Sixty percent of the 309 readers who took part in our latest survey are involved in teaching. The average amount of time our readers spend educating the up-and-coming varies widely, from less than one hour per week to more than 20 hours; the average is 10 hours per week. Our readers have various teaching duties, with lecturing and individual instruction being the most frequently mentioned.
The majority, 83%, are enthusiastic, or even more so, about their place at the lectern, as evidenced in their comments: "Enthusiastic students can stimulate everyone's environment and improve productivity," wrote one participant. On the benefits to their research, another wrote: "Teaching increases my awareness and understanding of many less well understood scientific issues."
A few, however, would love to lose their pointers and lesson planners: "Teaching is simply not a valued activity. The only thing that matters is obtaining overhead-paying grant support." Said another: "At this point in my career, teaching is an unnecessary distraction which I am forced to partake in for financial reasons."