Most students, even if they get what an adjunct is, don’t understand how you are paid in relation to the work that you do. Make them see it. Make a pie chart.
In most cases, adjuncts are simply paid for their hours in the classroom, with some adjuncts in more appreciative districts being offered small stipends for limited office hours.
To make your students really understand your job, show them by presenting them with a pie chart that shows what you do versus what you’re paid for.
There’s a very simple function for this in Microsoft Word. It’s easy to create and post on facebook or blackboard, or to simply print out and give to the class. You can even draw it on the board for them.
Below is but an example. By the way, my hours are actually a little more for the grading and professional development, but I’m playing it conservative, and here’s the real kicker–I only get paid 32 weeks a year (Fall and Spring Semester).