|My Future as an MFA gradute
||[Nov. 24th, 2008|12:20 am]
Writing MFA, Hopes and Hopefuls
I've been looking into my future.
Three possibilities: Apply for fellowships, apply for random adjunct creative writing teaching positions (what are my odds with no publications?), apply to teach English in a foreign country (preferably somewhere tropical like coastal Colombia for example, do I need to know the language spoken in the country I teach in?).
I have loads of questions concerning all of these possibilities. Do any of you know anything about these? Have any of you had experience dealing with any of these? I'd be grateful for any advice.
Those of you who already have your MFA--what did you do once you graduated?
Are you in your last year too?
I've received loads of advice from my profs about these things (we even had an "after the MFA" workshop) but some more specifics would be helpful--do you have experience teaching?
I was a graduate assistant for a literature class and an intern for a creative writing class. I didn't teach the classes. It was more like shadowing the professors, grading papers, filling in when needed, etc. I wasn't interested in teaching Freshman Comp so I never applied for a TA position. So...not much teaching experience at all.
I do plan to talk with my adviser. I also like hearing what people out there have to say, what experiences they've had and whatnot.
Aw, that sort of sucks. One of the things I like about my prog is that we get plenty of teaching experience (I'll have taught five classes by the time I'm done).
Despite your distaste for teaching comp, that's your best bet for getting adjunct positions. Everyone I've known who has adjunct has usually cobbled their career together out of teaching comp courses. Even tenure track jobs at community colleges (even sometimes at universities) often require that you teach comp. The problem with teaching at CCs is the heavy classload you'll have--most I've seen advertised are 4/4, with at least half of those in comp. The chances of getting a tenure-track job without publications at a non-community college are really, really slim.
I don't know what the situation is for someone without teaching experience, but we were told that many graduates of our program go on to teach in prep or boarding schools. They don't pay as well as public high school jobs but you usually get free room & board and there's a high rate of job satisfaction. You'd get these jobs by going through placement services, usually.
One thing I'd keep in mind is that there's really no reason to settle for part time/retail work with an MFA. After all, an undergraduate English degree qualified me for an office job with benefits, at least. It was soulless, but I had the time an energy to write both in and out of work. A lot of my former classmates have gone back to jobs they had before they were here. I can't think of anyone who's working retail or, say, doesn't have health benefits, so it's not that dire. Anyway, good luck!
Thanks. Yeah, I figured the adjunct teaching thing was a long shot, but there are other options in using my degree (fellowships and teaching English in another country). I do want to get certified to teach yoga and set up shop somewhere too--it just might happen sooner than I planned.