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Life on the Tenure Track: Lessons from the First Year
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Life on the Tenure Track: Lessons from the First Year

3.50  ·  Rating Details  ·  72 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
In this fast-paced and lively account, Jim Lang asks—and mostly answers—the questions that confront every new faculty member as well as those who dream of becoming new faculty members: Will my students like me? Will my teaching schedule allow me time to do research and write? Do I really want to spend the rest of my life in this profession? Is anyone awake in the backrow?

Paperback, 208 pages
Published April 6th 2005 by Johns Hopkins University Press (first published April 4th 2005)
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Apr 19, 2009 Britt rated it really liked it
Shelves: academics, teaching
This memoir of a first year of teaching on the tenure track at a liberal arts college was loaned to me by a colleague, and it was a quick, absorbing read. Encountering it in the winter break of my own first year on the tenure track was good timing. It provides a sense of perspective in what is a harrowing, isolating part of an academic's career. It's reassuring to hear that everyone screws up in big and little ways in their first year, that everyone fears that they can't handle it, and that, non ...more
Maria Holland
Jan 03, 2016 Maria Holland rated it liked it
I had to read this for a class, but I really enjoyed it. It was a quick read, and is probably something I will read again at some point. I really liked the way he wrote it, relying on memory, emails, notes, etc. It was very honest, and quite comprehensive. I could see myself giving my copy to friends and family who want to understand what academia is like.
Jan 13, 2009 Jackie rated it liked it
A brief recounting of the author's first year as a tenure-track Assistant Professor at Assumption College in Worcester. Much of what Lang was surprised by (that he's not yet a great teacher; that there are political divisions within his department) might be of interest to someone who hasn't taught much. And there are a few good teaching tips to be gleaned from his account (if people are talking in class, don't stop what you're doing; just walk over and stand next to them while you continue to te ...more
Amber Adams
Oct 14, 2014 Amber Adams rated it really liked it
This book was hard to put down. As a new faculty member, I could relate to some of his experiences and felt reassured that I am not alone.
Nicole Ackerman
Sep 15, 2011 Nicole Ackerman rated it really liked it
Even though the author is a professor of English, I think plenty of it is applicable to those of us in different fields. While those lecturing a science class may not think that the discussion-focused approach to teaching would work, it could in smaller classes. I especially agree that "lecturing" is always less-stressful than trying to get student involvement! While the "research" and "publication" cycles of a scientist are different than someone in the humanities, a book written by them would ...more
Christine B.
Jul 09, 2014 Christine B. rated it it was ok
Was recommended to me. Kind of interesting? But it was often hard to identify with the author and his decisions.
Apr 10, 2008 Jaime rated it liked it
Lang's book is a humorous account of his first year on the tenure track at a small liberal arts college. Lang's best moments are his accounts of faculty politics and his struggle with Crohn's. However, the rest of the book struck me as somewhat arrogant. At one point, he calls the members of the English Club "dorks"--and not in a loving way. The reason for this kind of disparagement was beyond me, especially from someone who claims to find teaching important.
Tristan Bridges
Sep 13, 2012 Tristan Bridges rated it it was ok
We were given this book for attending a training on the classroom management system at my university. It's a cute story of all the trials and tribulations of the first year of employment on the tenure track. I didn't take much valuable from it, but it's a cute read if you're in the middle of it (or on the other side). :)
Aug 05, 2013 Andrew rated it liked it
I had seen this book before and yes I judged the book by its cover---it looked annoying. But it came up again as one of the only free eBooks offered by my local library that looked remotely interesting so I gave it a try.

I got a few nuggets from it, but it wasn't the most useful read. More entertaining than informative.
Feb 01, 2009 Kelly rated it really liked it
This book was excellent therapy for being a first-year tenure track Assistant professor. There were so many times I could completely relate to what everything I was reading. It made me laugh & it made me think.
Oct 15, 2008 Matt rated it it was ok
Some decent insight into life as a faculty member but it didn't really open up the thoughts of going through the first year as much as being an account of what happened. Less why and more what and how...
Jul 30, 2007 Nicole rated it liked it
this was a fun read. lang addresses some of the issues i think we assume we'll face with new jobs and some issues that may not even occur to us with humor and candor.
Jun 11, 2014 Rachel rated it really liked it
Great resource for graduate students in the humanities.
Andre Harmse
Nov 28, 2011 Andre Harmse rated it really liked it
This is an entertaining and insightful book about what the first year is like. It can be humorous or cathartic, or both.
Aug 20, 2009 Kristen rated it it was ok
Lots of interesting anecdotes but really lacking in helpful advice.
Michael Tallman
Sep 23, 2012 Michael Tallman rated it liked it
Fun little read.
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