Sunday, September 28, 2014

Day 27: Spending the Weekend

How do I spend the weekends? What roles do weekends and holidays play in my teaching?

The first word that comes to mind is recovery. Do the social unwinding thing, sleep a little heavier, and help the household recover from not-so-much attention.

The second thing that comes to mind is getting caught up. The workweek is spent on priorities: what to do in the classroom? What needs to be graded rightnow? Who needs an email response? What meetings or extracurriculars do I need to be prepped for? Inevitably, I get behind. I use the weekend to get caught up on online grading, usually, or to complete a stack of papers.

Fortunately, in the 10 or so years I've been doing this, I do less work on the weekends than I used to. Probably 3-4 hours on Sat/Sun.

In part, this is because I'm using my workweek a little better. I have my own office now and can actually get grading done there. I will often close the door (a signal of: talk to me if you got somethin' to say, but if you're just coming by to chat about last week's American Horror Story, save it until lunch!) and shut out the world. I used to view the office as primarily a social environment and that has definitely changed (what can I say; I was 26 when I started here!). A campus will always be a social environment to some extent, but work at work is first and foremost nowadays.

I think the other reason why I don't do quite as many hours on the weekend as I used to is, well, I spend less time obsessively researching and planning than I used to. Honestly, I'm kinda proud of myself for this. Yes, there is always room for improvement and we need to keep things fresh, but it's just not healthy to work at a breakneck pace for our entire careers. I will continue learning new things to make me a better teacher. My curriculum will change--it just might change at a slower pace than it used to.

Now, if only I can make the grading disappear so the weekend can be filled with only walks, books for fun, enchilada sauce, movies, and cat cuddles!

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