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Contract Instructing in Ontario—A Personal Perspective

by Andrew Robinson

I am a relative newcomer to contract instructing, having moved to Ontario from Saskatchewan in 2010, for family reasons related to health care for my younger son, who 
is a special-needs child. We moved from Saskatchewan because we were unable to get the health care we needed for him. My wife and I had a unique position at the University of Saskatchewan. We had a job share; she was on the tenure-track in Physics, and I was the teaching sidekick. This suited me, as I came late to university level teaching, working first as a research scientist in universities and then as a scientific computer programmer in the private sector. I did not have the conventional career trajectory of an academic employed in a tenured position at a university. We moved to Ontario without having jobs to move into, but I was fortunate to be able to find work immediately at Carleton University as a laboratory supervisor. I was then offered contract instructor positions, and moved to teaching five one-semester Introductory Physics courses during the course of the year. To put this in perspective, this is the teaching load expected of a full-time Instructor/Lecturer position, as defined

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