Community college instructors generally think it's a good idea for some key administrators, including presidents, to teach classes—at least occasionally.
Please have a look at this article in Community College Daily, by Ellie Ashford. It's a nice profile of several presidents who teach, including Pamela Anglin of Paris Junior College. A former accounting instructor, she teaches business law, and also instructs a three-hour "learning frameworks" class online. This course, required for all first-time entering students, covers life skills and how to navigate and succeed in college, according to the article.
Obviously presidents are very busy, and teaching may not be a good idea in every case. However, especially in these times filled with pressure to increase graduation rates, it's beneficial for supervisors to experience the nuts and bolts of teaching a class filled with typical students. The online class taught by Dr. Anglin is also a nice touch, not only because of the format, but since it's required of all students. Such introductory classes might be an option for administrators who don't meet disciplinary criteria for instruction of certain subjects under SACS guidelines.
From the piece:
Anglin returned to the classroom about nine years ago, when an accounting instructor became ill in the middle of the semester and they couldn’t find a replacement. It made her realize how much she missed being around students.
“Students are very different today than when I was a full-time faculty member,” Anglin says. “They require more personal attention now, and you have to engage them in different ways. The obstacles and the stresses they face now seem greater than when I first started teaching.”
According to Anglin, teaching an online course has enabled her to get to know a different group of students each semester – and she’s been able to interact more with individual students in an online environment. “They say things to me online that they would not have said in a classroom with other students.”
As a result, Anglin feels she understands students better, and that has informed her decisions on the types of student services the college needs to provide. Also, she says, “I feel like I understand faculty concerns and the professional development we need to bring to campus.”
While teaching the Learning Frameworks course, Anglin realized students were having trouble navigating the PJC website, so the college added videos on how to get started online, how to use the library and how to use Campus Connect, the student portal.
She also learned time management is a big issue for students, so the course puts more of a focus on that, as well as stress management and financial management.
Anglin spends seven to 10 hours a week teaching, preparing for class and grading papers. “It’s my stress reliever,” she says. “It takes my mind off the day-to-day issues.”
She believes every president could benefit from being in the classroom, even if they only teach a course every few years. “Students’ needs change,” she says. “It’s important for the president to understand the student population.”