MFA in Creative Writing. I've taught a copyediting class at a prestigious adult education facility. I've gotten a number of stories published, won some awards -- but nothing earthshaking.

I'd like to teach at the college level, but I am concerned that a PhD is almost a requisite (unless one has a published book).

Any and all information about how to make the transition would be much appreciated.

As promised, here's a poem from Gerard Manley Hopkins:

The Candle Indoors

SOME candle clear burns somewhere I come by.
I muse at how its being puts blissful back
With yellowy moisture mild night’s blear-all black,
Or to-fro tender trambeams truckle at the eye.
By that window what task what fingers ply,
I plod wondering, a-wanting, just for lack
Of answer the eagerer a-wanting Jessy or Jack
There God to aggrándise, God to glorify.—

Come you indoors, come home; your fading fire
Mend first and vital candle in close heart’s vault:
You there are master, do your own desire;
What hinders? Are you beam-blind, yet to a fault
In a neighbour deft-handed? Are you that liar
And, cast by conscience out, spendsavour salt?


Andi said...

From my understanding it's often enough to have an MFA to teach creative writing. Unfortunately I don't have any specific resources for you since creative writing isn't my field, but go forth with hope! Good luck to you!

Kirsten said...

LK - Although I can't offer any words of advice (my knowledge is only corporate), best of luck to you! I hope it works out.

Dorothy W. said...

Best of luck LK! I know you've been going through a hard period lately, and it seems like you've come to an important decision. I don't know much about the job market for creative writing -- is that the kind of teaching you mean? Do you have time to teach a college class part-time? Part-time jobs aren't so hard to get and they will give you good experience. The job site on the Chronicle.com is really good if you want more information on the college teaching scene.

LK said...

Thanks, Dorothy. I would hope to go to full-time teaching...I can't afford to teach part-time!

Thanks, Andi and Kirsten. I appreciate the encouragement.

danielle said...

Good luck in deciding/looking for a job LK. I work at a university, but I am as far away from the teaching aspect as you can get. Hopefully you can get some good advice!

Litlove said...

I don't know how it works in the States, but I imagine that in any job market a little experience is a good thing. Is there a nearby college you like the look of that you could approach to offer some part-time classroom help? Or a short course? My advice would be to go to the kind of place you really like the idea of teaching at and see what they want you to have/do in order to get a placement there.

And the very best of luck! I'm sure you'd be fabulous.

LK said...

A course of course, Litlove!

Thanks, Danielle. Hmm, maybe find a job at a university is something I could look into.

Good ideas here, thank you all! I guess I will need to rack up some more experience, and in general, just keep my feelers out.

Julie K. Rose said...

You can teach at community college with an MA if you're interested in going that route. My understanding is that new teachers - both at community college and CSU - have to work at a couple of different schools in order to get enough sections of classes to make a living. If you ever wanted to go the high school route, my husband can give you all the nitty gritty (he made a career change and became a teacher 2 years ago).

Orange Blossom Goddess (aka Heather) said...

WOW!! This is awesome news! You are a brave person!! I don't really know how you can go about doing this but possibly heading off to the local college/university and expressing your desire to join their staff...or asking for a bit of advice, knowledge of useful websites, etc. GOOD LUCK!! We're all cheering you on!

bloglily said...

Ms. Kit -- Is it creative writing you want to teach? For that, you don't need a ph.d. You've already got some fine credentials and I'll bet with some poking around, you'll find something, especially if you get in touch with people you liked who taught in your mfa program and got some advice from them and maybe a few leads. (Are you staying in the bay area, or moving?) Whatever it is you end up doing, getting out of your current situation sounds smart. xo, BL