Tuesday, March 27, 2012


Response to David C. Levy's Washington Post Article "Do college professors work hard enough?"

There has been much written of late as a result of Mr. Levy's article in Sunday's issue of the Washington Post.

Click on the link before to read the article which appeared in the Washington Post on March 25, 2012:
Do college professors work hard enough?

Here below is my personal response which is posted on the Comments Section for this particular article on the Washington Post website:

I find David C. Levy's premise regarding colleges to be completely off the mark. Specifically, at Montgomery College, where I teach full-time, I can say that English instructors teach a load of 15 hours per week.

Mathematically, 15 hours of English composition classes translate into:
25 students x at least 4 essays each = 100 essays x at least 2 drafts of the same essay = 200 essays.

Then 200 essays x 5 sections = 1000 essays (This = 750,000 words in total at a minimum).

Then 1000 essays x 25 minutes to evaluate/correct each = 25,000 minutes.

This translates into 25,000 minutes ./. by 60 minutes = 417 hours ./. 16 weeks = 26 hours per week.

That is, 26 hours for evaluating/correcting the essays, plus 15 hours of class teaching = 41 hours plus 3 hours of office hours minimum = 44 hours.

Plus X number of hours for committee work, not to mention X number of hours for preparation.

As one can see mathematically, the typical English instructor works in excess of 40 hours per week, more likely close to 52 to 55 hours per week.

In short, Mr. Levy is quite ignorant about what instructors do at the community college level. My advice is for him to ask before he goes on record publicly to demean our profession.

--Robert L. Giron, Professor and Department Chair

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