Andrea Holm-Allingham’s Experience
Faculty of Education and Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Lakehead
My proudest teaching moment:
For several years I have been personally invited by the Registrar’s Office to attend convocation because members of the study body had voted me as a person who made a difference to their education at Lakehead.
As well, I had a visiting scholar from China attend my classes for two months, observing and participating. Her letter to me at the end of the term indicated that my pedagogy was informing her research and that she had enjoyed the experiences.
My greatest research accomplishment:
I was asked by the editor of The Dickensian to review a book being released by a very well-known scholar in children’s literature. My review was published in this well-established British journal.
How I use my knowledge, research skills and teaching ability to improve my community:
One of my graduate assistants and I put on a workshop for local high school students entitled “Act Out: A Free Social Action Youth Conference” (“Community-Building: Hands-On Activities”).
The challenges I face in my work:
The challenges that I face as instructor of up to several hundred students in a term are considerable:
Lack of secure storage; appropriate working space (my “office” is shared by 25 plus instructors with only 8 work stations); and I have to turn my keys in when my contract ends on 04/30 each year, so that I have remove my materials from the working space.
It took many years to become eligible to pay into the pension plan; there are still very limited health benefits available to me.
Student satisfaction scores are the drivers for being rehired, so I have a peer review done as well.
The most significant problem is the lack of stability; the impermanence of my position leaves me in a precarious situation each year. I cannot plan ahead as I do not know what I will earn. I make 20 % of my husband’s salary (he is a full professor) with none of the perks, and I make less than half of what my salary was when I was a high school teacher—with no opportunity to contribute to pension.