Thursday, January 31, 2008


I'm contracted to teach a a six-week summer course, and I'm pretty excited, constantly thinking about tweaking the syllabus and matching up readings and films. A few weeks ago, I received my official contract, which includes the pay scale for the course. A flat fee IF AND ONLY IF the enrollment is 9 students or above (up to 15). Otherwise, a stipend of $500/student.

The worst part? The difference in pay between the 8th and 9th student is $895. Almost a fifth of the total.

The work for this course is fun -- I get to learn about a genre I'm not really familiar with, at least in a scholarly sense -- but there's no way that one fewer student = $895 less work (or even $500).

The person who taught this course last year claimed that he didn't advertise the course at all, and ended up with an enrollment of exactly 9 students. With that in mind, I know I'll be doing at least a bit of publicity -- those brightly-colored posters that go up around the halls somewhere toward the end of April, that I never believe actually work.


heu mihi said...

I think that that's an appalling system. Field's summer courses work the same way--only it's $300 a student, up to a maximum of $2100. For a four-week, intensive, daily-meeting class. And until recently, scholarship students didn't count towards the total--meaning that, if you taught 6 scholarship kids and 1 non-scholarship student, you made $300. A month. At least *that* policy's changed.

kermitthefrog said...

heu mihi!! Wow. I think Field's former policy has this one beat for utter heinousness.

A couple of summers ago I taught 2 classes at a private high school -- now that was flat-out luxurious. Not only did they allow one class to go on with only 3 students (the other had 7), they paid a flat rate for both classes no matter what.