My Authors
Read all threads
My "end of year" file for work is always full. But like most professors, it's stuff that happens when we're not in a classroom and looks invisible to most people.
This is my short thread on defending the weird working life of professors. /1
First, are there lazy professors who just mail it in and then go home and spend the day watching Netflix in their bunny slippers? Yes, yes, there are. Productive and busy faculty do not like being confused with them, but yes. So don't @ me about your lazy professor BIL. /2
Also, professors are not high school teachers. We do not show up at 8, teach the same class five times, and go home and grade papers. That is a *harder* job and one that would break most professors. But it's not what we do; we have other professional responsibilities. /3
When we're reading a book, either for curriculum, for reviewing it, or for our edification as subject experts, we're working. We're actually paid for that. It's not a bad thing, but most people think it's not work. For us, it's in our job description. /4
We also write things, but that is the tip of the iceberg. Publishing can take a long time; top journals have acceptance rates below 10 percent in some cases. And while we're writing, we're peer-reviewing the work of others for publication. This takes a lot of time. /5
This year alone, I've reviewed at least two books and two proposals for publication. (Yes, I'm a "gatekeeper." Part of the job.) It means a lot of highlighter and then writing it up later. We also review the work of colleagues at our own schools and others. /6
We also must be on committees. I am not telling you that this is hard or onerous, just telling you that (a) it's what we do that you can't see, and (b) we're required to do it and we're paid to do it, so we do it. It's part of the job. /7
A lot of the job is prep work: For classes, for conferences, presentations, and public engagement. All of this is part of the job. We are expected to maintain "visibility" and currency in our respective fields. That involves a lot of stuff that isn't obvious. /8
Being a professor, especially a senior faculty member with tenure, is a great job and yes, a privileged life. It also comes with a lot of work and responsibilities that are not visible outside our profession, and that do not look like "work" to others. I get that. /9
But if you were to trade places with any of us, remember two things: The biggest fear of most Americans is public speaking, and the thing most people hate to do is writing. We do both as job requirement. Not saying it's not fun, just saying: It's my job. /10x
Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh.

Enjoying this thread?

Keep Current with Tom Nichols

Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Follow Us on Twitter!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3.00/month or $30.00/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!