Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Life in Teacher Mode

Some weeks my work schedule is looser than others and I've learned to roll with work energy when it's here...and let things go when the work energy is less. Somehow it all balances out in the long run and everything more or less gets accomplished.

The beautiful thing of how the schedule has unfolded over the last several years is that I tend to work via prepping and grading for at least one solid weekend day in order to play hard on at least one solid week day. However there are other week days that also can be full of super long days of work.

Case in point:

I attended some work events at my original teaching institution on Thursday afternoon and picked up some work related books & responded to some work emails for my new institution on Friday. However I didn't do a ton of practical work things on Thursday & Friday of last week. I did check and respond to most emails those days and I set up meetings for this week. I took all of Saturday off and then put in about 1.5-2 hours of teaching prep on Sunday and spent about another 45 minutes doing some grading.

And then today happened:
--7 hours on site at the new institution (2 hrs of which were teaching, 3 student meetings, various emails, and dealing with two issues that came up)
--3.5 hours of grading at home for my original institution
--2.5 hours (home) online content review & analysis typed up for a phone mtg tomorrow morning

On Tuesdays I generally work for my original institution but tomorrow I'm doing 3 items for the new institution:
--phone mtg on program lay-outs
--prepping independent study that I just picked up with two students
--mtg with said students to lay out academic plan for rest of term

Then I will update grades for my online courses & review material for teaching...and then teach for three hours in the evening (for my original institution).

At some point Weds-Friday (yea for flexibility!), I'll grade online & in-person assignments for my original institution, follow-up with all of my mentor students via email, book my summer tickets, grade assignments for my 3 classes at the new institution, review syllabi for the potential 4 new-to-me courses I might be teaching next year, meet with the independent study students again and teach them course 1 material, prep said material in my own head, follow-up with a couple of community contacts and research others, and take care of any additional items that arise.

In theory, it's not a ton, but sometimes managing so many different items exhausts my brain. Two more weeks of the term at the original institution and then a few more beyond that at the new one. But the reality is that I'm trying as much as possible to soak up the flexibility of the schedule that I do have (and that I have been incredibly fortunate to have had for the last several years). I haven't mentioned this here but it's been on the table for the last six months that I might be transitioning to full-time at the new institution. While I'm still not sure (1.5 months out from said contract start) whether this will actually be the case, it's been a bit of a mental shift for me to contemplate working a regular schedule for the first time in six years. I'm excited for the opportunities it could create (plus financial benefits and better boundaries), but there are also some hesitations, especially as I also contemplate potentially letting go of my other teaching position....

Big changes could be unfolding....but for now I'm going to enjoy the chaotic freedom that exists...and trust that life will work out as it should during the academic year that will soon be arriving.

Now here's to skedaddling to bed :)

1 comment:

  1. I'm so used to such a set schedule and pretty regular working hours, outside of when I travel for work, so I think I would struggle a bit with the randomness of a schedule like yours! But it's good that you do have flexibility and clearly you've become good at shifting gears/your focus and managing different projects with different deadlines! That is exciting that you might have a full-time job at the new place, though. I am sure that will be a shift but probably a bit less stressful to manage your finances!!